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Apr 9, 2010 08:00 AM

Market Restaurant Morristown, NJ

Well Morris County has once again let another formerly decent restaurant site go to waste.
The former "Pierre's Restaurant" on Mt. Kemble Ave had a good run and was tired and in need of new energy and a new chef and along came Market Restaurant. A much anticipated
resurrection of a restaurant just opened in early April 2010.
The new owners spent some time and dollars freshening up a formerly tired space and have opened up interior spaces to create more openess , the bar area has a little loungy feel to it with two sofas and several cushiony stools.
Ok. I admit the restaurant scene in Morris County is either feast or famine but come on guys, this place is a gold mine waiting to happen how about a fresh approach, simple, good
food? We decide to sit at a table next to the bar and one of the bartenders Beth , became our server as well.( talk about multitasking) she was pleasant and she let us know she was not that conversant on items in the menu. The mixed drinks come in the narrowest of tumblers I have ever experienced and I asked to look at the wine menu. The wine prices were double retail and the vintage years were odd on several reds and overall the list lacked any balance. Even the wine by the glass was weak and judging by the mixed drink volume I bet the pour was poor as well.
We tried the Duck Springrolls to start, they came out burnt on the bottom. My wife had the lettuce wedge with bacon, tough to screw up. I asked if the Salmon was wild or farmed and server did not know. I assumed farmed and I was right. My wife stuck to the basic burger which she said was decent with hand cut fries, my 9 yr old had chicken breast skewers with fries and she also tried the fish n chips. She said the chicken was good and the fish was
not cooked evenly. The salmon dish came bathed in butter served over grilled asparagus and some sort of roasted potato, the potato was not good, the salmon was ok but too much butter. Overall, we were not impressed with the food or drink,. I mentioned to Beth the drink sizes were small and she comped me a free drink. I believe that this place needs alot of fine tuning especially the food. I would not rush back here. A great location with average food. What a waste!

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  1. Pking, there is already a thread on this new restaurant:

    Btw, I see this is your first post on Chowhound. I hope you will continue to post about your favorite restaurants in this part of central NJ.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ambrose

      I would be happy to. Its just so frustrating finding bad restaurants with nothing noteworthy to report. I'm inclined to believe consistent restaurant fare is a tough find in NJ?

    2. Welcome to Chowhound, pking! And thanks for this excellent detailed report.

      We loved Pierre's when they were in the center of Morristown in that corner space. Worth the hour's drive it took us to get there, which we did several times. When they moved to the stand alone location, we had dinner there. Frankly, the food had lost something and didn't seem quite so delicious. That is often the case when a restaurant expands to much larger quarters. I know Pierre's remained popular, but for us, it was no longer worth the ride.

      You are so right that this is a great location. Worth a trip for superb cuisine. Too bad that Market Table is such a disappointment.

      7 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        They been open what, about five minutes? Give them a chance to get their sea legs.

        1. re: johnlockedema

          Is this restaurant giving diners a sizable discount while they "get their sea legs"?

          1. re: RGR

            I'm sure they're not. That's why I usually wait to try a new restaurant for a few months, rather than visit right after the opening, and slag the place to a well visited local web board.

            1. re: johnlockedema

              Like you, I usually avoid new restaurants. However, once a place is open to the public and charging full price, those who do choose to go there have every right to offer both pro and con criticism on food boards. Nowadays, restaurant owners are aware of this (if not, they've been sleeping under a rock), so it behooves them to get their ducks (proverbial and real) in as good a row as possible before opening.

              1. re: RGR

                I don't disagree, but in reading books by serious restaurant owners even the best can struggle in some way when the doors first open, let alone a place on suburban route 202.

                1. re: johnlockedema

                  That's true. Pick up a copy of Danny Meyer's "Setting the Table" and read about what a mess things were when he opened Union Square Cafe more than 20 years ago. And as accomplished and experienced a restauraeur as he's become, when his latest restaurant Maialino opened in November, there were posts describing problems with service. Of course, it being a Meyer establishment, there was no doubt they would be ironed out. However, more importantly, the reports about the food were almost uniformly extremely positive. I think most people who come right after a restaurant opens will overlook temporary glitches in service and return if the food is excellent. But not if the food is mediocre, which in pking's opinion, is the case with Market Restaurant.

                  1. re: RGR

                    That''s one of the books I was thinking about. I'm not sure taking a 9 year olds opinion of 'unevenly cooked' fish is a valid critique though!

      2. That wine list is anything but double retail,

        Cain Concept for $80 ($55 at Gary's)
        Caymus Cab for $110 (64.95 at Gary's)

        The drink pours vary by server, I have had great pours and really silly pours, just talk with them they corrected it in a heartbeat for us

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Went to was a sloppy gooey mess. Some of the staff has a bit of an attitude, the pours came up a little short, and when told of this the bartender scoffed and asked "where else ya gonna get a 10 ounce martini?" I dunno, if you put 10 ounces in a 12 ounce glass it just don't look right. Anyway...the braised pork belly seemed to be pork shoulder to me and the spiced polenta it was served in tasted like pumpkin pie. I hate sauce on steak but they put it on there. The interior is nice, the bar area very cool for the area, and a few clusters of women drinking cosmos will keep the boys coming, men. Average age mid 40s.