There was a golden window this summer when her husband Eric retired and we had a party. Everyone came and no one cared.
We are no longer so confident.
Eric and I examined everyone in the crowded, bright and bustling Hooked Market & Kitchen dining room on Route 7 in Latham – and opted for take out.
We had a great meal away from the crowds, although we could see what we missed while waiting for our food: the friendly staff, the great smells, the cutlery clinking on the plates and glasses.
Hooked Market & Kitchen moved to their new home in August, not far from where it all started across the street from Galleria 7 Market in Latham.
Husband and wife team Luke and Katie Haskins started Hooked Seafood Co. in 2015, traveling to Boston twice a week to hand-select fresh fish. It became Hooked Market & Kitchen, offering ready-to-go meals in addition to a full-service restaurant.
If the dining room was busy, the staff were even busier: working several sautÃ© pans, placing orders, slamming plates of food for the waiters, shaking cocktails.
The building which used to be a pizzeria has been embellished and renovated. Enter the back of the building to find the cashier, tall refrigerators stocked with homemade products for sale, and a counter / display case. Most of the building is devoted to the large, clean, modern dining room, white with blue accents and complete with hanging lamps. A bar overlooks the busy Route 7.
There’s a raw bar – selections change daily – and Hooked has salads and small plates that reflect the seasons: now you can get fried Brussels sprouts with pickled onions, pineapple, feta. , cashews and cilantro ($ 12). A winter kale salad costs $ 10; add grilled salmon or cod for $ 9 more.
You’d expect fish and chips ($ 19) and sautÃ©ed mussels ($ 14), paired with paella ($ 26) or a fish burger ($ 16). There’s also local beef, from Highland Hollow Farm to Schoharie: a seared rib eye ($ 38) and ground beef for the burgers.
All the food is homemade, said Katie Haskins, with a few exceptions like the fries.
The Hooked Market portion sells fresh fish, local meats, and a range of prepared foods such as pizzas, empanadas, and crab cakes.
The restaurant offers house cocktails in addition to beer in cans, bottles or on draft, and a selection of interesting wines by the glass or by the bottle. There are no consumer wines, thank you.
âBoy, this soup is delicious,â Eric said of the New England Fish Chowder ($ 6 a cup) after we got settled at the house in front of the fire. “It’s a little peppery, creamy and smooth.” This is not your usual clam chowder. âFish is a good substitute,â he said.
We shared a small crispy ciabatta baguette with their unsalted butter. We had set the coffee table with flowers, candles and a menu, a bit more chic than the informal dining room in the restaurant. It was very restaurant-y.
I had the Baja Fish Tacos ($ 15), each soft flour tortilla filled with a piece of fried whitefish, Mexican sauerkraut, salsa verde, and sweet mango habanero sauce. There were homemade tortilla chips on the side, as well as spicy salsa.
The fish was flaky and tender, not as crispy as if we had dined there but still delicious. The coleslaw tasted tart and pickled, and there were thinly sliced ââpeppers that provided a bit of heat.
I ordered the sauce on the side and wish I had had more: it provided a much needed sweet note and was delicious.
The tacos were topped with cilantro microgreens, a nice touch.
The tacos weren’t on top, but I got the idea that Hooked has a sure hand with the fish. Their homemade chips were a bit thicker than the mass produced ones, but crunchy and tasty, although I added sea salt. Their salsa was quite spicy, with a smooth texture.
Eric had been on the charred octopus ($ 19) since seeing the succulent photos on the Hooked site. He was not disappointed.
“The tentacles are nice, tender and the charred flavor is very good,” he reported happily. I had transferred the dish to a plate as best I could, but the green olive tapenade mixed with the creamy oatmeal.
âI like the octopus,â he decided, âIt has a delicate flavor. The sides complimented the fish, he said. “How many places have charred octopuses?” He wondered aloud.
The potatoes, mashed mini Yukon Gold, were cooked with pork lard, a great idea.
We shared an order of flan ($ 11) for dessert. I didn’t even try to do it again.
The custard was dense and sweet, topped with a slightly bitter caramel that took away the richness. Hooked served the delicious treat with four kinds of beautiful fresh berries. âThe blueberries were picked at the peak of maturity,â Eric said.
It was vanilla flavored and thick, with dense, sweet whipped cream. Eric put it euphemistically, “It was good.”
The bill for our food was $ 59.72. We added a tip to the people who prepared our order.
We’ll be heading back to Hooked Market & Kitchen now that we know where to find charred octopus. Hopefully we’ll eat there, enjoying their food at its peak.
Caroline Lee is a freelance writer who lives in Troy. Reach her at [emailÂ protected]
Hanging market and kitchen
W: 1177 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham; (518) 389-6217; marketetcuisine.com
WHEN: Open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.
HOW MUCH: $ 59.72 with taxes and supplement.
MORE INFO: Credit cards: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover. ADA Compliant. Parking lot. Reservations accepted for groups of 8 or more. Soon a children’s menu. Hooked accepts take out and take out orders.
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Categories: Food, Life and the Arts