Fort Lauderdale

October 19, 2010

Ten questions for Market 17 owner Kirsta Grauberger

Market 17 in Fort Lauderdale is one of the newest restaurants about to hit the South Florida dining scene, on Thursday October 21 to be exact. A family owned business brother and sister team Aaron and Kirsta Grauberger have built their entire business around the Farm to Table concept. It’s two days before the grand opening, and I had the opportunity to talk with Kirsta about this very unique and innovative Market 17 and its plans as they move forward.

Tell me about Market 17, where did this concept come from and how did you get so hooked that you would build a restaurant around that concept?
My brother Aaron and I spent time in Napa and fell in love with what we call wine country cuisine, the emphasis is on fresh food from top local purveyors, along with an abundant wine list. We feel we have procured the best foods, the best resources, and the best wines and have created our own little slice of “wine country cuisine” right here in South Florida. To take our dining experience a step further we are offering a Dining in the Dark option, where we offer our guests a nightly experience to taste, feel and smell the textures of each dish for a truly sensory, culinary experience.

We (Market 17) have exclusive use of the property on the weekend and we have plans to start a Farmer’s Market in January highlighting the bounty of our vendors and purveyors. This is where the “Market” comes from and we are located on 17th Street.

Why now? Why this concept?
This space (where Market 17 is) was a great opportunity that was presented to us, we were willing to take the risk, we had this great “wine country cuisine” concept in mind, and here we are opening the doors to our dream in two days!

 The decor is absolutely gorgeous, where did you draw your inspiration and creativity for restaurant concept?
My dearest friend is an interior designer. Aaron and I told him what we envisioned for the Market 17 look and he came up with this earthy chic, relaxed luxurious, sophisticated look.

How is Market 17 different from the other restaurants in the area?
Our menu will change daily, this is our biggest difference compared to other restaurants in the area. At the moment we have 50 vendors we work with. Because our concept is Farm to Table we seek out local sourcing, getting the best local product and the best pricing.

How will Market 17 fit in the Fort Lauderdale dining scene?
Our menu style is unique, by having it change every day; our concept is innovative to this urban area. We want to be recognized as the restaurant that serves creative dining experiences, like our Dining in the Dark.

What are your favorite menu items?
All the items are my favorite! We have an eclectic mix of items from vegetarian dishes to game, beef, lamb, and poultry so whatever you’re in the mood for we’re probably serving it!

The Market 17 wine list, tell me about it and the inspiration behind it.
We are a family business trying to do business with other liked minded family businesses. We focus on small production, family run and family farmed wineries. I have tried many wines over the years and even more now with putting together the Market 17 list. I have taken extensive notes on each wine I’ve tasted which has helped in making educated choices for our list. We have 32 wines by the glass and over 350 bottles offering a country and a region for just about everyone.

Who is the one person you would love to have dinner with and why?
Danny Meyer. This summer I read his book, Setting the Table. As we’ve been getting ready to open Market 17, I found I could relate to many of his concepts and philosophies. I find it inspiring the way he has run successful restaurants.

We’ve talk about food from the earth, bio-dynamic wines grace your list, all of the proteins served at Market 17 will be hormone-and steroid-free, and humanely raised; this is obviously a lifestyle you and your brother embrace but I’m wondering because I know you must have one, what is your one guilty pleasure food?
HA! I’m a salty, crunchy, fried person; I have a ridiculous affinity for Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

And the last question, what was the last restaurant you ate at?
Valentino’s in Fort Lauderdale

Market 17 at the Portside Yachting Center, 1850 S.E. 17th Street Fort Lauderdale, Florida 954.399.0017


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