Market Tavern (Dublin/Pleasanton)

Lunch Review Date: August 2021

We met up with two friends for weekend brunch. We requested seating in the rear dining room, which has comfortable banquettes and is somewhat quieter. Market always has an interesting specials menu, which unfortunately is not posted to their website.

Charcuterie Platter. This has shrunk due to high food costs but is still generous enough for four people: two types of housemade pickles, a purée of cooked quince, Brie, fresh fruit, and a good amount of prosciutto. Toasted baguette slices came on a separate plate.

Griddled Cornbread: Calabrian Chili-Honey Butter. MT’s sweet cornbread is heavier and finer crumbed than most, so it griddles very well, making a nicely browned crust. The butter is excellent, with a very mild chile flavor and sweetness from the honey. The Market, located in the Reception area, sells loaves of it, with chili butter also available, priced separately.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts: Chili, Lime, Ginger, Peanuts. Note there are TWO Brussels sprouts dishes; this is under Starters and is the better choice. The chile is just a sprinkle of flakes, the ginger is restrained, and the lime gives it a lift. Outstanding dish; possibly the best version we’ve ever had.

Beet Salad: The dressing was very acidic. It tasted more of regular balsamic than lemon juice, and we found it on the edge of being too strong. We probably wouldn’t order this again.

Special: Prime Rib: Nicely done, Spouse got sub of mashed potatoes. Good quality beef altho not heirloom.

Kurobuta Pork Chop Wood Fired: I like Market’s pork chop, which is large enough that I took half of it home. Polenta side was very good quality. But the Brussels sprouts with bacon and apples, a menu standard, lacked enough salt to bring the flavors together: the Brussels sprouts’ slight bitterness; the smoke of the bacon, and the sweetness of the apples. It did improve by the next day, upon reheating. This Brussels sprouts dish is available as an a la carte side, but the Crispy Brussels Sprouts with chili-lime-ginger is a far superior choice.

Special: Peach Pie: The stone fruit has been excellent this year, and this was a very good peach pie. It had good-sized chunks of sweet ripe peaches and a spiced crumble topping.

Almond Bundt Cake: Served with a berry compote and whipped coconut cream, it’s big enough for two people to share and the coconut cream is to die for!

Spouse and I had cappuccinos. Market makes them dry, the way we like them. They serve their regular coffee (drip) properly, in metal thermal servers that keep the refill hot.

This is our preferred restaurant in the Dublin/Pleasanton area. We have often met our friends here for dinner; it’s a great restaurant for group dinners. The meat and seafood dishes are very good here. Try to save room for desserts - all are excellent (and enough to share for 2).

Well-trained service adds to the enjoyment, as do the excellent bar drinks. It’s worth noting that Market Tavern is one of only two restaurants we’ve found whose kitchen and service have remained at the same high level as before the lockdown (Trabocco/Alameda is the other).

Four people, dinner: four starters, four entrées, two desserts, six beverages, without tip $299.

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