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Nov 2, 2009 07:27 AM

Market at the W Hotel-Jean-Georges in Boston

Ate at Market last night: newly opened in the W hotel.
We had the tasting menu and at $58 it was a well valued.
The food was cooked very well with the developed flavors and presentations that all other Jean-Georges restaurants put out. The timing was also well paced even though they had opened only a few days earlier and the kitchen seemed to deal well with what ended up being a filled room. The menu included three apps, a tuna dish, a foir gras dish and a shrimp dish, two mains, stripped bass and pork loin and a dessert, molton chocolate cake.
The room was comfortable but table spacing seemed tight. We are looking forward to returning.

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  1. wow! that's an amazing amount of food for that price. went to the opening and whatever i managed to taste was quite good, but of course it was a zoo.

    1. Six courses for $58 - that does sound like a good deal. How were the portions - were you able to finish all six without feeling like you overate?

      1. I just looked at the menu and saw they had fois gras brule. I assume that was what you had. Did you like it? That appetizer has got to be in the top 5 of my favs. I had it at Jean Georges in NY.

        10 Replies
        1. re: catsmeow

          Were you able to find the menu online?

          1. re: catsmeow

            It was the classic JG Fois brule and it was done well (we have had it at other JG places). The molten cake was also one of his signature dishes.

            Food was not overwhelming in portion size and we left full but not stuffed.

            1. re: catsmeow

              The review on the tasting menu inspired me and I made a reservation but couldn't find their menu. Can you please post a link catsmeow? Thanks!

              1. re: CreativeFoodie42

                I found it on a different site earlier, but here's the one linked to Open Table. It looks like the same Dinner menu that I saw earlier but that one also had a lunch menu and a lighter menu. I'll look for it again.


                  1. re: catsmeow

                    Thanks so much! I'm really looking forward to going there next week!

                    1. re: CreativeFoodie42

                      I tried the arctic char sashimi (very good although a bit heavy on the lemon dressing), the fried clams (tough, not enough bellies), the beef short rib (decent although not nearly as marbled as say 9 Park, I would give it a B).

                    2. re: catsmeow

                      Has anyone taken a picture of the boston menu? Are the dishes mostly the same as the ones on these other two menus? I only ask because in his blog j-g mentions a clam pizza, cod dish and pork chop specifically for boston's ingredients that aren't on these other menus.


                    3. re: CreativeFoodie42

                      I finally went to Market last night and my DC and I both ordered the tasting menu.

                      Our first course was a rice cracker crusted ahi-tuna served with a citrus chili emulsion. The rice cracker added a nice crunch to the tuna but the real star of the dish was the emulsion. The sauce was sweet from the citrus but it left a small heat in its after taste, which is completely appropriate for a first course. The sauce contained chopped scallions, which really tied the entire dish together. I thought it was a great first course.

                      Our second course was a foie gras brulee served a top a toasted brioche alongside a spiced fig jam. Although this wasn't the best foie gras I've had, the brulee and the spiced fig jam really made this dish memorable. The toasted brioche was a little disappointing though as mine was a bit too dark.The burnt toast taste over powered the bite and the fig jam was used to really mask that.

                      For the third course, I had seared shrimp served with a silky pumpkin, ginger and basil emulsion and toasted pumpkin seeds. The shrimp had a nice spicy rub and was perfectly cooked. The combination of shrimp and pumpkin is not something that I would normally think would go well together but it was really outstanding. And the pumpkin seeds added a nice light crunch to the dish. For this course, my DC (who is allergic to shellfish) had a creamy butternut squash soup. I stole a bite and it was decadent in its creaminess. We both really enjoyed this course.

                      Our fourth course was a pan seared striped bass with a pureed nut crust, served in a sweet and sour broth with lima beans, roasted grape tomatoes, circles of Yukon gold potatoes and pearl onions. This dish was really the worst of our tasting menu. On one hand, the fish was cooked perfectly. The skin was perfectly crisp with the crust while the meat was moist and succulent. But the broth was just way too salty. Another big problem with this dish was the plating. Because of the broth, this was plated in a shallow bowl. However, this made the fish and vegetables difficult to cut and maneuver. I was glad to see this plate go.

