Tuesday, June 26, 2012

M is for: Marlowe {Restaurant Review}

A quick scan of the windows at Marlowe, and you'll understand why I adore this place. Everyone from James Beard to Miss Piggy is quoted on the dark windows with food affirmations that range from funny to whimsical.

Among some of my faves:

"Great cooking is a lot of time and a lot of butter."

"Great food is like great sex; the more you have, the more you want."

"'Bubbles' is my favorite word."

The focus is on the meat, and even the simple decor compliments that aspect. Drink specials are scribbled on butcher paper, and chalk drawings of animals with the different cuts of meat adorn the walls. (P.S. I want one for my kitchen).

In fact, I like this place so much that my friend Devon and I ate here twice in the course of about 9 days. The first was just the two of us, and the second was to set up a little wine meet and greet between Rich Aurillia (part owner of Red Stitch Wine) and Ben Flajnik (part owner of Envolve Wines).

My obsession with all things brussels sprouts is well documented on the blog. And guess what? Marlowe has crispy brussels sprout chips. CHIPS I tell you! I am in love with these chips. They are so incredibly simple, but so good at the same time. Just a little lemon and sea salt and a delightful crunch. I keep saying I'm going to recreate them at home but I have yet to do so.

Another dish we got on both trips was the sauteed wild mushrooms (top right). They are mixed with greens, topped with a poached farm egg and finished off with a little truffle oil. I love the way that when you cut into the yolk it oozes all over the mushrooms and mixes with the truffle oil and the butter in a lovely river of rich goodness. On the second trip, we also got some of the baked oysters (bottom right). They sort of reminded me a little of the clams at Frances. It's basically New England chowder served in a shell and topped with crispy breadcrumbs. Really fantastic and a perfect individual bite to start a meal.

The boys both got the crispy fried chicken sandwich. I meannnnnn, it's no Jaymee Sirewich, but it will do. (Just kidding, I had a bite and it was amazing). Also, I'm constantly debating people about the best burger in the city. My answer is usually different depending on whichever one I ate last. But Marlowe's burger is *always* top 3, along with NOPA, and my new favorite, Mission Bowling Club (more on that later this week).

The Marlowe Burger is a Niman Ranch patty draped in melted cheese and topped with crispy bacon, caramelized onions and horseradish aioli...in other words, it's jam-packed with goodness, sort of like this blog. (And if you're wondering why there's no bun it's because I shared it with Devon, who can't eat gluten.) They also serve the burger at the owners' new restaurant, Park Tavern, which has been on my list for months. I *finally* made it there last week, so I will be telling you about it in a couple of weeks when "P week" rolls around. In the meantime, check out Marlowe on your next trip to SOMA!


  1. Jaymee, I love your passion for good food, which I also share. The best burger I've had in the Bay Area is at Zuni Cafe, followed by Wood Tavern on College Avenue in Berkeley. As you put it, pure goodness. But I've heard great things about the burgers at Marlowe, and at Chop Bar in Oakland, so I've got to try them. Keep up the good work, in your blog and on TV. Steve

  2. best steak i've ever had in the city was at your restaurant...impeccably prepared, seasoned, accompanied. when i want steak, i go to marlowe - period.


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