My buddy The Chen from Vancouver came for work and a visit. He wanted to take me out for lunch and thought Market on 17th was an ideal place, as I haven’t checked it out yet. The Chen eats frequently, around the world, at all the hottest spots. I’m pleased to report he was happy with his experiences dining out in Calgary.
The restaurant itself is pretty, with lots of natural light. The Chen liked the open concept room – the bar, main seating space and the front of the room were all distinctive from each other but in the same space. Our server, a young Drew Barrymore lookalike, was sweet and helpful, despite being the only server for the entire room.
I ordered an Americano and both The Chen and I drank sparkling water. We shared two dishes: a Mixed Green Salad with Duck Confit ($21.00) and the Pork Belly Sandwich ($16.00).
The Chen really enjoyed the duck confit and the salad. He thought the salad had the perfect amount of red wine vinaigrette. The salad had a heavy dusting of cheese, sliced almonds and a ton of dried cranberries. The greens tasted fresh, like it was just plucked from the garden.
The Poplar Bluff Farm Kennebec Fries were top notch. Hot, crispy on the outside and mealy inside, these were real potatoes on crack. OMG. The pork belly sandwich was yummy with the soft kale pesto, but I thought the bread was too heavy and the proportion of meat to bread was off. I would have preferred either more pork belly or a less fluffy bread.
I liked the food and I enjoyed the ambience and service. I would return to try the Fried Chicken Sandwich or the pasta.