Dining Review: Marrow restaurant/butcher shop showcases the unexpected
Appetizers are known as “snacks” in the Marrow vernacular, and one of them is marrow toast, appropriately enough.
The delicate marrow found inside bones is truly delicious when spread on good bread, and this West Village storefront restaurant/butcher shop is one of the few places around town to find it.
And while you might expect the menu to be meat-centric, it is surprisingly varied. Of course, there’s always a meat special from the butcher’s case, as well as dry aged house beef and beef tartare, but the offerings include a number of vegetable dishes, typified by an interesting cabbage Caesar salad with kimchee dressing and also radicchio and apple salad with walnut vinaigrette.
Proprietor Ping Ho is also the proprietor of the Royce, the fine wine shop on West Adams in downtown Detroit, which explains the excellent wine list at Marrow.
Executive chef Sarah Welch is in charge of the open kitchen visible at the back of the restaurant, which has a comfortable setting of exposed brick walls, posters of old farm equipment and ‘50s style promotional ads, and butcherblock tables, as well as some church pew seating along the walls.
The knowledgeable servers seem eager to discuss the menu. To start, perhaps the crunchy tidbits of pork skin popcorn or a pair of crisp duck wings, along with a slice of white cheddar, Camembert or Gouda cheese.
Meat lovers are not going to be disappointed, however. One option is to sit back and simply order the chef’s selection, which brings a full range of dishes on a changing basis, to be shared by the table ($50 per person).
Those who prefer a-la-carte ordering may choose from such dishes as house-made bone broth with vegetables, noodles and a richly delicious marinated duck egg, cured scallops with parsnip puree and a scattering of peanuts, or the tempting dry aged house beef. On one evening, it was done perfectly medium-rare and enhanced by Asian pear relish and a glass of Vaison la Romaine wine, a grenache blend from Rhone.
Desserts are just as creative as entrees, with such selections as maple pudding cake with caramel and crème fraiche ice cream, and potted extra-dark chocolate.
Marrow is just a couple of doors down from Sister Pie, and when spring arrives, the area between the two spots will be used for Sunday barbecues.
8044 Kercheval, Detroit
Hours: Dinner 4:30-10 p.m. Mon., Wed., Thurs., 5-11 p.m. Fri-Sun. Closed Tues.
Prices: Appetizers $5-$10, entrees $12-$32, desserts $8-$10
Credit cards: All major
Liquor: Full bar and excellent wine list
Noise level: Moderate
Wheelchair access: No barriers
What the ratings mean
★ — routine ★★ — good ★★ 1/2 — very good
★★★ — excellent ★★★★ — outstanding