Smorgie Social And Dinner At Market

Last week, I attended the Smorgie Social. Don't worry, I had no idea what Smorgie was either until I read about it on Katie's blog a few months ago.

Smorgie is a new site designed to help users organize (or smorganize) restaurants. There are so many things you can do with the site. I find creating Bite Books really fun, not to mention helpful. The Bite Books enable you to organize restaurants in categories you choose; for instance, I have one called "Restaurants To Check Out!" This Bite Book contains any restaurants I haven't been to but want to go to.

There's also a feature that lets you write notes about restaurants. I think this comes in handy for restaurants I've already been to. It's a great way to keep track of what I liked and disliked.

You can connect with friends on Smorgie, view their restaurants and Bite Books, and discover new places to dine.

At the Smorgie Social, over at the W Hotel, I met the super-friendly Shakti, the mastermind behind Smorgie. People who were new to Smorgie had the opportunity to sign up via iPad at the event. And we all enjoyed chartreuse-heavy green cocktails to celebrate Smorgie (green being Smorgie's theme color).

If you haven't already, I urge you to check out this new service. (Right now Smorgie is just available for Boston and D.C. restaurants.)


After the Smorgie Social, since we were already at the W Hotel, Kristen and I went over to Market to grab some dinner. I had been hearing so many good things about Market that I was excited to check it out for myself. Market, one of Jean-Georges Vongerichten's restuarants, features "a relaxed menu that emphasizes fresh, locally produced ingredients."

We were seated at a two-top right by the windows. Immediately I noticed a miniature bowl filled with salt and an equally miniature spoon to scoop it out with. I knew this was going to be a place I liked.

We ordered a half bottle of wine and then examined the dinner menu.

In the interest of sampling as much as we could, Kristen and I chose to share some appetizers.

We started with the tuna tartare, served with avocado, heirloom radishes, and a ginger dressing, as well as a few drizzles of chili oil.

The radishes were sliced paper thin, and just the right amount of avocado complemented the cool, raw tuna. We both agreed this dish was a winner.

Next we tasted the frisee and goat cheese salad with pickled peaches and crystallized wasabi, as well as a sprinkling of pistachios.

Have you ever had a pickled peach? It is exquisite. Have no fear -- it tastes nothing like a pickle. I got sweet, juicy, soft peach with a little tanginess. This was such an interesting salad and definitely my favorite of the appetizers we tried.

Oh, and they so nicely split the salad for us and served us each our own plate. I really love when restaurants do that.

For our last appetizer we munched on the Maine lobster pizza, with three cheeses (I remember that one was Fontina), lemon juice, and olive oil.

We both agreed that the lemon juice really made the pizza. It sort of played up the other flavors, while adding its citrusy notes.

And you really can't get me and Kristen together and not expect us to order dessert -- it was, after all, over a shared dessert that we first bonded.

We each scanned the menu, looked at each other, and both expressed how intrigued we were by the Concord grape souffle. While other items on the dessert menu sounded good, none sounded quite so interesting, so we placed our order.

We sipped our wine while we awaited the arrival of the souffle. And arrive it did!

The purple and golden brown souffle appeared on our table, flanked by a small bowl of grape sorbet. Our waiter broke a hole in the top of the souffle and drizzled in a little bit of sauce. He mentioned that some people find it too strong, so he went light on it but left us a small pitcher.

After he left, and we tried a bite, Kristen added more sauce and consistently poured in more when we started to get low. We did not find it too strong -- too good might be a better statement. The sauce was an almond and hazelnut praline.

A few bites in, it finally dawned on us that this was an upscale take on that favorite childhood lunch: the PB&J.

It was a definite success. I wish I could have bought a bottle of that sauce to bring home with me! The souffle was light and airy and stayed puffed up the whole time we worked our way through it. The grape  souffle and praline sauce were a perfect match.

The food at Market was delicious and the service was impeccable. Not an item came out that our waiter did not present and explain to us in full detail. Our water glasses never emptied, we never waited long between our dishes (save for the souffle which understandably takes some time), and we were treated so courteously the whole time. I would most definitely go back to enjoy another meal there.

Have you tried Smorgie? Have you been to Market?

Market by Jean-Georges (W Hotel) on Urbanspoon