There’s a new chef in the kitchen at Market Street. After honing his culinary skills in Chicago at the original Weber Grill and the Four Seasons (and following Phoenix stints in the kitchens of Sam Fox’s Bloom Restaurant and Roy’s at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge), Michael Hunn took the helm of Market Street Kitchen last month. The Chi-town native nudges the restaurant’s rustic American cuisine (pastas, soups, salads, slow-cooked and wood-fired meats) up a notch with his focus on farm-to-table fare; according to a press release, “Chef Hunn’s favorite part of each day is talking shop with his fishmongers, produce farmers and his meat dude.”
Every chef should have a “meat dude.” And if the thick and smoky bacon in my grilled cheese sandwich was any indication, Hunn’s got a pretty keen one.
The Feel: Open and airy modern gastropub with a semi-circular bar and lots of dark wood paneling. The music skews classic rock (Allman Brothers Band, Bob Seger) and modern folk-rock (Jack Johnson, Blues Traveler).
The Dish: As far as appetizers go, you can’t wrong with the deviled eggs. MSK’s haute, creamy version of these picnic staples are piled 2 inches high with piped, paprika-potent filling and infused with tabasco sauce (which provides a smoky, dusty punch in combo with the paprika, and sort of compensates for the utter lack of a mustard kick). At lunch time, I learned toward grilled cheese with tomato bisque soup. The sandwich was like the Taj Mahal of grilled cheeses – big and flashy, full of treasures including cheddar cheese; baked brie (with the rind on, unfortunately); chewy, savory maple-flavored smoky bacon; and two slices of tomato where one slice would have been sufficient (putting the slippery, pulpy fruit in the middle made the sandwich slide apart). Messiness aside, the flavors mingled magnificently. The tomato bisque soup was tart and creamy, with tiny tomato chunks throughout, but served hot enough to blister my lip. Also recommended: the house-made potato chips, perfectly think and crispy with earthy, pronounced potato flavor.
The Drink: While beer goes best with grilled cheese, the cocktail menu at MSK includes a crisp and refreshing Desert Rosè (Hanson of Sonoma Organic Vodka, Lillet Rose, lemon) that will perk you up without slowing you down.
If You Go:
Market Street Kitchen at DC Ranch
20775 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale
Lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. M-F; dinner 5-9 p.m. Su-Th and 5-10 p.m. F-Sa; brunch 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sa-Su