Satisfy Your Taste Buds with Fresh, Flavorful Fare at The Market By Jennifer’s
Chef and owner of The Market by Jennifer’s, Jennifer Russo, was originally from New Jersey before making her home in the Valley. Her father is Italian, and as a child she would always watch her grandmother cook with fascination and eager interest. So, at the age of 16, she began her culinary career doing prep work for a local catering company. From there, she went on to the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. After graduating, she interned at the Princess Hotel and the Hyatt’s Golden Swan, eventually adding Vincent’s and Tarbell’s to her resume. With all that wonderful experience, she decided it was time to open her own catering company—Jennifer’s Catering.
After 17 years of earning a stellar reputation in the catering business, it’s no surprise that her first restaurant would eventually be the winner of numerous awards. The Market by Jennifer’s opened on January 16, 2014, offering an “anything goes” environment—whether it’s an after yoga meal, business lunch, small plate before the symphony, weekend brunch or a romantic night out, everyone can find the perfect item to satisfy their palette.
Russo takes pride in the fact that many items on her menu are housemade, including the sweet potato chips, dressings, tomato sauce, gnocchi, pulled pork, sautéed greens and cheeses. In addition, she supports many local businesses, including the farm where they get their organic chicken, duck and goose eggs, contributing even more to the farm-to-table concept.
“Locally grown, locally sourced and locally crafted,” says Russo
Warm & Inviting
As I entered The Market, I was instantly drawn to its charming, eclectic ambiance. Four crystal chandeliers grace the ceilings above small tables with comfy red chairs, giving it a very quaint and cozy feel. An open kitchen allows diners to watch the stream of activity, and a small corner bar serves up some amazing cocktails and a wonderful selection of wine. A tucked away market stand allows customers to purchase fresh eggs, coffee, BBQ sauce, cheese, beans and seasonings.
Their large wrap around patio is the perfect place to bring your four-legged buddies to enjoy a cool dish of water and watch the activity as you grab a quick bite or meet up with friends to share one of their nosh board and wine pairings.
A Culinary Adventure
I was delighted with the wonderful offering of items on their extensive menu, all reasonably priced. I began my sampling with the BBQ Shrimp and fried bread. The large shrimp are wrapped in pancetta and melt in your mouth. Next, I sampled a fresh heirloom tomato and watermelon salad with ricotta salata, arugula and orange segments tossed with citrus vinaigrette— very refreshing and flavorful.
I tasted two entrees: the Ricotta Gnocchi and the Beef Filet. I enjoyed the housemade gnocchi that was served with roasted pork, mushrooms, spinach and basil topped with tomato vodka coulis. The grilled beef tenderloin was juicy, tender and cooked perfectly, served with a side of smashed Yukon potatoes and baby vegetables.
Make sure you save room for a dessert. I had the deconstructed White Chocolate Orange Mousse with housemade caramel corn and salted caramel—absolutely delicious.
There are also many Gluten-free, Vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free items. Catering and to-go meals are also available.
A Winning Team
Any successful business will attest to the importance of having good employees that contribute to its success. A key player here is Jennifer’s good friend and the restaurant’s General Manager, Richard Fiero— a very personable man with much experience. Russo and Fiero met early on in their careers when he was a server and she a prep cook at the Pointe in Thyme. Fiero is responsible for meeting with local farmers and suppliers, making sure only the finest ingredients are used.
“Our heart is truly in our products,” says Fiero
He also manages the “Meet the Artist” receptions held on Saturday afternoons: an artist is featured and you can ask them questions about their work, which is showcased on the restaurant’s walls.
Russo and Fiero are also passionate about helping the community and surrounding areas, contributing to a number of organizations like the Joshua Tree Feeding Program, Desert Mission Food Bank and Family School, which supplies backpack lunches, along with having their own Wishing Tree program.
I’m looking forward to coming back to attend one of their Wine Maker Series dinners that run through November, a Saturday afternoon “Meet the Artist” reception, a Thursday Happy Hour, or a Sunday brunch with live entertainment.
Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tues – Sun 3:00 – 6:00 pm
All day Thursday
The Market by Jennifer’s
3603 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018