Restaurant Review: New Age and American Comfort Food at Market Market Restaurant in Rosendale, Ulster County NY
A pair of transplanted Brooklynites offer comfort food — from the U.S. and around the globe — at an eatery in Rosendale
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Pork katsu — crispy panko-crusted pork cutlet — is served with caramelized onions, organic brown rice, and a fried egg
When we dropped in a couple of weeks back, the crowd ranged from a teenager in a frilly micro skirt acting super cool, to women of a certain age having a blast, and a few solo diners at the bar. My husband and I (long ago Manhattanites) shared savory, eggy Korean scallion pancakes with dipping sauce; and a nacho-style tostada piled high with beans, cheddar, and pico de gallo — ribbons of lettuce laced with diced tomatoes, jalapeño, and plenty of cilantro. (Our server warned us that the tostada was enormous; we planned to just sample it to report on, but it was so super-fresh and tasty that we ate the whole thing.) Fanned slices of a flavorful, tender hanger steak came with a mountain of irresistible sweet potato fries and tangy chimichurri. Pappardelle bolognese, that day’s pasta dish, was made with the same ground beef that goes into the cafe’s famous burger, and had the rich, characteristic flavor of pasture-raised beef. Generous helpings are the norm.
Constantine bakes the desserts. There’s usually a simple layer cake, a fruit dessert (served in summer with delicious mint ice cream), shortbread, and cookies. We’d already eaten too much, but we took home a dense, chocolatey muffin and a wonderful lavender-almond-black pepper biscotti that Constantine said she made as an experiment.
Hip and happening: Bass guitarist Joe Lally (at right), from the band Fugazi, plays at the Rosendale “micro venue” last fall
A spinet piano in one corner of the room offers a clue that the cafe’s billing itself as a “micro venue” has two meanings. One, Constantine explains, is that “the food is artisanal and done with love, thought and care, in small quantities.” The other refers to the performances that take place on Thursday (at 9 p.m.) or Friday and Saturday nights (at 10 p.m.), when musicians, storytellers, comedians, and DJs set up. About every six weeks, the cafe puts on Tributon night — a big hit, says Constantine, with performers taking turns interpreting the songs of a particular musical star.
Chances are you’ll be waited on by Jude Roberts, a personable guy when toting dishes, and a talented singer and guitarist whose rendition of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” on YouTube gives you an idea of how rollicking Tributon night can be. “It’s so much fun,” Constantine says. “And a marvelous sense of community.” One of these days, the New York Times will be declaring little far-flung towns “the new Rosendale.”
Snacks, appetizers, and sandwiches range from $3-$10; entrées from $8-$16. Open weekdays for breakfast and lunch; dinner served Weds.-Sat.; brunch on weekends.