August 17, 2016

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The cheese board at Market Place has fruit preserves, wild honey, dried fruits, toasted nuts and rustic bread. (Angie DeRosa / Hartford Courant)

In an enormous wooden barn building where state Route 64 meets U.S. Route 6 in Woodbury lies Market Place Kitchen and Bar, a restaurant specializing in American farm-to-table cuisine that opened up just under two years ago after huge success at its first location in Danbury.

Late to the game, despite living just a few towns over, I decided to give it a try.

We chose a table on the patio, which wraps around the front of the restaurant and its side. Fresh flowers and candles top each table. A small stone wall with potted plants separates it from the parking lot, and a tall garden with lavender and other shrubs blocks the street view. Stringed lights are lit when the sun goes down. It’s the perfect summertime atmosphere.

We started with the cheese board ($17) made with fruit preserves, wild honey, dried fruits, toasted nuts and rustic bread.

Selecting an entrée was difficult. Market Place’s menu offers a range of housemade pastas, salads, soups, flatbreads, sandwiches and sides, including land, sea and steak options, all seasonal, organic and locally sourced. Most options can be made gluten-free, and there is a small selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes.

We settled on the panko-citrus-herb crusted Scottish salmon ($26) made with dried apricot and cranberry wild rice, sautéed spinach and lemon-caper aioli; and the New England “Day Boat” pappardelle ($28) with Prince Edward Island mussels, Point Judith calamari, Atlantic shrimp, baby spinach, roasted grape tomatoes and sweet sherry cream sauce. The quality of these, plus the huge portions, made us forget the price.

Although we skipped them, Market Place is known for its crispy Brussels sprouts ($13) served with roasted garlic aioli, grated goat cheese and fig balsamic dressing.

The blackened “Free Bird” chicken nachos ($15) also deserve an honorable mention, made with blue corn tortilla chips, hot cherry peppers, Vermont white cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, avocado-tomato relish, truffle aioli and arugula has your mouth watering before you can finish reading the description.

hc-lead-drinks-market-place-20160816Market Place offers an array of local and national beers and wines, Including many organic and gluten-free options. (Angie DeRosa / Hartford Courant)

The drink menu is equally as extensive with dozens of wines, craft beers and specialty cocktails (the sangria is to die for). The prices are a bit on the higher side, but that is expected from a restaurant of this nature.

Before we left, we checked out the inside of the restaurant. The rustic, country feel continues indoors with high ceilings, wooden beams, brick and large windows. The post-work crowd filled all available counter space at the bar — predominately with young people — while most of the booths and tables in the dining room occupied guests. Granted, we came on a random weeknight; I can only imagine what it is like on Fridays and Saturdays.

 

ANGIE DEROSA
Copyright © 2016, Hartford Courant

Market Place Kitchen and Bar, 641 Main St. S., Woodbury, is open Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. 203-586-1215 and marketplacewoodbury.com.

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