I had a Groupon for Marker 32 that was about to expire (don’t I always!), so we decided to take a trip out there. Marker 32 is probably our favorite seafood place. We can’t decided if we like Marker 32 or Palm Valley Fish Camp better, but they are owned by the same people so it’s a win either way :) I would say that Palm Valley Fish Camp is better when you want a more relaxed, casual meal and Marker 32 is better when you want a truly fine dining experience.
Our meal started with 3 different types of bread served with butter. We had Cinnamon Raisin,
Sour Cream and Chive, and Sourdough. Our running joke is me saying to Ivan “don’t fill up on bread” because anytime there is bread in front of him, he keeps eating it until the food comes. But this time, it was hard to stop because it was so good. The Sour Cream and Chive was my favorite because it was so moist.
For our appetizer, we got the Scallops daily special. The scallops were served over asparagus puree with chopped pancetta. They were wonderful but I was a little sad that there were only 3 of them.
When we were done with the appetizer, we were waiting for our food when the server brought out some Tasso Ham and vegetable soup. At first we were a little confused because we didn’t order it. But the manager explained that the cook messed up my meal and had to do it over, so they were giving us the soup so we had something to eat while we waited. We were blown away by this. How awesome is that! And to top it off, the soup was delicious!!
When our entrées came out, we knew that it was worth the wait. I got the Local Blue Crab Cakes served with caper dill aioli, crushed new potatoes, and rice. One of the things I love about Marker 32 is that the portion sizes are normal, unlike some other fine dining restaurants out there. I was served 2 crab cakes on one side of the plate, and the other side was filled with the potatoes and rice. It was a great meal! The crab cakes were light and fluffy without a lot of filler. The caper dill aioli was a nice addition and I kept finding myself trying to dip everything on my plate in that sauce! The potatoes were truly crushed, there were larger pieces in with the mashed pieces and I really liked that. It was something different than the usual potato sides.
Ivan got the Shrimp and Andouille Fettuccini - with smoked pepper, tomato sauce, and pecorino romano. This dish is so good that Ivan won’t get anything else when we go here. Ivan is not a big pasta eater, so that is really saying something. He actually let me try it this time and I now know why, it is delicious! The tomato sauce is very light and compliments the pasta rather than smothering it. The smoked pepper and pecorino romano also gave this dish great flavor. Next time we go, I might have to get this and make him get something else instead!
When the bill came out they gave us a little treat with it, praline triangles! They were the perfect conclusion to a wonderful meal!
Verdict – Loved it! If you are looking for a true fine dining experience, check out Marker 32. The food is perfection (the chef makes sure of it), the wait staff are very knowledgeable and courteous, and they buy their produce/meat/fish local! I have found that the menu items rotate, so make sure you check the menu before you go. Some of the items reviewed above might not be available all the time. One menu item that I would strongly suggest is the risotto. They rotate the risotto ingredients based on what is in season. A while back I got the mushroom risotto and it was one of the best things I have ever had. I have been stalking the menu waiting for it to come back!
Funny tidbit - Our table was right over an air vent, so every time the air came on our legs would freeze! I kept trying to use my napkin as a blanket, but it didn’t work too well. Being the good husband that he is, Ivan put his giant foot over the vent and took the cold air blowing up his leg. What a gentleman :)