The Marrow
Aug 29th, 2013 by donuts4dinner

I’ve read recently about how hard it is for a restaurant in NYC to survive after the initial buzz is over. A place opens, every blogger in the tri-state area rushes to review it, it gets no press after the first few months, and it dies. Naturally I accept all of the blame for this, because I’ve never been to any of the old Chef Harold Dietrle restaurants, but I’ve had my eye on The Marrow for months now. I watched him and cheered for him as he won the first season of “Top Chef”, and then I was so excited to live in New York City when he opened Perilla and Kin Shop. I probably looked at the menu on the Perilla website twenty times in the five or so years I was hardcore fine dining every weekend, but I never went. Of course Perilla and Kin Shop are doing just fine without me, but just to be sure The Marrow doesn’t fail on my account single-handedly, I took five of my friends there one Friday night after work.

The Marrow NYC

The Marrow NYC
Herr Pamplemousse

Reposado, pink grapefruit, lime, and ginger beer. With a side of water.

The Marrow NYC
pretzel bread

Pretzel bread should be in every bread basket, everywhere. And not those pretzel rods, either. I want it soft, hot, and buttery.

The Marrow NYC
crispy kale, bay scallops, pickled red onion, cashews, and hot mustard-buttermilk dressing

I am ruined for kale any other way. This was super acidic, very vinegary. Since it was deep fried, it was partly so crisp it was falling apart with every ravenous jab of my fork and half becoming soft again under the dressing. And then there were the cashews to add even more crunch, along with the sour snap of those red onions.

The Marrow NYC
burrata, local heirloom tomatoes, baby basil, balsamic, extra virgin olive oil

I was forced into trying this, and even as a tomato-phobe, I found these tomatoes so mild, almost roasted to the sweet flavor of a sauce, but they still had plenty of texture for those at the table who eat tomatoes like apples. The burrata was all mozzarella on the outside but creamy and fresh inside, just as it should be.

The Marrow NYC
housemade rigatoni, spicy duck sausage, tomato ragu, basil, pecorino

One of my friends had this and told me it was “delicious”. Nothing but the finest in-depth reporting here at donuts4dinner, folks.

The Marrow NYC
bone marrow, sea urchin, fried potatoes, meyer lemon aioli, baby celery greens

Likewise, I didn’t get a bite of the bone marrow. You know, the dish that’s in the name of the restaurant. Because who would ever share their bone marrow with uni?

The Marrow NYC

I also didn’t try this. I have terribly selfish friends. I think this was duck liver pate on brioche with gooseberry compote. Don’t quote me. You’re just here for the pictures, anyway.

The Marrow NYC
juniper-braised lamb neck, rutabaga puree, red sauerkraut, whole roasted carrots

My friend Chantee described this as unctuous and melt-off-the-bone. My friend Nik didn’t care for the amount of fat on the lamb but loved the cabbage, which he said brightened up the rich neck meat.

The Marrow NYC
pan-fried duck schnitzel, quark spaetzle, hazelnuts, cucumber-potato salad, stewed wolfberries

I love dill to begin with but thought this potato salad made particularly great use of it, adding even more freshness to the cucumber to combat the heaviness of the schnitzel. The wolfberries were soft and sweet (but maybe a little overpowering), while the curd spaetzle had a brilliant crunch from the hazelnuts.

The Marrow NYC
dry-aged rib steak for two

When my friends Jack and Andrew discussed sharing this, I didn’t want to dissuade them, but I also thought they were sort of silly to order a steak in a non-steakhouse. Turns out I was the silly one, because this sort of random restaurant that doesn’t at all need to prove it can do a steak is doing a super-tender one with so much flavor, so much butter, and such great texture. It was just really, really well-seasoned. The corn absorbed all of the truffle butter, beef juice, and onion flavor and was therefore perfect.

The Marrow NYC

Butter on perfectly-cooked steak. YES.

The Marrow NYC
grilled hampshire country style pork rib chop, cannellini beans, dandelion green
salad, hot cherry peppers, pork jus

I never, ever need lettuce with my meat (okay, maybe the exception being creamed spinach at a steakhouse), but I loved the way these peppery greens complemented the black pepper flavor in the rest of the dish, the slightly spicy crust of the pork, and the bright pickled onion slivers.

The Marrow NYC

This was the dessert special the night we went, and I have no idea what it was. You’re welcome.

The Marrow NYC
ginger stout cake, roasted peaches, honey ice cream

Eating this was like eating a piece of warm, soft gingerbread. Easily the most-beloved dessert at our table.

