Market SM

You all remember Central Market, right? The only–and I mean THE ONLY–place worth eating at in Santa Maria after Chef Rick’s closed. It was OK… in a ‘ladies-who-lunch’ sorta way, the deli/store out front and the counter ordering somewhat turned me off from considering it a serious dining establishment, but it was decent food. Have you been lately?!?! A few months ago I happened by and noticed a complete remodel, put it on my list and found an opportunity to eat there recently. It is now ‘The Market SM’ and the refrigerated cases and deli-counter and store are gone up front and now is all interior dining room–there is still the lovely sunroom dining area–but with a kitchen-view wine bar and all decorated very rustic-modern and nice. Menu is not terribly different from before, but there are nice up-graded tweaks and a constant evolution which says someone is clearly giving it a lot of thought. Presentation has evolved wonderfully too. The wine list was ALWAYS a strong point and it is still just AMAZING with none of the miserable usual suspects most local restaurants insist on slinging year-after-year-after-year. Fabulous INTERESTING stuff from all over–SBco really shines, of course–quite the change from the SLOco plonk we are used to seeing on winelists North of the river. And the service. We had, quite possibly, the BEST, most knowledgeable, concise, polite, professional waiter I have seen is some time. Rattled off the 8 yes EIGHT cheese options for the cheese plate and as we picked our jaws up off the floor, he added the 5 salumi/charcuterie options–all from memory–and all made in-house. The food was all top-notch. The huge cheese-board with interesting noshes. It was lunch/brunch so we had only sandwiches–an amazing Reuben with home-made sauerkraut and a Club which was a work of art–as Club’s should be. Sides and dressings were spot-on and all were served with attitude and presence which made me think I was in SB or SF and not SM. The whole experience has been shifted into an amazing, upscale dining experience and I recommend it highly. I can’t wait to try dinner here. The Market SM.

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