My fried green tomatoes were crispy and golden on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. They were topped with house-made tomato serrano jam and feta cheese, which lent just the right amount of heat, sweet and tang to round out the dish. When I took my first bite of Mahagony-Glazed Calamari, I heard a choir begin to softly sing in the background. The menu description for this dish is brief, but the flavors are bold and complex, engaging all of the taste receptors on the tongue at the same time. The glaze was slightly sweet, bringing out the natural sweetness of the calamari while complementing its brininess. The calamari was topped with just enough pickled onion to get a sliver with each bite, adding a wonderfully subtle sourness that cut through the sweetness and umami for balance. The calamari was served on a bed of arugula that added a peppery bite to the party and caused the imaginary choir I heard in my head to come to a soaring crescendo.
As I sat savoring my calamari through barely opened eyes, I spotted Mr Intern having a quiet moment over his spinach salad. Besides being a beautifully presented, generous portion of spinach, bacon, spiced pecans and gorganzola cheese with a light dressing of hazelnut-orange vinaigrette, the salad was reasonably priced at only five dollars, so Mr. Intern could enjoy his lunch in a stunningly decorated restaurant without the haunting feeling he was eating his rent money.
We decided to split their dessert d'jour to end our meal. This was a tres leches cake made with Coco Lopez, topped with a fluffy meringue and served floating in a pool of una leche. Now it was time for a nap, but sadly we had to retire back to the office instead.
212 Market has been a fixture in the Chattanooga restaurant scene for almost 25 years with top-shelf, chef-quality food and a farm-to-table philosophy that predates the term itself. Whether you're simply looking for a delicious meal, want to ensure your comestibles come with a side of environmental responsibility, or both, 212 Market has been and continues to be a Chattanooga dining landmark.
212 Market St.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mon-Thur, 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Fri-Sat, 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Sun, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.