While on a research visit to Zanesville for Ohio Magazine’s 2011 Best Hometowns issue, I asked for restaurant recommendations. Among the suggestions was Old Market House Inn, a local favorite for nearly 50 years.
November 2010 Issue
Old Market House Inn
Jim Adornetto’s delightful restaurant has been serving steaks, seafood and Italian dishes since 1974.
Comfortably seated in a booth at the front of the house, I took a sip of water and cracked open the wine list. My dining partner, who must have been starving after our whirlwind tour of the city, immediately ordered toasted ravioli ($3.95) and Roman bread ($4.95). The tasty half-moon-shaped ravioli were crisp, not at all oily and were served with a simple red sauce and a dusting of Parmesan. The Roman bread was one of those too-simple-to-be-that-delicious items, topped with salty olives and filled with gooey pockets of blue cheese.
Next, we sampled the Mediterranean salad ($9.95), a tasty blend of mixed greens, artichokes, kalamata olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, feta cheese and pine nuts, and the spinach salad ($5.25). Both were crisp and fresh, and the raspberry dressing on the spinach salad was just sweet enough, unlike some overly saccharin, bottled varieties I’ve tasted. Your choice of either of these salads, or a house salad, is available for $2.95 with an entrée.
For the main course, I wanted to try a dish that included the house-made pasta, which is prepared from scratch every day. I settled on the seafood Alfredo ($19.95), an entree brimming with shrimp, scallops, and mushrooms in an unbelievably light-tasting Alfredo sauce. The delicate sauce was key to this dish, because it didn’t overwhelm the seafood. It was an excellent choice and delightful with a glass of J. Lohr Sauvignon Blanc.
My dining partner ordered the beef tournedos special, served with sautéed mushrooms, beef gravy and a twice-baked potato. The meat, cooked medium rare, was extremely tender, and the gravy was perfectly prepared.
Other popular dishes include a 14-ounce center cut strip steak ($28.50), which the diners sitting next to us said was delicious; chicken marsala ($17.95); and, of course, lasagna ($12.95). Old Market House Inn owner Jim Adornetto’s parents emigrated from Italy, and the flavors of their home country permeate the food at his restaurant. He also owns Giacomo’s, a bakery he opened 16 years ago, and Adornetto’s Selected Italian Foods, a pizza shop he started in 1958 when he was just 19 years old. On a busy weekend this local favorite serves 600 pizzas a night — all made fresh and by hand. Five signature pizzas are also on the menu at Old Market House Inn.
The atmosphere inside the restaurant is cozy, with lots of wood, gentle lighting and richly patterned fabrics. The interior was modeled on a historic pub in London and was designed by Coburn Morgan, a Columbus restaurant designer. It’s a popular place for special occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays.
When the dessert menu was offered, we decided to share a piece of tiramisu ($4). It was rich, yet light, and had a wonderful coffee and cocoa flavor. We agreed that this slightly sweet dessert was a very “grown up” and classic take on tiramisu — and it was delicious.
Old Market House Inn, 424 Market St., Zanesville 43701, 740/454-2555. theoldmarkethouseinn.com. Mon.– Thur. 5–10:30 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5–11 p.m. Entrees
$10.95–$36. Handicap accessible. CR