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Last Update: Jun 11th, 2018
Market17

Market 17

1850 SE 17th Street
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33316
(954) 399-0017
Overall Rating
3.2
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
07/06/2011

Details

Hours: Tue-Sun 6pm-10:30pm Closed Mondays
Attire: Neat Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Prices: Expensive
Outside Dining: Yes
Reservations: Yes
Delivery: No
Happy Hour: 5pm-7pm 1/2 price drinks and appetizers

Pros

Serene Ambiance
Interesting Experience
Free Parking

Cons

Menu Changes Daily
Gamey Food
Too Many Ingredients per dish
Very Expensive
No TVs

Critic's Review

Market 17 opened last fall in the location previously occupied by fish. It's on the south side of E17th street just before the bridge.

The concept here is "farm fresh ingredients". Farm-to-table is the latest "gimmick" to cater to the growing green crowd; it's a bit difficult to implement as they have to buy food and manage their menus daily; and you're paying for that difficulty with higher prices and food that is fresher but not necessarily better. I never really consider that "other" restaurants are serving stale food; nor am I convinced that a "grass-fed" NY strip is superior to a "prime" NY strip. They're priced about the same.

The place is decorated with recycled and reclaimed, natural materials. There's a large bar area; the dining room opens at 6pm but the bar opens at 5pm with happy hour until 7 with 2 for 1 drinks and half priced appetizers.

Market17 bar

There are no TVs at the bar, the place is pretty dark and there's some pretty good, funky music playing; it has a zen-like feel. This isn't a place for a bunch of guys to hang out; it's a good place for a date, or a group of "ladies" for a special night out.

They have some other gimmicky things here, like tasting menus and "dining in the dark", where for $75 per person (and up) you can eat in the dark and try to guess what you're eating. Personally, I like to see what I'm eating.

On a Wednesday night the place was practically empty, so my concern that I might need a reservation was thwarted as soon as I entered the parking lot. We got a table inside as it's a bit sticky outside this time of year; the dining room is attractive and quiet.

Market17 diningroom

The evening started out with a bit of a wrench as the menu did not match the menu on their website for the day. I pulled out my phone to double-check; but they just had the wrong one up. They put the menu for the day up each afternoon; which is probably acceptable in most cases since you're not coming to a place like this for a specific thing like a steak or lobster, but the wrong menu is negative marketing.

They have "wine-down" Wednesdays, which seems almost obligatory now with so many restaurants doing it; it saves money but usually causes me to drink something I don't particularly want. I drink red and the girls always seem to want white, I thought about ordering by the glass, but the 2 italian wines they have are $16 and $26, so it didn't make sense to not take the deal. We ended up getting a chardonnay; we got lucky as the one that I randomly selected, Silverado, turned out to be pretty good. At $24.50 for the bottle I couldn't justify spending $50 on wine by the glass.

They have their own sparking water here, which I suppose sounds good but at least when something comes in a bottle you know there is some quality control. It's "all you can drink" for only $4.25 so it's a lot cheaper than buying the $6 bottle of Pelligrino that most places have. It's mildly bubbly and, well, it's water.

Bread is complementary; it was fresh and pretty good. It came with unsalted butter and a spatter of blackberry jam; jam is a breakfast food for me so I didn't even try it.

Market17 bread

I wanted to try the charcuterie platter, which was one of the things that was different on the menu from the one posted; they had rabbit, squab and duck sausage, goat cheese, some smoked ham and a some various pickled stuff.

Market 17 Charcuterie

It was difficult to discern what was what on the platter; our server rambled it off when he dropped it off but it was easy to forget. A couple of the sausages were very good as was the goat cheese; the pickled items didn't appeal to me nor did the chutneys. The sausages were better without the mustard. From a value standpoint it's really not much food; 2 pieces of sausage each, a square of ham and some bread with goat cheese for $18.

We both opted for the "petite" portions as from the menu descriptions we weren't quite sure that we were going to like what we were ordering. The petite portions are about 3-4oz; I ordered a ribeye (the posted menu had a NY Strip that I was going to order), and the girl ordered the duck.

Market 17 small Ribeye

I never order ribeye when I have a choice of beef; while it's preferred by some they tend to be a bit fatty rather than well marbled. This was no different; it was a decent piece of meat. It was served with a plethora of ingredients; potato puree, carrots, a mushroom, some kale. A little of a lot and not a lot of anything.

Market 17 small Duck

The duck was served in the same way, with a risotto with peas and gruyere, crimini mushrooms, brussels sprouts. radishes and a fig sauce. I'm not a fan of duck with fruit sauce, but the girl liked it, so I'll say it was a success. The duck seemed a bit dry to me but what do I know?

Both dishes were more like an adventure in flavors than a meal. Generally pretty good.

This is the second consecutive restaurant I've been to where there are no salt shakers. There's no salt or pepper on the table; when asked for it they brought out a little bowl of salt with a spoon, something I had never seen before dining at Cut 432 last Saturday. We used our fingers to salt the food, since you can't really do it with a spoon. We were offered a few grinds of pepper; I generally don't know how much salt and pepper I need until I start eating, so I'd prefer to season as I go. I hope that this isn't becoming a trend. People like different levels of salt and the concept that a chef can prepare food for all of those tastes perfectly is just plain arrogance.

The undeniable star of the evening was a chunk of a key lime thingy; I hesitate to call it a pie; it's really a concoction of custard, creme fraiche, and lime mouse, housed in a white chocolate "crust" for $11.

Market17 keylime

It looked like a chunk of swiss cheese, but served as a very sweet ending to the meal. It took quite a while for our server to get us coffee ($3.50 for "american"), so we had some time to examine it while waiting. Digging into it offered explosions of just the right balance of sweet and tart to leave our taste buds dancing.

My overall impression of this place is somewhat mixed. The bill for all of this, with the tip, was $135, which included splitting 1 appetizer and a dessert, 2 half portion entrees and a 1/2 price bottle of inexpensive wine and coffee. So figure any other night this would be $160, which is pretty steep for a relatively small amount of food. The menu here has kept me from coming for a long time; to me they have too many ingredients in each dish, and every dish has one thing or another that I don't want or like. Like brussels sprouts, lentils, kale or the radishes with the duck; or the pickled okra and pineapple chutney in the charcuterie. It's a lot of fancy stuff that doesn't serve to satisfy my hunger. It's also not a place I could come to dine alone.

It was an enjoyable meal that I would have enjoyed a lot more for about $40 less. My dining partner was not a sophisticated diner and she seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. Of course she wasn't paying. The whole organic/fresh concept with the fancy ingredients likely appeals more to women; us guys would rather just have a big steak and a baked potato.

** Note that Chef Ramos as left and they now have a new chef. They've also revamped their menu since the review.

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