It's not often that I come across a restaurant that is so memorable that I hardly know where to begin. Well, I have been sitting in front of my computer for the past thirty minutes recounting my extraordinary meal at Marlow & Sons - and all I see is a blank screen - well, now two sentences. I keep smiling as I can still almost taste every dish I devoured there last week. However, my great imagination is not helping me make any headway. While I wish I was this taken by a restaurant more often, it is probably best for all of you as I would never be able to finish a post (and keep my friends, family, and job).
So, where do I begin? It was the start of the year when I first mentioned this spot to you as it was part of A Mouth Watering Line Up for 2010. At that point in time, I stated that I was embarrassed to admit I had yet to experience Marlow & Sons. I am now just kicking myself for having missed out on it for the past few years. No matter the night of the week, I could easily find a reason to hop on the L train, walk 15 minutes south and dine here. The comfort in the setting whether at the rustic bar or wooden tables may be just what you are looking for on a low key Monday evening. Or perhaps, this romantic dimly lit country dining room is your idea of the perfect Saturday night date. Sign me up for any and all of these outings.
There are very few places that could get away with a menu offering just a few options and those that are as simple as "spaghetti," "tomato salad," or "soup." But that is one of the many great distinctions of Marlow & Sons. There is so much more to each and every dish that a detailed menu would actually never do them justice. The elaborate descriptions could never be captured on paper, only partially captured by mouth, and entirely captured by tasting. And even the simplest options of meats and cheeses that are just listed by name are so much more than that. Their delicate selection will provide options for all palates. If you are a fan of salami with peppercorn, I highly recommend the Toscano. I could eat plates of this thinly sliced meat - and it pairs extremely well with just about any kind of cheese.
While the menu is constantly changing, I urge you to order the salads that they offer that evening. I know it can sometimes be hard to get excited about a salad, but believe me, these will do the trick. I had heard a close friend say this before - and while I trusted him, it was not until I experienced it for myself that I really felt that excitement (I hope you can feel it now)! We ordered both the bean salad and the tomato salad. While both were incredible, it was the bean salad that blew me away. It was served with green beans, wax beans, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, leeks, basil and homemade croutons. It is the combination of the freshness of ingredients combined with their house dressings that set these creations apart. The tomato salad was served with red and golden beets, red onions, basil, and a homemade blue cheese dressing.
The soup of the evening was a pureed gazpacho garnished with homemade croutons, crispy salami, and a poached egg. Not only was this completely clever, but it was delicious. We rounded out the evening with their bouillabaisse which was served with just about every kind of seafood you can imagine in a light broth with fennel. Again, a traditional dish, but unlike most bouillabaisses which are heavy, this was prepared in such a unique, delicate way. And, of course, at the end of the night, there was no way to pass up on dessert. We went with their signature chocolate and caramel tart. I really hope and believe this is one of the few constants on the menu. While the two layers of chocolate were divine, it was the layer of homemade, soft caramel in the middle that completely wowed me. The sea salt sprinkled on top made it harder and harder to resist another bite.
Well, that wasn't so bad after all! My only difficulty now seems to be knowing where to end. I think I will just go back to daydreaming about last week's meal at Marlow & Sons. That seemed to keep my fingers from typing...
Marlow & Sons
Brooklyn, New York 11211
FOOD RATING (Out of 5):