ROM Outing – Marlow & Sons

4 05 2009

April had us ROMers meeting in Williamsburg per Roman’s suggestion. The restaurant was Marlow & Sons and good things had been heard about this place. The weather was warm and wonderful and a few of us early arrivals decided to park it outside with some champ & oysters. Well, it was a sparkling white actually, a blanc de blanc . . . the cheapest one on the seasonal menu at that: we’re not quite ballin’ that hard. But it was lovely! Crisp, a little lemony- a perf pairing for our oysters. The service on the other hand, was dramatically lacking: at least when we were seated outside. It was after some pleading with lackadaisical hipsters that we were finally gifted with a request for our order. After fruitless waiting for additional glasses to be doled out to later arrivals, we got them ourselves from the outdoor wait station. One of them was lipstick smeared.

Several ROMers discuss the finer things in life

A couple of ROMers wonder if they will be served before one keels over dead

I like this photo since it capture the gaping basement doors that my chair was situated right in front of. Luckily I did not meet my maker that evening.

There were two kinds of oysters: from New York and Connecticut. The New York ones were bigger and a bit looser, though meaty, while the Connecticut ones were dense and creamier. They were both excellent. One of them were called hemlock which upon googling now and not being able to find I am convinced is some kind of hipster joke about bad seafood.

Upon moving indoors the service did a 180 to become surprisingly prompt. Our party was at the large table in the front room which is styled like an old-timey general store. It was nice to sit up front since the back room evoked claustrophobia when I made a bathroom run. I was a few drinks in and perhaps a bit bleary eyed but I remember a suffusion of neon colored shirts, kaffieh and ironic facial hair as I peeked around corners looking for the bathroom door.

Our party was loud, but so was everyone else. I only noticed one askance look at our table after a particularly offensive joke. I would venture that the excellent cocktail menu has something to do with the din. A sip of “A Few of My Favorite Things” showcased a surprisingly delicious flavor combination of liquorish, orange and Wild Turkey Rye. As for the food, the extremely seasonal food menu was ramps, ramps and more ramps that night. Funny because ROMer Joey & I had just been discussing this vegetable a week ago as in ‘wtf is it?’ (essentially a green onion with a kickier flavor). We went for the gold with a few ramp-y appetizers. I was caught out of left field by a bowl of soft scrambled eggs with ramps that was both delicate and fresh. While fellow ROMer Katie was not impressed, I was dazzled by the way mundane things can be divine when cooked just right. A platter of cured meats (salami, pepperoni, prosciutto) and cheeses were just a’ight. I mean, they were good and all but I live in New York and do not want for such things. If I want a delicious cheese I just visit my friends at East Village Cheese & go nuts. Good cold cuts are similarly not terribly hard to find. The chicken liver pâté was nice but not outstanding although I do remember being wowed by the crispy buttered toast it came with more than the actual pâté. As for main courses, it seems to me like they do a chicken, a beef, a fish and a pork entree on any given night in the style of the moment, give or take some other funny business. I had the pork which on that particular night was sausage wrapped in pork belly to form a flat little steak-shaped piece of pig with a fresh watercress and dill salad served on top. If it weren’t for the greens, the meat may have been on the dry side but the pairing was perfect: the greens, dressed with a bit of mustard vinaigrette cut through the dryness. It was just enough meat to fill me up but not too much to OD. I was, however, more impressed with the beer-braised beef that came served in a bowl on top of some very soft polenta with a texture not unlike the aforementioned scrambled eggs.

At this point we were stuffed with no room for desert. This is fortunate because with an $100 price tag, dinner was not exactly easy on the wallet. But if one is willing to forgo booze, or go easy on it, one could get in and out of there and pay substantially less.

Nightcap and dancing took place at Savalas on Bedford. The only reason I was able to remember the name is because I kept imagining Kojak’s shiny pate as I tried to explain the location to people on the phone. Decent DJ, good tap, high tolerance for drunken antics and, surprisingly, not crawling with hipsters.

At first blush, this bar might appear to lack the room to dance. A little imagination is all it takes

At first blush, this bar might appear to lack room to dance. However, a little imagination is all it takes

So yeah, check out Marlow! This one got a thumbs up from every ROMer in attendance! Go early if you can’t stand a crowd. Since they don’t take reservations it could be a challenge to get a big party seated.

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5 responses

5 05 2009
Joey

Making fun of hipsters is my new favorite pastime, and apparently yours too.

5 05 2009
iammaya

In the wise words of Popeye, “I yam what I yam.”

5 05 2009
Sarah

Sounds like a fun night! (is that ok alon?) 😉

6 05 2009
Angry-Man

I’ve been making fun of hipsters since 2001; although I just noticed it starting to catch on. Goddammit I HATE THEM

8 05 2009
2 Crude Dudez

This crude dude was at the after party. Someone was drunk, some others were drunk and making out at the bar… extra sloppy. You guys show a lotta class for people who paid $100 for salad and salami. Next time we will go to Popeye’s I am what I am… the man. That dude… That crude dude.

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