50 Best Restaurants 2017: No. 6 Market Table Bistro

A modern American restaurant in Lovettsville

market table bistro
Photo by Jonathan Timmes

An overture of a single fig split in half and swiped with bruleed goat cheese is a gesture of simplicity and seasonality. The next course, pig trotters—whole-animal butchery means finding a use for feet—cooked until soft and wrapped in a lettuce leaf with ramp kimchi in a soy gastrique, reflects another side of the kitchen: sustainable, globally inspired cooking.

The tasting menu at Market Table Bistro, seven to 12 courses for $105, dives back and forth from understated to complicated. Without a reservation, the kitchen can make up a smaller, less expensive tasting menu, too. One plate is a study in summer with high-season gazpacho; tempura-fried green beans served with an herby, creamy dressing; a reinterpreted ratatouille that is in puree form; and a bunch of currant tomatoes, the tiniest tomatoes, still attached to the vine and drizzled with balsamic. Truffle is used to its full effect in a butter sauce over a single mushroom ravioli. While the truffle can be much maligned, especially when infused in oil, this makes its case as more than a gimmick. It concentrates what a dish can be, magnifies it.

The menu also dips into old-school luxury with a puck of foie gras over raspberry-glazed brioche, then an unfussy plate of flounder wrapped in tempura.

Chefs take turns bringing out dishes, and it’s fun to hear the story behind a dessert dubbed chocolate poke cake, how these holes fill with salted caramel panna cotta, which then absorbs into the whole thing. It’s the way this meal needed to end: back to simplicity.

MISC: Next spring, the team plans to turn the front dining room into a separate restaurant devoted to the tasting menu. Expect staff in formal attire.

Market Table Bistro
Modern American | $$$
13 E. Broad Way, Lovettsville

(50 Best Restaurants 2017November 2017)