The Market Says Goodbye to Italian Village; Here’s the Final Review

The Market: Food & Drink on Summit Street is set to close Sept. 17 after many iterations over an 8-year run.

Beth Stallings
Ohio tartare (bottom) along with a tomato and cucumber salad, marinated eggplant and the Bad Kids cocktail at The Market: Food & Drink in Italian Village.

The Market: Food & Drink, formerly named The Market Italian Village, announced Thursday that the restaurant’s last service will take place Saturday, Sept. 17, at 1022 Summit St. In the announcement on social media, no reason was given for the decision. The news comes as a surprise to many, including this magazine: We recently reviewed The Market for our September issue. The restaurant, owned by A&R Creative Group (The Crest, Alchemy), had recently undergone a renovation that was met with praise.

Our dining critic, Beth Stallings, says the restaurant had finally hit its stride. Here's what she wrote in her recent review: “The Market feels like it has grown out of its awkward teenage years. With its art deco textures and blush tones, cocktails that warrant a visit by themselves, and flavorful dishes that leap off the plate like a pop-up book, this version of The Market might just be my favorite.”

Talk about going out on top. Below is our review of The Market: Food & Drink as it ran in Columbus Monthly’s September issue. —Erin Edwards

Mushroom toast and the Bad Kids cocktail at The Market in Italian Village.

After many iterations, The Market: Food & Drink has hit its stride with a confident cocktail list and seasonal menu.

The Market: Food & Drink has always been a bit of a moving target. Since opening in July 2014 as The Market Italian Village, it’s gone through many iterations that have made it tough to ever put a finger on what exactly the restaurant, with its signature red rooster on the roof, wants to be. 

In its infancy, The Market—owned by A&R Creative Group (The Crest, Ethyl & Tank, Alchemy)—was a bistro-meets-bodega with coffee service and pantry items and produce for sale. The setting always made it hard to get comfortable as a diner, despite the elegant, seasonal dishes coming out of the kitchen. Slowly, the grocery items dwindled (though carryout wine bottles stuck around for a while). The menu shifted from Middle Eastern to European to wood-fired pizzas. I’ve eaten through every version and have been both wowed and disappointed (mostly wowed). 

Now, following a remodel in late 2019, The Market feels like it has grown out of its awkward teenage years. With its art deco textures and blush tones, cocktails that warrant a visit by themselves, and flavorful dishes that leap off the plate like a pop-up book, this version of The Market might just be my favorite. 

Executive chef Shelbie Anderson, a Market veteran, leads the kitchen with a deft attention to detail—like finishing salt on every dish, hot dishes served on warm plates, cold ones well chilled. It’s often these minor, almost imperceptible and often forgotten touches that can take a well-intentioned restaurant from solid to memorable. 

Take the very seasonal Tomato and Cuke ($14), which transported the classic pairing to a place I’d never been but can’t wait to go back. Every ingredient featured different cuts—red tomatoes quartered, yellow grape tomatoes lengthwise, tiny green tomatoes sliced, cucumbers batonnet, onions thin and pickled—making it visually beautiful and also more fun to eat. The extraordinarily fresh green goddess dressing tied it altogether. 

Tomato + cuke at The Market in Victorian Village. (Photo by Tim Johnson)

On both visits, servers recommended ordering tapas-style, and I’ll do the same. Three to four dishes were plenty for two people, unless you plan on ordering the Table Steak ($110), a nearly 2-pound steak that feeds three to four. 

The heavily seasonal menu is organized by station, which does feel somewhat twee—the average consumer might not know the difference between garde manger and sauté. But it’s a quibble quickly set aside after reading the descriptions. Ricotta cavatelli ($24) with tomato butter. Summer gazpacho ($14) with charred summer squash and lacto-fermented ramp. Ohio wagyu short ribs ($35) topped with smoked blue cheese and candied orange. And my quibble is all-out forgotten once the first plate arrives—especially if it’s the Ohio Tartare ($16). 

The strikingly plated tartare is all the things one could possibly want in a dish—acidic and salty, creamy and crunchy. Tender beef tenderloin is rich with a subtle ramp and black walnut bite. Beet Dijon, scribbled like a flower all over the dish, has a horseradish-like spiciness that slices through the richness like a knife through butter.

Pairing the crispy marinated eggplant ($14) with lamb cevapi ($16), the latter from the oven section, is a match that won’t disappoint. Four generous slices of eggplant are served breaded and fried—cracker crisp outside and custardy cream inside—on top of a silky baba ghanouj striped with tahini. It could have used a little more punch from the chile oil, but the finish of flaky sea salt helped mind the gap there. Tender and not at all gamey, the oblong lamb cevapi eats like a deconstructed gyro (sans pita) with herbaceous yogurt sauce and bright tabouleh made with wheat berries for just a bit of texture. 

Also recommended is the Beef and Noods ($26), an interesting dish of corned beef ragu with rustic campanelle. It was good, but a little one-note after a few bites. That is until I got a bite of preserved lemon, which added a gorgeous sourness.

The half chicken ($32), from the oven section, is moist, well-spiced and thoughtfully pre-cut into portions that make it easy to dive in. It’s served on a charred Vidalia onion mole that has a lovely caramelized sweetness and just a touch of heat that slowly creeps up. Salt-cured potatoes are a nice contrast.

Though bone marrow crème brûlée ($12) could sound off-putting, it’s worth a try. A bit of marrow is folded into the custard as if it’s butter, cutting the sweetness just enough to make the dish a little savory. Bits of lavender on top make it picture-perfect.

The cocktail and wine menu alone are worth a trip to The Market. Wines skew minimum-intervention (but not funky) with an eye on noteworthy, but not mainstream, European producers. The by-the-glass list is approachable with not a pour over $16.

The new bar display at The Market in Italian Village.

Spirits are infused with tarragon, pink peppercorns and even mushrooms, but done in such a way that feels interesting, not gimmicky. Made with kumquat rum, pineapple and amaro, the Bad Kids ($13) drinks like a tropical Paper Plane—juicy, smooth and crushable. The Lucid Dream ($14) is mushroom-infused rye with red vermouth for a slightly earthy, Manhattan-esque cocktail.

Heading into fall, it’s exciting to think about how The Market will shift with the season. I’ll definitely be returning to experience the next chapter in this corner restaurant’s evolving story. 

The Market: Food & Drink

1022 Summit St., Italian Village, 614-914-5544

Hours: 5–10 p.m. Wed.–Sat., 5-9 p.m. Sun.

Not to Miss: The chef’s counter is the best seat in the house, with chef Anderson and her team guiding diners through a five-course menu with wine pairings, all with a front-row seat into the kitchen. (Reservations must be made in advance.)