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Dec 27, 2006 05:27 AM

Arterra (Del Mar) After the Loss of 3 Key Staff Members to Market Restaurant

We went back to Artera in Del Mar for Xmas dinner last night. It was our first visit since Carl Schroeder left taking with him several members of the staff to his new superb place, Market. It was a frustrating visit to Artera. First, they had announced that there would only be 3 first course, 3 main courses and 3 desserts avaliable on Xmas. At the time we booked they had not made the selections. Since we were taking my 90 year old mother I wanted to be sure they had dishes she would/could eat. I called a week before. No details available. I called the Friday before Xmas-no details avalable but they took my number and said the choices would be set by Saturday afternoon and they would call me. No call.

Serivce was off all night. Long odd delays, overcharged for the wine we bought (to be fair it was shown at 2 different prices on the wine list), overcharged for corkage. To be fair, the food was very good but at $50 a person everything should have been top notch.

Finally, I needed a luncheon reservation for later this week. I've tried a half dozen calls during today and no one answers the phone. (Finally called the hotel and learned that they were closed today. Wouldn't it have been nice of them to change their message tape?)

They have slipped in my opinion. I wonder if anyone there cares?

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  1. Well, Bradley Ogden should since he signed his new agreement with the Marriott earlier this year. Bob, it's been my experience with Ogden restaurants that they go through cycles where they are very good, hit a rough patch that can be very rough, and then recover and are very good again.

    I have two words for you -- Marine Room. I did Christmas dinner there yesterday and it was lovely, well except for the pear tart which was okay, but should have been better. It was an expensive meal, but every bite was worth it, especially the muselix encrusted crab cake with duck confit and lentils. Odd combo, but boy, did it work. Wines by the glass or bottle; given the steepness in price of their regular wine list, I thought the wines they offered for the Christmas on the high end of reasonable. Try them for lunch later on this week, it isn't that far from Del Mar/Carmel Valley.

    1. I have another suggestion as well--Market Bar and Restaurant in Del Mar (where Shroeder went). We're going there again for SD Restaurant Week.

      1. Just be sure if you go to Market you ask to be seated in the dining room. See this thread below.

        6 Replies
        1. re: PGB

          yeah, I did. We'll see what happens.

          1. re: daantaat

            We were at Market tonight with our daughter who was in from Northern California. She thought the short ribs were outstanding. The cassoulet with duck confit that I had was the best rendition of that dish I have ever had.

            We raised the issue mentioned here on Chowhounds about not being setaed in the main dining room. They had not seen the thread here but had already identified the issue on their own. As I understand it, when they have a busy night and it looks like the main room will be full, they will tell subsequent reservations that the only space left is on the enclosed patio or in the bar. (by the way, the bar features a large screen TV that shows what is going on in the kithcn. Sort of an electroinic open kitchen.) They were clearly concerned about this issue and working to make their service better.

            By the way, anyone see the RAVE review in last week's San Diego Reader about Market???

          2. re: PGB

            Went to Market last night. After reading these posts, I added a request for the main dining room when I booked through We were seated in the main dining room.

            This was my first visit since Carl Schroeder came from Arterra. It was outstanding on every level -- service, wine advice and especially the food. The presentation is fun but not gimmicky. 2 of us had the short ribs which were among the best I have had if not the best. A appetizers and desert the same. Might like to try the tasting menu on a future visit.

            1. re: eatemup

              I asked Carl once why the short ribs seemed better at Market than Arterra. He told me that at Arterra a different member of the staff made the short ribs each night. At Market he has a chef who understand the dish really well and he makes them EVERY night. You're right. They are superb!

              1. re: eatemup

                this is all good to hear. I was at Market the first week or so of its opening and was very underwhelmed. Was told that they were still getting things in place; sounds as though they have done that. how's the wine list?

                1. re: ibstatguy

                  Wine list has been fully revised and is quite interesting. Some gems on it that are superb to drink but haven't gotten much publicity (like the Keller Estate Pinot Noir)

            2. thanks for the sugestions about Market but if you go back and look I was the first to post on it here. We were at Arterra ONLY because Market was closed on Xmas.

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