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Market Place In Newtown: Food And Hospitality At Its Finest



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Eight years ago, owner Eli Hawli opened the first Market Place restaurant in Danbury. After much success, he soon expanded to offer locations in Woodbury and Avon, and in Mount Snow, Vt.

During a visit to Newtown, Mr Hawli saw the Village at Lexington Gardens, 32 Church Hill Road, was underway and knew it would be the perfect spot for a Market Place in town.

“I always loved Newtown,” Mr Hawli said.

In December 2017, Market Place in Newtown officially opened and began serving customers of all ages its American-style cuisine.

Chef Anthony Michelin, who joined the staff last year, says the restaurant’s “elevated comfort food” combines a variety of influences, including Asian, Mexican, and Italian.

After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Mr Michelin dedicated the last decade to honing his craft and previously operated his own restaurant in the Hudson Valley that frequently worked with local farms.

Mr Michelin is now using his expertise at Market Place in Newtown to offer customers a dining experience full of high-quality products at reasonable price points.

The restaurant has partnered with more than a dozen local farms, including Waldingfield Farm and Parmalee Hollow Farm. The diverse menu changes seasonally and labels its gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan items.

Market Place in Newtown also has a high standard for its service and hospitality toward patrons visiting the restaurant and bar.

Families, couples, and friends frequently fill the 125-seat restaurant, which features a main dining area, bar section, patio for outdoor dining, and private party room — the latter of which can be reserved for parties up to 30 people.

“[Eli] leads by example and does a great job keeping the staff on point at all locations,” Mr Michelin said.

“We are a family,” Mr Hawli added. “We have close to 400 employees between all the locations now, but we are a tight family, and we are proud of that.”

Sample of the Menu

Appetizers: A customer favorite at Market Place in Newtown is the Ahi-Tuna-Avocado “Sushi Roll,” $16. The tuna is rolled with avocado in the center and a wonton wrapper on the outside then seared until crispy, and comes with General Tso’s ramen noodles, crushed cashews, wasabi aioli, and fresh scallions.

Soups: The Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, $10, is both gluten-free and vegan.

Salads: A top-selling dish is the Harvest Quinoa Salad for $13. The gluten-free and vegan salad consists of red and white quinoa, English cucumbers, red onions, toasted walnuts, Honeycrisp apples, roasted sweet potatoes, feta cheese, maple mustard vinaigrette, and hydroponic Bibb lettuce.

Brunch: Brunch is offered on Saturdays and Sundays with a specials menu that rotates often. On Sundays, there is live music by Robby LaPorta and Chris Manfredi of Field of Crows. Currently, brunch is offering Stone Ground Grits for $15 (Vermont white cheddar cheese grits, crispy applewood-smoked bacon, sunny side eggs, scallions, crispy onions, and charred onion chipotle sauce).

Meats & Poultry: Market Place offers Buttermilk Fried Chicken Thighs, $27, that includes Vermont cheddar cheese, stone ground grits, bacon and caramelized onion, braised collard greens, and spicy honey.

Fish: A standout entrée is the gluten-free Maple Soy Glazed Grilled Scottish Salmon, for $27, with ginger garlic wild rice pilaf, sautéed broccoli, toasted sesame, and microgreens.

Pasta: Among the different pasta options is the gluten-free New England Seafood Fettuccine, for $28. It is made with Prince Edward Island Mussels, sautéed clams, Atlantic shrimp, sweet Italian sausage, roasted garlic tomato broth, fresh basil, and anchovy buttered crostini.

Handhelds: There are nearly a dozen options available, all of which come with house-cut fries. The gluten-free Prime Grind Burger includes herb goat cheese spread, caramelized apples, baby arugula, and crispy onions on a brioche bun for $17.

Sides & Vegetables: Currently, all side options are gluten-free and vegetarian. The crispy Brussels sprouts, for $8, are one of the most popular selections this season and include a garlic aioli.

Drinks: Market Place in Newtown offers a variety of craft cocktails, like the Organic Cucumber Cooler, which consists of Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka, house lemonade, prosecco, and fresh cucumber, for $11. Guests can also enjoy an assortment of sommelier-selected white, red, sparkling, and rosé wines by the glass as well as Old World and New World red and white wine options by the bottle. Happy hour is offered from 4 to 6 pm at the bar.

Dessert: All desserts are made in-house by Chef Anthony Michelin. The gluten-free Almond Flour Blondie, for $10, has Buck’s buttered pecan ice cream, whipped cream, and caramel sauce. There are cheesecakes and creme brûlées that change weekly.

Market Place, 32 Church Hill Road in the Village at Lexington Gardens, is open seven days a week. The kitchen is open weekdays from 11:30 am to 10 pm and weekends from 11:30 am to 11 pm, with the bar open after kitchen hours. Takeout, catering, and seating reservations are accepted by calling 203-491-2993. For more information, visit markethospitalitygroup.com or e-mail mpnewtown@markethospitalitygroup.com. Follow Market Place in Newtown on Instagram and Facebook @marketplacenewtown.

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