Marrow Kitchen Bar opened Tuesday in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue restaurant district with a menu of unusual proteins and a companion vegetarian menu elevated to a fine dining level I’ve never seen in a Tacoma restaurant.
I spoke with owner Jaime Kay Jones this morning and she said the first few opening days have trended smooth and already diners have picked a few clear winners on the menu – the oxtail cake, vegetarian risotto and duck, for starters, but more on that in a moment.
The restaurant is the creation of Jones, along with husband Jason Jones. The couple opened Top of Tacoma, a popular McKinley District bar, in 2007. In the kitchen at Marrow is co-owner Kyle Wnuk, who until recently was chef of Dirty Oscar’s Annex, also on Sixth (read here about his top-notch Dirty Oscar burgers here). Read more about the concept in this May blog post.
Marrow occupies the space recently vacated by Beyond the Bridge Café. Before the coffee house, that spot housed Il Fiasco (the other half of that old space now holds Pastiche Wine Bar). Funny enough, Wnuk knows the building well. He previously cooked at Il Fiasco.
Jones had just a few observations about the menu when I spoke with her this morning. She was surprised at the popularity of the marrow and oxtail cake from the appetizer/shareable menu. Watermelon salad has proved another diner favorite, as is the vegetarian dish farroto, which is a risotto made with farro grain (which I first fell in love with at Maxwell’s). Marrow’s menu is broken into shareable plates and starters, as well as more substantial entrees. Jones said they’re still tweaking the menu descriptions to help diners figure out the difference between the shareable plates and the heavier dishes, so expect an evolving menu in the next few weeks. Also coming soon: A late-night happy hour menu with shareable plates at about $5 each. The menu prices start at around $7 for shareables and top out at $23 for entrees. As for the vegetarian menu, I took a quick look at the menu and many of the dishes reminded me much of Carmelita, one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Seattle.
Jones described these menu items, which comprise just a fraction of the menu:
Escargot, $11: Served with basil butter and garlic, and grilled potato bread and micro greens.
Oxtail cakes, $10: The oxtail is slow braised then formed into a “cake” with a mixture of carrots and potatoes, then topped with a fried duck egg and fried basil leaves. Jones described the dish as a “delicious hash.”
Dauphine potato doughnuts, $7: A pate a choux made with Yukon potato puree, the savory doughnuts are served with a bacon beer dip.
Watermelon salad, $8: Seedless watermelon chunks, arugula, chevre, a pistachio puree and cherry balsamic dressing.
Farratto, $13: Farro grain slow cooked in the style of a risotto and served with pea vines, fire roasted corn and fortified with Beecher’s cheese.
Arrow Burger, $12: House-made red and white quinoa patty with lentils, vegetables and seasoning, served on a brioche bun with a roasted red pepper coulis and frisee lettuce. Served with a side of house-made russet chips.
More substantial menu:
Marrow Burger, $13: Ground beef served on a brioche bun with crème fraiche, onion marmalade, Mount Townsend tomme, double smoked thick-cut bacon and house-made russet chips with a garlic cayenne crema on the side.
Duck breast, $23: Seared duck with a crispy skin and served medium rare, sliced on the bias and served with a tamarind rhubarb pan sauce, and a side of pureed Yukon potatoes and grilled broccolini.
Chicken breast, $18: Pan roasted and served with French green lentils and chicken liver gravy and grilled broccolini.
Craft cocktails that have proved popular:
Silas, $7: Bulleit rye, fresh ginger, lemon, orange bitters and simple syrup, served up with candied ginger garnish.
Ling-Ling, $7: Yazi ginger vodka, fresh cilantro, lemon, lime and coconut syrups.
Where: 2717 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
Hours: 4 p.m-2 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday
Note: 21 and older only
Reservations: None taken, except for parties over 6
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