Escape the City: Bainbridge Island Adventures

A Foodie Staycation to Bainbridge Island’s Restaurant Marché

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If you’re looking for a reason to escape the city for a weekend, evening, or day trip with the ladies, I highly recommend jumping on the ferry and heading over to Bainbridge Island. My boyfriend and I took our dogs and Airbnb-ed it for the weekend, hopping from winery to winery, hiking and playing on the beach at Pritchard Park. If you find yourself hungry on the island, I highly recommend heading over to the tantalizing establishment in the Winslow neighborhood, called Restaurant Marché.

It’s quite fitting that Chef and owner Greg Atkin, whose name might sound familiar from his Canlis days, would open a restaurant on a Seattle island, given he found his calling  working at a small French café in Friday Harbor in the late 1980’s.  Greg and his wife Betsy own and operate Marché, with a warm northwest atmosphere, featuring cedar plank table tops, an open air kitchen, and badass female mixologist behind the bar. Greg brings with him many years of expertise in French cuisine from living and working in France, and after 25 years of writing about the amazing PNW cuisine, he saw an opportunity to combine fresh local ingredients with a cuisine he and Betsy were most passionate. There is a cooking style in France that honors traditional techniques paired with seasonal ingredients available in the market, and from this cuisine du Marché concept, a restaurant on Bainbridge was born.

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We began our dinner with a fresh herb goat cheese made fresh on the island, atop a house made netted cracker, that must have been dusted with fennel – insert OMG face. They bake all of their own bread in the wee hours of the morning and serve it the same day, and Greg finds this to be his Zen time, the calm before the storm if you will.

The tarte flambé was an excellent starter, a French rendition of warm fluffy flatbread with fresh white cheese, lightly charred caramelized onions, and flecks of bacon. It was airy, yet fulfilling, and of course the BACON.

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The Virginica baked oysters came straight from Taylor’s Shellfish, lightly seasoned with fresh herbs from the local farmer’s market and cleaned and presented with perfection. I love when locally sourced seafood tastes as delicious as it looks, and although I generally prefer my oysters raw, this dish had me second guessing my preference.

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I highly recommend ordering the market vegetable plate either as a prelude to your meal, or an appetizer to share – it was divine.  Five vegetables served five ways; the carrots julienne, a pea flan, charred asparagus, and sautéed garlic spinach, this is a truly creative presentation and adventurous experience for the eyes and palate. I find that spinach is often overcooked or added as an afterthought, and I was really impressed with the multidimensional flavors presented.

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The star of the show for me, and several other diners around us (including a lively table of young women celebrating a bachelorette weekend), was the beautiful herb-crusted whole Trout Meuniere. This dish was simple yet elegant, and very representative of what PNW cuisine is all about. Trout isn’t generally the first entree I order, but this dish had me singing its praise all evening, perfectly flaky, cooked in browned butter and parsley, atop a bed of potato gratin and more of that tasty spinach.

All good things must come to an end, and I’m happy we were able to taste this unique PNW French inspired menu to share with our influential readership. The dishes are reason alone to start planning your Bainbridge staycation!

Restaurant Marché      |       150 Madrone Lane, Bainbridge Island      |     206-842-1633