One Market in San Francisco, is one of the city’s most bustling and successful restaurants. Having both elements of a lively brasserie and a more refined fine dining establishment, this is a highly interesting concept.
What strikes you immediately when you enter the large dining room here is the size of it. Far larger than most Michelin-starred restaurants, One Market seats well over 100 covers. The design is reminiscent of a brasserie, or perhaps even a Viennese coffee house. It has charm and style, which can be said of the service too. The people who work here are clearly very good at what they do, but wear it lightly which is a most refreshing way of running a front of house operation in California.
The restaurant’s size however shouldn’t be a reason for concern, for the chef here – Mark Dommen – really does do a fine job, cooking dishes that do not only fit with the design and relaxed atmosphere, but are of remarkably high quality and complexity.
An example of his food would be an ocean trout confit, served with an egg yolk and a potato roesti. This dish is as tasty and easy to love as you could possibly imagine. No pretentious garnishes, no useless elements, purely the perfect combination of beautiful fish, the crispy potatoes and the richness of the egg. Imagine having that for breakfast every other day!
In the same vein, one ought to mention a rather fun dish: One Market’s home-made merguez sausage. This North-African lamb sausage is known to be fairly spicy and is often served in very simple establishments. Here however, the kitchen made things a little more refined and delicious, bringing diners a superb sausage that is served in a rich thyme jus.
A little more elaborate perhaps, if not radically different in terms of idea is a salad of grilled peaches, lardo and rocket. The interesting element here is the way in which the peaches and lardo create a perfect harmony. The sweet/sour notes of the fruit blend beautifully with the fatty and Incredibly satisfying lardo.
One Market is a jovial restaurant. A place that is full of life, and quite simply fun to spend time in. With such solid and delicious food, in a beautiful place like this, there really isn’t much more one can ask for.