Roast pork is served with spinach, Macoun apples and potatoes...

Roast pork is served with spinach, Macoun apples and potatoes at the newly opened restaurant Market Bistro in Jericho. (Dec. 28, 2011) Credit: Agaton Strom

The trip from farm to table is a popular, increasingly trendy one. You'll enjoy the result at Market Bistro.

This relaxed, friendly restaurant is an offspring of West End Cafe in Carle Place. Bill Holden, executive chef-owner of West End, and his son, Chris Holden, who worked at db Bistro Moderne in Manhattan, run the kitchen here. Adam Acerra, also a West Ender, is part maitre d', part sommelier.

Here, the look is country-meets-city, a little lower Manhattan by way of the North Fork. Once inside, you definitely won't think you're headed for dinner in a shopping center with windows on the parking lot. And it's unlikely you'll have any recollection that this address once housed the pan Asian-vegetarian Green Melody.

The design is marked by subway tiles and exposed brick, a big blackboard delivering specials and their provenance, plus a buoyant bar and a view of the kitchen, where they know exactly what you want to eat today. It adds up to an easygoing, very satisfying way to start a year of dining out.

So, nibble on some snacks: good deviled eggs; mellow rice balls with fontina cheese and roasted-garlic aioli; crunchy pickles; tasty dips, including turmeric-tinted potatoes and cool-yogurt raita, each waiting to be scooped with wafer-thin papadum, the crisp Indian bread.

Move on to an appetizer of well-made meatballs, served with creamy polenta and grilled sourdough bread; or the house's version of panzanella, starring roasted squash, romaine hearts and plump Medjool dates.

Also recommended are the refreshing blue claw crab salad; and baby beets with toasted hazelnuts, pickled onions and horseradish crème fraîche. But the tarte flambé arrives as an overdone flatbread with extra-dry smoked pork and fromage blanc.

The menu changes daily. But coq au vin deserves to be a regular, juicy and just vinous enough. The hamburger is obligatory, capped with either Gruyère or blue cheese, accompanied by hand-cut fries and garlicky aioli. Of course, the braised short rib is fine. Loin of pork, with apples and fork-crushed potatoes, offers a stylish spin on a rustic dish.

But you can skip the kabocha-and-spaghetti squash ravioli in brown butter, which are on the dry side; and the bland ragu of braised lamb with cabernet-shaded rigatoni. Sample one of the creamy risotti, instead.

For dessert, dive into the gingerbread sundae and the house-made sorbets. There's a solid selection of beer on draft and an ambitious wine list, by the glass or bottle. You can toast the very welcome newcomer with a root-beer float, too.

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