One Market Restaurant has not only survived but prospered for 24 years in San Francisco. When it opened in 1993 at the end of Market St. at the Embarcadero it was certainly one of the most anticipated restaurants of the year. Opening chef Bradley Ogden was one of the first of his time to embrace the now ubiquitous "farm-to-table" movement. Since 2004 chef Mark Dommen (Fleur de Lys, Park Avenue Cafe and Lespinasse in New York City) has been diligently overseeing the open kitchen and one of the city's first "Chef's Table."
After celebrating 24 years in business it's only natural that One Market should undergo a light refresh. San Francisco's Arcanum Architecture ensured all of the rooms and alcoves received a fresh coat of white paint. The bar area now has custom, sea urchin pendant lighting and the front lounge area has walnut-top tables as well as new pendant lighting. The massive windows showcasing the Bay and extensive millwork have all been preserved.
Tasmanian Ocean Trout - Photo by James Stolich
What impressed this writer most is after entering the restaurant and passing through the enormous and bustling dining room is the open chef's counter, one of the first to debut in SF. Nearly no one was seated there! How can this be I pondered? Surely a seat at the chef's counter is one of the most coveted in the house. Well, I have to say this is without a doubt the place you should be if it's just 2 of you. It is so much fun to watch the very seasoned cooks adeptly work the line and produce an amazing array of dishes to service the 160-seat seat main dining room as well as the private rooms. Start out with the foie gras torchon (brûléed, pink champagne geleé, rhubarb-strawberry compote) or the beet carpaccio (radishes, fresh chèvre, sherry vinaigrette). The lightly smoked Tasmanian Ocean Trout "Mi Cuit" is also a nice treat. All of the steaks are very good but go for something different and order the Rossotti Ranch veal (sweetbreads, ricotta gnocchi, sweet vermouth) or the black pepper-crusted Liberty Farms duck breast (duck leg confit, soubise, braised cabbage). One Market is open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner and Saturday for dinner.
Filet of beef with accompanients - Photo by James Stolich
The open chef's counter at One Market - Photo by James Stolich
James is a food writer and Bay Area chef who owns and runs a private dinner party and cooking class business specializing in regional Italian and Spanish cuisine. See CookWithJames.com