                      We were then onto the next course - smoked chili glaze served atop a grilled lamb chop on a bed of king oyster mushrooms and broccoli rabe. The glaze was phenomenal and something I wish they bottled. The lamb was cooked to a nice medium, but it was interesting because the server made a big point of stating that the chef recommended serving the lamp a medium-rare. We agreed but only my DC's was really a medium rare while mine was more cooked as a medium. The broccoli rabe and mushrooms were delicious and a nice salty contrast (in a good way) to the lamb.

                      Our final course was a warm molten chocolate cake served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, shortbread crumbs and a chocolate plantain brittle. The dessert was nothing spectacular but it was done to perfection. The brittle was particularly memorable. I enjoyed the ice cream with the chocolate cake but since I'm not a big chocolate cake person, I only made a small dent in the cake.

                      Overall, the tasting menu was delicious but not perfect. I was impressed with the flavor combinations, especially the sweet and spicy emulsions. However, the burnt brioche, over-cooked lamb and over-salty fish were blatant errors.

                      While the errors in food is forgivable, the biggest problem with this restaurant was the number of servers on the floor. There were over a dozen servers and at least three managers on the floor, and they all seemed to stand on top of each other. I yearned for the days of old school service where the servers were attentive and there when you needed it, but otherwise invisible. And despite the number of servers, this service was seriously lacking. For instance, despite the interchangeable number of servers who re-filled our waters and cleared our plates, it was very difficult to flag down our actual server. In fact, none of these servers actually introduced or described our plates, which was a disappointment for a tasting menu. In addition, our plates took a long time to get cleared in between courses. In fact, when we had finished our fish course, the dirty dishes were left on the table for so long that another server brought out the lamb courses but the previous dishes hadn't been cleared. It was embarrassing for them to have to remedy this. Because Market has only been open for a few weeks, I'm willing to forgive the service errors. I will definitely return again but hopefully when they have sorted these issues out.

                      1. re: CreativeFoodie42

                        I dined at Market last night, too. I wonder if the kitchen (and servers) perhaps got overwhelmed later in the evening.

                        I dined solo earlier in the evening (5:30) and had the tasting menu. I didn't find my sea bass oversalted and my lamb was cooked to a perfect medium rare. There were a couple of blips in service as things got busier but nothing major. I swapped out the chocolate cake dessert for the cheesecake w/concord grape sorbet -- soooo good!

                        I also think I'm now addicted to their house made ginger ale.

                  2. The foie brulee dish was pretty great (even if it is on the menu at all the other JG places). One of those, "Hmm, why has no one else thought of that before?" dishes. Was less impressed with the lobster, which was fine but unremarkable save for the interesting lemon spaetzle on the side.

                    11 Replies
                      1. re: twentyoystahs

                        Went last week but wasn't going to report. I recognize that they only just opened and need more time to get it together. But anyway...Black pepper crab fritters were VERY peppery, overly so -- and I love black pepper. It's all you could taste. Very interesting and delicious garnishes though, not sure what it was, maybe some kind of pickled vegetable like jicama? Didn't seem to match the menu which I think said endive. Fried clams were, well... gross. Tough and soggy at the same time, with an utterly flavorless foamy dipping sauce. Made we want to go directly to Neptune for the real thing. Went for basic and had a pizza to share since we weren't super hungry, and it was tasty enough but literally a 5" circle for something like $12. Nothing special and I felt kind of ripped off. The service was very friendly and they're doing a great job of working out the kinks. Drinks took forever and there were a few food running mishaps witnessed, but like I said, they're still figuring it out. Didn't try any wine, but I love the fact that they offer both a 4oz "taste" and an 8oz "carafe". The room is quite pleasant, and was about half full when we went. I think it has potential, but honestly I'd give them much more time before returning.

