Marketplace -- the latest venture from the Arcadia Farms folks -- is basically the restaurant's original concept, only grab-and-go style. The aesthetic is pure Arcadia Farms: cutesy reclaimed decor like old milk carrying crates stuffed with gourmet crackers, apothecary jars lining the front window, chalkboard menus, and an old wooden wash bin with ceramic pitchers of water.
Maybe not so expected, you'll find Lisa G (yes, Lisa Giungo of the locally renowned Lisa G meatballs, last spotted at the kick-off of the pop-up restaurant Cycle) behind the counter tending the place with a smile and super-cute bobbed haircut.
All seating is outside under an umbrella-lined patio with red, metal tables and matching chairs. The service is pretty much "help yourself," although some items are slightly more elaborate and assembled to order. It's all made very convenient for grabbing a quick bite before, during or after work.
Feeling the warmth of summer approaching, we immediately look to the salad section. But instead of ordering a run-of-the-mill green salad seen in every cafe, we ordered the Soba Noodle salad. We loved that all the non-noodle ingredients were naturally crunchy (peppers, almonds, cabbage, mango), so we didn't miss the crispness of a lettuce salad.
We also ordered from the breakfast section -- just because we could. The tart we chose was named Mushroom, Spinach & Goat Cheese, although Butter-n-Stuff may have been a more accurate description. This tart was, sadly, not flaky, but instead over-saturated with butter. The freshness of the veggies was masked by an abundance of cheese, and, again, butter. We're hoping the particular tart we tried was simply the victim of a butterball mishap.
Last item on our first taste, the Smoked Salmon on Ciabatta. If you're looking for a lox bagel in the morning, this is your menu item. Ciabatta was a nice choice; we could actually get our mouth around the entire sandwich.
Sweaty and sticky, with horizontal grooves from the chair indented in our legs, we were feeling pretty satisfied with our Marketplace spree. But before we left, we just had to indulge in a freshly baked "baby cake". If Lisa G says it's the best dessert in the case, we will not pass go until delighting in one.
And delightful it was. We selected the tuxedo baby cake with dark and white chocolate ganache frosting. Inside was moist layered vanilla cake with lightly whipped chocolate creme in the middle. We have a feeling that the Marketplace will be doing a lot more business than just the overflow traffic from Arcadia Farms on the weekends.