30 November 2007

Uptown Market

Uptown Market is the new tenant in the spot formerly occupied by Mill Street Deli/China Way (the bizarre combo that it was). The inside is completely redone, and Uptown Market should bring a nice option for uptown dining, especially when they get a liquor license.

The main focus of the restaurant is local, seasonal produce (a la Alice Waters). Rumor has it that even the alcoholic beverages will even be local rather than global to keep up with this concept. The menu will be determined by arrangements between the restaurant and local farmers, and there will also be a focus on organic ingredients.

I started with garbanzo fritters (pictured above), lightly breaded with smoked Gouda, ginger and garlic served in a sweet chili sauce. The cheese was the cement holding the fritters together, both physically and as a flavor element by adding a delicate element of smoke that took the flavor to an unexpected but wholly rewarding place.

And how could I refuse the sauteed seasonal vegetables at a place that puts the emphasis on seasonal vegetables? The dish consisted of red and green peppers, yellow squash, zucchini and mushrooms seared in olive oil and a touch of red wine atop a bed of wild rice. The mushrooms were delicious.

The lunch business was relatively active. The staff was a little light considering the amount of people who were eating lunch. The place is newly opened, so hopefully they are just determining the correct staffing levels for certain days. The staff said they would stay open for lunch as long as business permits, and then they would reopen at 5:00 pm for dinner.

I'll definitely give the place a thumbs up, though. Although they offer a limited vegetarian selection, it is well prepared food that is worth paying a few extra dollars to eat. It is a huge improvement over the greasy MSG slop and bagel sandwiches that were churned out by the last establishment, and the interior upgrades are definitely noticeable. Check it out, and check out my pictures below.

Uptown Market

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