Last night I had dinner at Market Table in the West Village. Market Table is brought to us by the guys who brought us The Little Owl (Gabrielle Stulman and Joey Campanero), one of my favorite new spots to open up last year. The chef is Mikey Price, who used to cook at the Mermaid Inn.
This restaurant is interesting for when you walk in, you first enter a general goods store where you can purchase items, the dining room is past this little store. It is a large corner space with large windows where you can look out onto Carmine and Bedford streets. It's not an overly fancy place, I felt very casual and comfortable. The lighting was just dim enough for romance, but not too dark where I couldn't see my food.
I took a seat at the bar and perused the menu. The menu was not too large, about seven appetizers and seven entrees, and some sides, which was fine for me. I decided to get the Crispy Calamari appetizer and the Braised Lamb Shank entree (this was Erin the bartender's recommendation.)
The Crispy Calamari ($9) came with white anchovy, lemon, and a chili mayo. I thought the calamari was fine, nothing too special. I did enjoy the white anchovy and lemon a lot though. I never had fried anchovy or lemon before, and they were great. The anchovy gave the dish a great saltiness to it, and the lemon was a great palate cleanser and really opened up my taste buds. I thought it was a great touch.
The Brasied Lamb Shank ($20) came with gouda gratin, greens and rosemary jus. First off, I need to point out that this is a great deal. Twenty dollars for lamb is unheard of at fine-dining establishments in NYC, and I was pleasantly surprised with the price. The lamb was tender, and fell right off the bone, which was nice, although it could have used some more flavor and seasoning. I enjoyed the gouda gratin, greens and rosemary jus that came with the lamb though. It wasn't an overly complex dish, the sides were simple but all went well together.
Market Table is one of those neighborhood spots, like the Little Owl, which serves very good, straight-forward food, that keeps people coming back. I wasn't blown away, but, I do plan on going back.The casual environment, good food, and good prices are truly appealing.
So for a very good, casual meal in the West Village, Market Table would be a great choice.
54 Carmine St. (at Bedford St.)
New York, NY 10014