There was a time when every meal I prepared looked like a smorgasbord. I was trying to satisfy all the hungry palates in my blended family. Then my husband declared that he wanted just one, maybe two, dishes on the table at mealtime. What? Less is more?
Despite my husband’s yearnings for simplicity, I’m still a sucker for smorgasbords—little tastes of this and that.
Market 17 in Fort Lauderdale is worth the trip to Florida. In honour of its 5th anniversary, we sampled its special farm-to-table organic, wine country cuisine “Greatest Hits” 5 course tasting menu–all for $55 US (or about $550 Canadian, a running gag at last month’s Food Bloggers of Canada conference.)
I apologize for the photos. A cell phone in dim light doesn’t do these dishes justice.
For starters, Key West Pink Shrimp “Salad” Butter Lettuce, Marcona Almonds, Grilled Corn, Pickled Red Onion, Cauliflower, Zucchini, Shaved Rainbow Carrot, Apple Vinaigrette: The bright fuscia cauliflower was pickled, but I’m not sure if it got its hue from the onion or beets. It was lovely! This “salad” could have been a refreshing, light meal on its own.
Steamed Florida Clams in Smoked Butter Broth Slow Roasted Tomatoes, House Bacon, Grilled Ciabatta. Everyone oohed and ahhed. Delectable.
Sweet Potato & Hazelnut Gnocchi Florida Rabbit Sausage, Charred Radicchio, Parmesan Brown Butter, Nage. I thought that “nage” was a typo. Did they mean “sage?” Nope, nage is a liquid used for poaching, a broth flavoured with white wine, vegetables and herbs, then reduced and thickened with cream or butter. Our plates returned to the kitchen spotless.
Grilled Emu Filet Roasted Smashed Fingerling Potatoes, Crumbled Salami, Dill, House Sauerkraut, Quail Egg, Red Wine Demi, the main course: Emu was a first for all of us. It’s ostrich but tastes and looks like beef. The sauerkraut was the best ever. The whole dish worked perfectly.
Monkey Bread Cinnamon Caramel Glaze, Banana Bourbon Ice Cream: The monkey bread was like little donut balls and it was easy to stop after about four bites—I can almost pass on sugary donuts. We all savoured the boozy ice cream and caramel syrup. My hubby’s not a fan of cinnamon so he enjoyed some melting hot chocolate chip cookies instead.
I can’t recall what wine we enjoyed, but it was stellar as well. Service was excellent. The place makes you feel like you’re in a posh private club.
So are you thinking of running off to Florida to sample the food at Market 17? Here’s where and when to go.
- A big thank you to food and wine connoisseurs Nancy and Andy Friedmann who introduced us to Market 17 and shared in this memorable meal.