Hubby and I are way behind on getting to all the new places—but we had a date night the other night and are trying to make some progress. We’ve been looking forward to Marrow—we’ve always been a fan of Chef John Adams’ food—at H20, Bluebeard and Plow and Anchor.
Marrow is quite different from Adams’ past places though—they bill it as “global soul food”—there is a lot of Asian fusion influence on the menu, but without any pretension—these are comfort food dishes redefined with various Asian twists.
We started with a cocktail (him) and a glass of wine (me). The drinks were both good although it took awhile to get them—we got seated right before a large party which was sharing the same server, which turned out a bit unfortunate for us service-wise. The drink was very good, and the wine list, while small, had some nice choices to pair with spicier foods. The service issue plagued us much of the night.
Food-wise though, we liked every single thing we had. We started with some deviled eggs ($2.50 each)—Marrow’s take on this comfort classic involves pimento cheese, crab and tobiko. They were creamy and fresh and I loved the salty kick of the fish roe. Having one of these as our first bite was a great way to start. I like that you can order them individually and I would be hard-pressed not to get one again next time.
At just about the same time, we were also served the pork neck and eel shumai ($11) with scallion-ssam butter and eel sauce. There were four nice-sized dumplings and they had great flavor—I loved the slightly spicy, and extremely rich butter on top of the dumplings and the soy/vinegar/oil sauce on the bottom of the bowl. The dumplings were stuffed with the porky meatballs—this was the only part of the dish that surprised me—the meat inside was pretty firm—it tasted yummy but I was expecting more of a minced-type filling.
Next they brought out the mac and paneer dish ($10). This was Marrow’s take on a mac and cheese—Indian style. The noodles were your classic elbow macaroni, but with a sauce that was infused with curry—there was also a bunch of veggies mixed in there--spinach, peas and carrots. And of course several big hunks of paneer. Paneer is a fresh Indian cheese—it’s different from your typical cheese in a mac and cheese because it’s not a melting cheese—it stays in little cubes (we actually cut them even smaller to make them go further). The cheese stays fairly firm and had a nice slightly crisp (sautéed) edge. A bite with the paneer and all the other bits was great. The more we ate this dish, the more the flavors melded together and it became increasingly addicting. I really enjoyed the unique, but comforting, flavors.
But, man oh man; the best for last for sure. The fried tandoori chicken ($17 for half—this is what we had-- and $33 for a full order) was just fabulous. I will cry a little tear if I don’t get this on the next visit. We have already decided we need to go with other people so we can try new things but still eat this again too. The chicken had classic tandoori seasoning—cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic, cardamom and all those nice things but fried up in a crispy fried chicken crust. They also served it with a few thinly sliced veggies and three wonderful sauces. I kept trying to decide which one I liked better—they were all variations of the classic sauces that sit on the table at an Indian restaurant—there was a tamarind-based chutney which was slightly sweet and sour, a yogurt sauce that tasted of cumin and then a mint-based green sauce. I think I settled on the yogurt sauce as my favorite but that tamarind was great too.
I really appreciated the fact that many of the dishes came in half and full sizes—it allowed hubby and I to try more things than we otherwise might have. Honestly, there was nothing that I ate that I didn’t like. The dishes are little flavor bursts—nothing bland going on here—and exactly the kind of thing that Indy needs. It’s a nice (not fancy, but nice) restaurant where you feel like you can sit and have a nice meal but eat something different from the other restaurants in this general price point. I like it, and I’m going back for sure. I need to try it all. (Wondering how often they change menu….)
1106 Prospect Street