Cititour: The New York Guide to Events, Restaurants, Music, and Nightlife

Market Cafe

Market Cafe

Cuisine: American

Cititour Review: Long time New Yorkers might have trouble believing this, but the area of Ninth Avenue between the Lincoln Tunnel and the Port Authority is turning into one of the city's hot new neighborhoods. The folks at Market Café were ahead of the curve, having opened their doors a few years back. But even with such new ultrachic competitors at HK just down the street, the fans aren't deserting this adorable bistro. And why should they? The food is first-rate and presented with care. (Our carafe of water even had a cucumber slice floating in it!) Best of all, the prices are remarkably reasonable, with no entrée topping $15. In fact, the gentle prices practically demand having both an appetizer and entrée. A more-than-generous bowl of nicely roasted cockles (baby clams) comes in a well-spiced broth; make sure to ask for an extra basket of the house's fresh-as-can-be bread for dipping. The Caesar salad proved to be a pleasing toss of romaine and raddichio accented by homemade croutons topped with a very garlicky dressing. Larger plate options include a variety of pastas, two types of steak – a rib-eye and a strip – along with an excellent cheeseburger paired with well-made fries, and a perfectly cooked chicken breast in a heady cider-based sauce served alongside a delicious mélange of potatoes and carrots. Keeping with the café's French feel, a variety of cheeses are offered for dessert. So are a selection of sorbets and ice creams, not to mention a mixed berry tart and rice pudding. But for a truly big finish, there's no beating the house's homemade chocolate layer cake. The slice is big enough for four people (honest!), but thanks to its super-creamy frosting and moist cake, even a twosome is tempted to finish the whole thing. The cake also comes with two slices of watermelon on the plate, so you don't feel completely guilty.
Review By: Brian Scott Lipton

Neighborhood: West 30s

Market Cafe
496 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY