Sunday, October 28, 2012

Its Market Time

I love Seattle's Pike Place Market. There is no place in the US like it and when I first moved to the East Coast I was confused as to why there was nothing similar to it. A crazy blend of farmer's market (fresh fruit, veggies, fish and meat), baked goods, kitchy artwork, and cuisine. Finally, Washington DC has taken up the task to bring something similar to Pike Place and now we have Union Market.

Much to my delight, on a warm fall Sunday afternoon we ventured over to Union Market. You can tell that at the time it was just starting to get its feet under them, as the Market was not particularly filled with vendors yet. However, Rappahannock Oyster Bar is in full swing with plenty of customers. It lacks the salty breeze of Pike Place, but the 20-seat bar, flanked by a communal table and patio seating, nevertheless brims with fresh goodness of the ocean: live scallops, meaty chowder, lush tuna tartare ignited with lime and chili pepper.

The regular selection of raw oysters ($2 each) includes Rappahannocks, which I like for the river oyster’s buttery quality, and Old Salts which are pleasing for their sweet but briny notes. Our plate is icy and fresh and the perfect beginning to our food adventures that brings back lovely memories of Pike Place and my amazing Aunt Dolores who always took me there when I was visiting her.

The next thing we shared was the oyster and bacon soup. The oysters were creamy and the bacon complimented with the extra bit of salty fat. As you can see from the picture there was plenty of butter to increase the yumminess of the soup. All that was missing was a nice piece of crusty bread, unfortunately there were no bakeries open at the Market during this day.

The seared sea scallop was probably my boyfriend's favorite. You know you are dating a foodie when they get excited about the giant roe sac before tasting anything on the dish. It was perfectly cooked with the lightest garlic butter sauce. You can't tell from the picture but this thing was HUGE, at least 3 oz.

The tuna tartare was delicious. Fresh lime and chili peppers gave it the perfect amount of kick and matched the sea salt tortilla chips.

The crab-cake w/ remoulade (think tartar sauce) was also quite good. It is one of the better crab-cakes that I have had but not the best, the Chesapeake Grill still holds that honor.

I look forward to many more relaxing Sundays spent at Union Market. I see it filling up to the brim with fresh farm vendors and wonderful places to grab something to eat. With some of DCs most influential restaurateurs and mixologists looking to set up shop in Union Market, it will be distinctly Washington DC and not the Washington that I am used to...and that is okay by me.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

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