Best Soup I've Ever Had: Market's Onion-Dck Confit
I'm a fan of well made soups but too often find the broth lacking in flavor and richness. Finally found my Nirvana: the French Onion and Duck Confit soup at Market Restaurant and Bar in Del Mar. The broth is incredibly rich, textured with multi levels of flavor. It alone would make my top ten list. But with the addition of small strips of duck confit it takes on an even more velvety rich mouth feel. Outstanding...utterly outstanding. (you don't have to spend big buck to try it--you can go in and order a bowl at the bar) Don't miss this dish. But, for that matter don't miss anything on the menu. (I have no $$ interest in Market-wish i did-I'm just a fan)
On my one very impressive dinner at Market I started their four-course prix-fixe menu with their mushroom soup. It was a clear broth, intense in flavor. It was garnished with slices of two types of mushrooms, three small squares of tofu, and one perfect small shrimp. I loved it -- it even had a slight bit of spiciness to it. I asked the server if it was vegetarian or based on a beef or meat stock and he assured me that it was vegetable only. Fantastic -- great start to the meal. My only qualm was that I wished there were more of it than the shallow inch or so at the bottom of the dish.
I also loved the third course, the shortribs. Two small but rich, gelatinous, tender succulent squares of the meat on either side of a long rectangular plate, with a perfect roasted cippollini onion in the middle. My dessert was also fantastic -- a small tartlet with a tart, sweet perfect lemon curd, served over some beautiful and lovely contrasting berry compote-like sauce -- I think it was boysenberry or now that I think harder huckleberry. The tart crust was light and flaky and just the right crispiness -- gosh, it is nine months later and I still remember almost every detail of the meal. The only dish that I would give a seven or eight rather than a nine or ten was the second course, a jambayala if I remember correctly with a small piece of fish, nice but not as impressive as all of the others, including the amuse. Topnotch experience, excellent service, impressive sourcing, and really flavorful cooking. If I recall correctly the four-course meal without wine pairings had at least two choices per course, and cost about $60 before tax and tip -- I could be off by about $10.
That sounds really divine. On a less indulgent level, we dined at Roseville tonight and my husband had a really lovely rutabaga soup with sage, brown butter froth. Wonderful flavor and texture, my only gripe was that to me, it tasted like Thanksgiving...almost 2 months too early.