Market Place In Newtown: Food And Hospitality At Its Finest
Seven years ago, owner Eli Hawli opened the first Market Place restaurant in Danbury. After much success, he soon expanded to offer locations in Woodbury; Avon; and 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 earlier this 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 Sepe Farm in Sandy Hook, to provide fresh produce and meats. 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 towards patrons visiting the restaurant and bar.
Families, couples, and friends frequently fill the 125 seat-capacity restaurant that 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” for $16. The tuna is rolled with avocado in the center and a wonton wrapper on the outside, seared until crispy, and comes with sesame peanut ramen noodles, crushed hazelnuts, wasabi aioli, and fresh scallions.
Soups: The Butternut Squash & Roasted Shallot Bisque, for $9, is both gluten-free and vegan. The popular soup is made with coconut milk and has pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top.
Salads: A top selling dish is the Market Place Farm House Salad for $12. It consists of a mesclun mix, dried cranberries, apple chips, roasted acorn squash, red onions, English cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, goat feta cheese, toasted pecans, and a white balsamic vinaigrette.
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.
Meats & Poultry: Market Place offers a 12 ounce Allen Brother’s New York Strip for $32. The meal includes roasted garlic mashed potatoes, organic baby carrots, and has Himalayan sea salt.
Fish: A standout entrée is the Peppercorn Medley Crusted Ahi Tuna, for $28, with Market Place style ramen noodles, roasted savory cabbage slaw, hoisin sweet chili, and sriracha aioli.
Pasta: Among the different pasta options is the Market Place Famous Rigatoni Bolognese for $24. It is made with rigatoni from Villarina’s Pasta in Danbury and has pomodoro tomato-cream, beef, veal, sweet Italian sausage, grana Padano cheese, fine herbs, and fresh ricotta.
Handhelds: There are nearly a dozen burger options available, all of which come with house-cut fries. The Kobe Burger consists of American wagyu beef, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, provolone cheese, truffle aioli, and a toasted brioche roll for $16.
Sides & Vegetables: Currently all sides options are gluten-free and vegetarian. The oven roasted autumn vegetables, for $7, are one of the most popular selections this season and includes parsnips, sweet potato, rutabaga, and turnips.
Drinks: Market Place in Newtown offers a variety of craft cocktails like its Fire in the Fields drink that consists of Oxley cold distilled gin, fresh blackberries, lemon juice, Prosecco float, and torched rosemary for $13. 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 wine options in white and red varieties 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. Those that like a combination of salty and sweet will enjoy the “MP” Churro’s with miso caramel sauce and housemade popcorn for $10. There is also cheesecake and crème brûlée that change flavors daily and a flourless chocolate cake with hazelnuts, whipped cream, and warm toffee sauce.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Market Place in Newtown on Instagram and Facebook @marketplacenewtown.
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