Jennifer Russo of The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s is shaking things up in her popular neighborhood eatery. The celebrated chef is teaming up with molecular gastronomist, humanitarian and pop-up dinner extraordinaire Chef David Duarte to create two distinctly different concepts in one space. On one interval (Sunday evenings, Mondays, Tuesdays and fourth Sunday each month), the space becomes Finestre Modern Gastronomy, which will serve five, seven and nine courses (from $60) with optional wine pairings for additional price. On the other interval, fans of The Market can enjoy Russo’s original rustic, largely locally sourced fare (Saturday and Sunday brunch; Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and first and third Saturday of every month for dinner). Here, Russo and Duarte chat with us about the split—and what it means for the Valley’s food scene. 3603 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602.626.5050
This is a big change! What inspired it?
JR: We couldn't believe what an opportunity this presents for the industry and taking this time and sharing space with someone gets us back to a little bit more of the creativity of cooking instead of so much of the stress of keeping the doors open.
Describe the moment you both decided to partner up.
DD: It was actually her brilliant idea to sit down with me after dinner and say ‘Hey I've got this idea, what do you want to do?’ So for me, that is like was like the lightning storm. I was weeks away from buying my own restaurant and then I started looking at all the factors; it was like ‘I can do it, but it was going to be a struggle.’
JR: Once you throw yourself into the survival mode of making sure to keep the doors open, you lose your love, the reason why you did it, which is food and wine and entertainment and creating great experiences for people...
DD: And wine...
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