The Marrow NYC
chocolate semifreddo, cherry compote, pistachio torrone

A very light semifreddo, very milk chocolatey, with a thick, dense, frosting-like dollop of darker chocolate. The torrone was a chewy nougat-like confection that added a textural component, and that’s weirdly all the cherries were, too–they just weren’t very flavorful despite all of the visual impact.

The Marrow NYC
caramelized white chocolate ice cream

This didn’t come with any of our desserts, so we just ordered bowls of it on the side. Because


white chocolate

ice cream. It was brown buttery and made me feel like I was wrapped in a warm blanket on a cold winter day.

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarBlank Star

The Marrow NYC
looking out into the West Village from the damask-patterned interior of The Marrow

One side of The Marrow’s menu is Italian food to honor Chef Dieterle’s mother, and the other side is German food for his father. We were all over the menu and couldn’t find much at all to complain about. Everything was homey and comforting but elevated enough to make it clear that these aren’t just family recipes but a professional chef’s take on them. The decor is basically what would happen if a zoot suit threw up in a cigar bar, and by that I mean it’s all pinstripes and red leather. The service is laid-back, friendly, personal and makes the place almost seem quaint until you remember that you’re eating caramelized white chocolate ice cream. The menu changes often, though, so get there before everything I’ve mentioned here is gone.

The Marrow
99 Bank Street
New York, NY 10014 (map)

Wechsler’s Currywurst – German – East Village
Aug 27th, 2010 by plumpdumpling

I would go to Wechsler’s every day. It’s one of those quintessential East Village finds that’s tiny, cozy, and cheap, yet unlike most of the East Village, it’s somewhere you can actually take a date.

Not, like, a snobby date.

A date like me.

Basically, I just want to go back to Wechsler’s, and I want you to go with me.

Anyway, here’s a picture of some meat covered in some sauce:

Wechsler's Currywurst NYC

That’s what currywurst is: sausage, sliced and covered in a saucy blend of tomato and curry powder. It’s traditionally a German street food, but when I recommended Wechsler’s to my friend Steve, he reported back the next day that it’s waaaaaaaaaay more bland in Germany. Wechsler’s is spicy and sweet, like the base of a really good chili.

It is a meal at $6, and they serve it with crunchy fries and this tiny little fork that will make you feel like a curry-lovin’ giant.

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne-Half Star

Wechsler’s Currywurst
120 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10009

Restaurant Review: Prime Meats
Nov 24th, 2009 by plumpdumpling

My best New York friend, Beth, loved Carroll Gardens when she first moved to the neighborhood but now may be regretting it since I found that they don’t make a bad restaurant down there. The most recent meal I forced her into was dinner at Prime Meats, which is getting glowing reviews from everyone, and deservedly so.

Prohibition-era decor is everywhere these days, but Prime Meats takes it a step further with a homemade alcoholic punch of the day and waiters dressed in suspenders and handlebar mustaches. Eater NY has some lovely photos of the place in the daylight, but when Beth and I visited, it was all dim chandeliers and tabletop candles. The staff was extremely cool but also extremely friendly, and the food was down home highbrow to match.

There wasn’t a single thing on the menu that I won’t be trying at some point, but I’d heard too many good things about the burger to pass it up. Mine came with melted gruyere and enough juice to perfectly soak the homemade toasted sesame seed bun.

Even better than that, though, were the Brussels sprouts with pancetta and croutons. The hunks of pork in it were almost as big as the Brussels sprouts themselves.

Beth went for the Weisswurst, which was a white sausage too ugly for me to take a photo of but which was served in a dish of hot water that kept it nice and mouth-scalding. Her fingerling potatoes with parsley and butter and salted dinner roll were much better to look at.

Admittedly, the entire reason we were at Prime Meats was for the olive oil cake I’d read about on Clinton Hill Foodie’s review. After having it and LOVING it at craftbar, I was excited to try another take on it.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t accounted for the fact that it’s apparently only served during brunch. When our waiter rattled off the three available desserts, I was like, “. . . but . . . ?!?!” He said he’d go back to the kitchen to see if any were left over from lunch and brought the single remaining cake to me on the house with an apology for its staleness.

Maybe I’m just overly zealous for olive oil cake at this point, but I thought it was fairly awesome. The staleness made for a nice little hardness to the outside, and the inside was still moist with lemony oiliness. The craftbar dessert was better on the whole because of the added pine nuts and rosemary ice cream (!), but the cake itself left me just as pleased.

I’m now accepting reservations for my next (imminent) trip to Prime Meats, so book your date with me now.

Prime Meats
465 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

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