Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Are We There Yet? Marlow & Sons.

I’ve been trying to get to Marlow & Sons for months and last week I finally organized a group of my girlfriends to join me for a road trip across the Williamsburg Bridge to do just that. “Are we there yet?” Or, “Seems kind of far…” my friend Sally mentioned several times, even though we had only gone a couple of miles, so by the time we arrived I really felt we had taken a road trip.

Marlow & Sons is located down the street from the landmark restaurant, Peter Lugers and is right under the Williamsburg Bridge. The minute I walked through the front door I was in love. You first see a small grocery store and bakery which has a couple of tables set up, shelves lined with a cornucopia of ingredients. Then you enter the dining room which, with its dark walls, benches and coat hooks, feels more like a clubhouse for locals than a restaurant.

The menu is small and all the ingredients focus on local and sustainable when possible. There is a cool selection of cocktails, great beers like the local Blue Point Ale and the wine list is fantastic. When I saw a bottle of Dard & Ribo Crozes-Hermitage I was sold. This is a wine I discovered at my friend Marc’s wine shop Augé in Paris. It is an organic, natural wine using no sulfites and has quite a cult following. It’s a wine that tastes alive and fresh, earthy and funky and it’s a treat. Other great treats on the list were a sparkling Macon Chardonnay from Thevenet, a great winemaker, a St.Peray, Marsanne from Yves Cuilleron and a Berthet-Bondet Jura, Chardonnay that I was very curious to try. I love the wines from Jura and this is one I will order on my next visit.

The menu is great and some of it changes daily. You can have a selection of East Coast oysters and great meats and cheeses, panini’s, appetizers. There are usually only a few entrees to choose from. We shared the finnochiona salumi, the chicken liver pate and the crostini which was covered with local Salvatore’s ricotta and then drizzled with Que Sera honey which was outrageous and everyone’s favorite. I loved the chicken liver pate as well. Caroline was beside herself when she saw oysters from North Haven, Maine. She goes there every summer. We ordered a few but I didn’t love them, found them bland, yet they were very fresh.

Our waitress was so cool and nice and I mentioned that I was going to blog our dinner and she sent us out a Battered Pollack fish sandwich that was outrageous. Three of us had the brick chicken and Caroline ordered the risotto with Maine Shrimp. The brick chicken was perfect comfort food served with a side of buttered cabbage, (though traditionally in Italy they often use a brick to weigh it down—here they use a skillet. I asked.) The end result is a flattened chicken, which is more like a paillard. Caroline ordered the Maine shrimp risotto but it didn’t blow me away. It was a bit fishy for my taste but the rice was cooked perfectly.

We then had a couple of desserts. The cream ice cream was served with salted caramelized pignoli that was drizzled with olive oil. It was insane and disappeared instantly. The chocolate caramel tart topped with sea salt, which I loved the sound of, was overpowered by the salt on top and the texture of chocolate to caramel didn’t work.

All in all we all had a blast and all of us want to come back and try their other restaurant The Diner next door and maybe somehow sneak a peak and see their Airstream trailer in the back where I hear you can book a private dinner.

Marlow & Sons
81 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11211


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