We arrived in St Helena as the sun was setting, and by chance stumbled across the Market. It was about 5pm and the bistro-like restaurant was starting to fill up and get busy with local residents. We were met at the door by enthusiastic and welcoming staff and taken immediately to our table. Our server, Alfie, was personable, attentive and efficient, completely knowledgeable of the menu, and he made suitable recommendations for all courses. We told Alfie that we’d narrowed down our choices, and he suggested pairings of local Napa Valley wines, providing us with a small tasting before we ordered. Both choices were spot on.
For starters we shared the roasted baby beets and Belgian endive salad, and for mains we chose the porcini mushroom ravioli with shaved Parmigiano cheese, and the filet mignon with Bordelaise sauce. All plates were superbly presented, the food was fresh and flavorful. The filet mignon was cooked to perfection.
When it came time for desert, the menu offered many delectable options, making a choice all the more difficult. Alfie steered us to what he considered the best item on the desert menu, the butterscotch pudding in a waffle cup. I’ll admit to being reticent, since I’m not a great fan of butterscotch, having experienced sickly sweet, sticky gooey messes in the past. I had one spoonful, and completely understood why Alfie had recommended it so highly. The pudding was light and smooth, having the texture of crème brulée, with a strong but not overpowering butterscotch taste. I have become a butterscotch convert as a consequence of this experience.
In summary, an outstanding meal served by professional wait staff in a pleasant, albeit somewhat noisy atmosphere.
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