                        Oh -- not really a Market reflection, but my date ordered a negroni at the lobby bar later and was told they had never heard of it -- neither of the bartenders. Huh? Also, they had no campari, so...

                        1. re: purple bot

                          Had the same experience at the lobby bar. At this time, there is not really a cocktail program there, despite the cocktail menu.

                        2. re: twentyoystahs

                          Called to reserve dinner for tonight earlier this week and got a brusque "fully committed" with attitude - no possibilities on Friday or Saturday - checked Open Table yesterday and there was a reservation available at 8:30a - hmmmm - already planning to go elsewhere tonight - hoping to hear something good to make it worth dealing with the attitude before we even get there to try it...anyone?

                          1. re: rlh

                            This reservationist behavior is always baffling to me. Makes me want to say, "Do you really think being a dick to people is going to make them want to rush back?" I guess they must be relying on a velvet-rope mentality: "Ooooh, I can't get in: I really want to go!" Oy.


                            1. re: rlh

                              Did a walk thru tonight and the place was jamming. Walked in the side door to take a look at the menu and was told they were fully committed. They still don't have the menu on their website or copies to take which is odd. Walked by the W Bar and it was packed too. Leaving out the front door, there were about 70 people waiting outside - for something? To get into a hotel bar? Not sure if there was another event at the hotel, but it was packed.

                              1. re: gyppielou

                                I went to check out the W bar late last week as well- and it was completely jammed. When leaving there was definitely a line outside to get it- appears to be more of a "scene" than anything, and more cougars than I have seen in a while. Great for some good people watching.
                                I was slightly confused though-we had two drinks each while standing there, two glasses of prosecco for me, and two rum and cokes for my bf- somehow on the bill they charged $10 for one of the rum and cokes and $11 for the other. No discernible difference to my bf. Very odd. Definitely no "cocktail program" as noted above.

                          2. re: iamsam

                            I had foie gras brulee at Gargoyle's some years back. The execution was weird - or rather, the the mouth feel was weird. Not compelled to order the dish again, but I will be eating at Market on Tuesday, so if I see it go by and am inspired, I may just try it.

                            1. re: Small Plates

                              Has anyone been for lunch? I have veterans day off and was curious if they do the tasting menu for lunch as well.

                              1. re: MParente

                                We had the tasting menu on their second night of opening,
                                the fois gras brule was absolutely wonderful, i could have eaten that for dessert! Silky and melt in your mouth with the perfect crackling brule crust
                                The other dish on the tasting menu that i really liked was the spicy shrimp with pumpkin seeds and silky pumpkin puree. No complaints whatsoever about the molten cake.
                                The striped bass didn't leave quite the impression, it was okay, not great, although the broth was tasty.
                                We found the service to be quite good very professional and attentive. There were a few glitches in timing , but they were caught by our server before they became a problem.
                                as far as reservations go, i don't think that is the management plan, but suspect it is more likely the fault of the specific person working the phones... I believe they are reserving on the light side though, probably so as not to rush people out or be late on reservations, you could definitely see the pace of the reservations as you sat in the dining room if you watched

                                1. re: MParente

                                  We had lunch there last Friday. I loved the Black Pepper sauce on the crab fritters. But, then I like a heavy hand with pepper. I was trying to identify the undertones in it and decided it might be fig jam. It had a sweet and hot balance.

                                  I had the little Pizza with tomato, mozzarella and basil and enjoyed it. It had a crisp crust and fresh taste to each topping. We also tried the hanger steak and a salad.

                                  I think this is a great addition to the neighborhood.

                                  Photos and a bit more detail here.


                            2. Thinking about giving this a try on Friday night, as we're going to see Carmen at the Citi Center and it couldn't get much closer. Do you think we could get through the tasting menu for a 7:30 show if we had 6:00 reservations? There's also a table open at 5:45...