Restaurants that attempt to have multiple identities are not always successful (Blink in Calgary, for example, axed its club aspect to focus on fine dining, while The Treasury here in Edmonton should consider the opposite). MRKT, however, got it right.
After dark, the bustling lunch destination transforms from a fun, bright and airy space into an intimate but unassuming venue, refined enough for a pre-show drink, but comfortable enough for a casual date. Mack and I met up with Marilyn at MRKT last Wednesday evening to catch up over drinks and food.
It wasn’t packed, but there were a number of pairs and small groups that dined during our stay. We could have chosen to sit at the long communal table, but we were looking for just a little more light, so opted for one of the tables along the wall.
They had a good by-the-glass wine selection (meaning: both Mack and I found something that we liked). Curiously, though local producers are highlighted in the food menu, no Edmonton breweries are featured among the selection of beer.
The three of us shared a charcuterie and cheese board (meant for two, $21) to start. Though it didn’t look daunting initially, it would have been a hefty starter for two. The cheese and meat selection will depend upon what the restaurant has on hand – but we all had a favourite that night – the manchego for me, the oka for Mack, the truffled salami for Marilyn.
Charcuterie and cheese, paired with some fruit, honey, and Jam Lady condiments
Marilyn and I were both very happy with our entrees: the portion sizes were larger than we’d expected, and everything was nicely cooked. The Spring Creek Ranch boneless beef ribs ($26) were amazingly tender, and I enjoyed the fresh, crunchy slaw that accompanied it. The polenta was a little thin for my liking, but I appreciated the healthy alternative to the usual mashed potatoes.
Spring Creek Ranch beef ribs
Marilyn equally enjoyed her artfully presented sauteed prawns on sweet potato mash, tomato butter and white wine & miso-chimicurri ($17).
Mack’s dish very much resembled the earlier charcuterie and cheese board – comprised of Cortes Island smoked oysters, smoked tuna, oka and crostini ($19). Though he could have clarified with our waitress about its possible similarity to our appetizer when ordering it, a heads up from her, knowing our appetizer selection, would have been appreciated.
Smoked oysters, smoked tuna, cheese and crostini
Other than that minor hiccup, service was laid-back but efficient – we were given the space we needed, dishes arrived in a timely fashion, and the staff were pleasant.
It’s such a fantastic time to be a food lover in Edmonton, but with places like MRKT just around the corner from our condo, it makes me even more grateful to be downtown. We’ll be back!
10542 Jasper Avenue
Lunch: Tuesday-Friday 11am-2pm; Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday 5pm-late; closed Sundays and Monday