Photo above: Cubano panini with kale salad and gourmet popcorn.
By Molly Ingram
Meet Tyler Slade, owner and chef at 10 Market- A Chef’s Kitchen in Habersham. This quirky little restaurant isn’t what you might expect from one of the top restaurants in our area. First, reservations are required for weekend dinners which start promptly at 7:30 p.m. Secondly, it is only counter seating for dinner for a grand total of nine diners and these exceptional dinners are normally sold out weeks in advance.
With his dad, Richard as his sous chef, left hand, right hand, maître d’, and partner, 10 Market has been open for just five weeks. Their dinner on the weekends is a prix fixe priced four course meal based around a theme which drives the menu, music, and décor (such as it is at the counter) for “episodes”. The “episodes” or themes might be tied to a movie or to a type of food or region where the food comes from. Think “Grease” one weekend followed by and Italian theme the next. They are also offering both a Vegetarian (August 28th and 29th) and a Gluten Free “episode” coming up in the fall. There aren’t many places you can go if you are a vegetarian or gluten intolerant where the entire four course gourmet meal is totally developed around what you can eat and where it will be enjoyed by other meat or grain eaters as well.
Tyler makes most of the food that is served from scratch. Imagine everything from the aioli to the mayo to his pickles to the pear sorbet is all made by hand. And boy is it good! We were there for lunch and tried several Panini’s like the Roasted Vegetable Panini which had about five seasonal vegetables and goat cheese with roasted garlic aioli on really great bread. And this healthy creation was served with gourmet popcorn rather than fries or chips. And with that you can get a Kale salad with golden raisins, sunflower seeds, Manchego cheese, olive oil and lemon dressing. Double yum. I have to circle back to the gourmet popcorn. It changes daily but an example might have Parmesan cheese and rosemary on it, or something else Tyler dreams up. It went perfectly with our blackberry lemonades.
We also tried the Muffuletta, the Cubano, the Grilled Cheese (with 3 types of cheeses) that gets a triple yum as well as the special Panini of the day, meatloaf. I have to admit that the meatloaf didn’t taste anything like what I am used to and consequently was delicious.
I’m not sure how, but we all saved room for some homemade ice cream or sorbet. I tried the peach ice cream but others had, and wouldn’t share, the cheesecake ice cream, and the Ginger Pear with Riesling sorbet.
So where did Tyler, who is definitely under 30, get all his training you ask? He attended the New England Culinary School and then worked on Martha’s Vineyard for a short while before becoming the kitchen wizard in Asheville, NC for the last five years. What makes 10 Market such an unusual place is the basic concept behind it. They offer exceptional food to just nine people sitting around a counter. Their guests might not know each other when they arrive but by dessert, the conversation bounces between all nine diners and feels inclusive and relaxed. You will leave 10 Market with new friends, a full tummy, and a feeling you should call to make another reservation before it is sold out.
But I don’t want you to think Tyler just sits around and works on a weekend menu. He serves lunch, offers a selection of “gotta have it” food stuffs on his shelves and in his cooler like eggs (from a local farm) for the locals, and hosts culinary classes for both adults and children. Coming up is a class on “Gnocchi” and we all just missed the “pasta by hand” class. Some of these are just demonstrations by Tyler and some are very hands on – depends on the class. I think I’d like to take them all. They are expecting to have their beer and wine license by this fall but at the moment, bring your own. So did we like it? You bet. But you should really try it. Stop by for lunch on the patio this fall and meet Tyler and Richard. They are quite a team. And the food will be memorable and the meal most enjoyable. It is totally reason enough to drive to Habersham and enjoy a wonderful outing.
Check their website out at www.10Market.com to see what they have cooking – literally and figuratively.