The Market Place has been a fixture of the downtown Asheville dining scene since 1979. It focuses on locally sourced ingredients, with a goal to use only ingredients from suppliers within 100 miles. While it draws inspiration from all over the world, the heart and soul of the restaurant comes from Appalachia.
Owner and head chef William Dissen spent his childhood watching his grandma preparing fresh, farm-to-table meals on an actual farm. While Dissen has studied around the country, including New York, he has always focused on local, organic ingredients. Dissen has been recognized as one of the country's most sustainable chefs. He's even spoken to the U.S. Congress about policies to improve sustainability. The Market Place practices what it preaches. The restaurant has a recycled bar countertop and solar-powered water heaters.
The Market Place's menu is divided into small plates, large plates, and desserts. For small plates, try the mussels with roasted garlic, white wine, mustard, and grilled bread. If you feel like indulging, order the truffle and herb fries.
Large plates include seafood like the wild sockeye salmon and the pan-roasted sea scallops. If you're looking for something vegetarian, go for the California gold rice risotto with oyster mushrooms. If you're decidedly not vegetarian, consider the wood-grilled pork shoulder or sirloin steak.
For dessert, you have various options, but the stand-out menu item is the saffron and wildflower honey creme brulee.
Cover image courtesy of ExploreAsheville.com.