Ten years ago, my boyfriend moved from northern England to New Jersey with his parents and brother, putting many miles of ocean between him and his very close extended family. Paul eventually adjusted to “American Cadbury”, a 21-year-old legal drinking age, and “soccer”, however the distance between New York and Manchester has never impacted the closeness to those they left at home.
I’ve had the pleasure of being enveloped by the same love and warmth by the clan abroad, so when I heard that Paul’s cousins were visiting the city, I was thrilled to offer the same welcome. Brunch was a must, as I’ve developed quite a following with my friends across the pond, so we set off on this very rainy Saturday with a few extra bitches in my posse.
I had my sights set on the Marrow ever since my foodie friend Molly described their burger served on a pretzel bun. That, and my last-minute reservation for six during prime brunch time was no problem, despite the rave critic reviews and restaurant buzz about this hotspot.
The weather may have deterred most from venturing out of their apartments, but not us! The Marrow was a comforting escape from the downpour that we left outside, and despite a very large and raucous party of brunchers to our right, the restaurant was relatively quiet.
We had our eye on the cocktail menu to start, and ordered a range of breakfast concoctions. Everyone loved their selections, but the crowd favorite was the Herr Pamplehouse, which consisted of reposado, pink grapefruit, lime and ginger beer. The least appetizing was the Carlita’s Way, which had rum, stout, and coffee; it was a combination that caused me to grimace, but that’s very contingent upon liquor preference.
I noticed the breakfast pastries beneath the cocktail list and had too much trouble deciding between a cinnamon raisin bun, a raspberry cream cheese muffin, a dark chocolate almond scone, and a lemon poppy seed cake, so we ordered and shared all of them. They were fantastic and offered a great variety for all the different preferences at the table. There wasn’t a weak link in the offering and I had difficulty picking a favorite, but as someone who usually despises lemon, I was extremely impressed by the poppy seed cake.
After much hype about the TM burger, it was ordered by a few members of our group, who quickly confirmed it was justified. The pretzel bun that the burger was served on added something special to the juicy, oversized patty and it was made with bone marrow, which added a great deal to the flavor. The sherried onions and Emmental cheese were the finishing touches to an epic burger experience.
Paul’s mom Julie ordered the Cavatelli, which was fresh in flavor, cooked perfectly al dente, and generous in greens, making it lighter than your usual pasta dish. Paul’s cousin ordered the grilled ham steak, with house-smoked black forest ham, braised greens, sunny side up eggs and a white bean puree. Both loved their dishes.
I chose the house made corned beef hash with fried eggs, grilled bread, and smoked tomato vinaigrette, which looked very similar to the grilled ham steak dish on the plate. Corned beef is not something I would normally go for, but after the waiter’s recommendations and my desire to add variety to our table, I branched out. I was surprised by the smokiness of the meat and liked trying something different.
Our experience at The Marrow was great; the service was attentive and friendly, the food and drinks were a welcome comfort from our soaked trudge through rainy Manhattan, and I was able to impress our out-of-town family with a true NYC brunch. The sweet ending of brunch cookies with our check sealed the fate of my stellar rating.
The Bitches say A. Come to The Marrow for a quality brunch experience with great food (hello, pretzel bun bone marrow burger), cocktails and an atmosphere perfect for any occasion or party size.
99 Bank Street
212 428 6001
The Marrow serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.