Restaurant Marché Bainbridge Opens This Weekend

Greg Atkinson outside his spanking new restaurant, Marché

After months of delays due to challenges with construction, I'm thrilled to announce that chef Greg Atkinson's Restaurant Marché Bainbridge is opening Saturday night. (Not to be confused with Marché at Pike Place market, which I reviewed this month.)

Atkinson's well-known to local food lovers; his books have guided our seasonal home cooking, his writings in the Seattle Times have always done such a beautiful job of laying bare the relationship between cooking and family life, and, of course, he was the chef who pushed Canlis's menu out of a more traditional steakhouse oeuvre and into a more seasonal sensibility. It's been nearly a year since Atkinson told me he'd be opening Marché, which is Greg and wife Betsy's first foray into restaurant ownership, and it looks like the neighborhood is embracing the place fully: the first two weekends are nearly booked solid. 

On the menu: a marvelous-sounding Provencale-style fish soup, oysters served raw or warm with sabayon, grilled Lummi Island salmon with rhubarb, roast duckling with green peppercorns and brandy, green pea flan with morels. Oh, look at that, I've almost listed the menu in its entirety because it all sounds very, very good. Day-trippers, the restaurant's also open for lunch, too; think French onion soup and salad Lyonnaise. 

Several weeks back I boarded the Bainbridge ferry (on foot; if you park in Pioneer Square it's a cinch) and walked with my husband to celebrate our anniversary at Hitchcock. I've been several times, I named it one of the 10 Best New Restaurants of last year, and my latest meal proves it's just as good as ever: Worth the effort of a ferry ride, and worthy of a personal occasion. We were treated to an exceptional meal--truly outstanding, including the best piece of roast pork I've eaten this year.

Long home to the estimable Four Swallows, where Atkinson has filled in as chef in the past (though I haven't eaten there myself; it's on the list!) and the warm, inviting neighborhood beacon Cafe Nola, with the opening of Marché, Bainbridge Island continues to move beyond it's ferry ride/day trip status; it's a bona fide dining destination. Reservations are strongly recommended.