The Market Place, Reopened - Asheville
I was invited to go with a friend to the reopening celebration at The Market Place last night. It has been renovated inside and looks beautiful. The front area is now a bar/lounge area and very open. The back and upstairs are dining areas with some cozy large booths and regular tables. It's sort of a combo of contemporary and industrial and yet still really warm. I loved the interior.
They had a ribbon cutting ceremony and lots of complimentary appetizers, beer and wine. While the food is not the same as what is listed on their menu, what they served us was REALLY good. Cucumber w/ceviche, raw Ahi tuna and watermelon with a light sauce on the tuna (that was an amazing combination - who knew? I had three of them.), charcuterie, cheeses, pulled pork, pork w/peanut sauce, some fantastic grilled veggies, and a bunch of other yummy things.
I'm a little confused about the chef/owner situation. I had thought that this chef/owner was pretty new (like months), but I saw in the CT article that William Dissen (current chef/owner) bought it in 2009? I so guess the recent change is new menus/food/interior. Perhaps a new direction. He says the new updated menu is farm-to-table.
They are now serving lunch, dinner and a late-night bar menu. On the dinner menu, they now offer small plates in addition to bigger entrees. I admit that I had never gone to The Market Place before because it was priced in our "special dinner" category and we just never made it. But the menu they have now seems pretty reasonably priced and I look forward to trying it. I'm really hopeful that their regular menu food will be as good as what I tried last night. If anyone goes for dinner, please report back!
20 Wall St, Asheville, NC 28801
We dined there this week and for the sake of the restaurant's future, hope that we saw a case of not open long enough to get things settled down. We started at the bar and the 3 of us arrived at separate times. It should have been obvious that we were a couple with a friend. We asked that the bar bill be added to our dinner check but instead were presented with 1 bill to be paid right then at the bar where we each paid our part. Not a real problem, but......perhaps a forrunner of what was to follow.
When we were seated, one of the wait staff poured some olive oil in a saucer. After about 10 minutes I asked what the olive oil was for and was informed that it was the bread that they hadn't served. The same routine after another 10 minutes. We finally were served bread sometime during our seating; I think it was after the food orders were served.
One of us ordered steamed mussels and they were cold as in room temperature when served. They were sent back and the second time were warm on the top and still cold on the bottom. The waiter was informed of this and just walked away rather than doing anything about it. They were not eaten and the dish was full of mussels when the table was cleaned. The waiter never said a word about the uneaten dish and no compersation was offered. Our other dishes ranged from okay to good. I don't think that any of us will return. The chef/owner needs to get out of the kitchen and pay attention to the front-end or hire someone to do it.
yup, sounds like they have some serious service issues. When we were there for the opening, there really wasn't a need for much service since apps were being passed and there was a small buffet. although, I will say, a guy from the bar was really good about cruising through the dining area and checking on our wine even though we weren't paying for it.
I had hoped the food on the menu would be as good as what we had that night, but maybe it's not. I will say I was surprised they didn't offer items from their menu for the opening. And it has not gotten good reviews in the past, but it was unclear to me who was cooking then (like last fall). Was hoping that had changed too. :-/
We'll still give it try, but I think we'll wait a few weeks and see if this was a sorting out stage.