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The Early Word on Marlowe in South Beach

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You'll remember after about two years in business, Aussie restaurant, South Food and Wine Bar, shuttered in December. And this year, along with several other reinventions around town, Anna Weinberg has reconcepted the space as Marlowe restaurant, this time without Luke Mangan, the Australian chef and restaurateur who was part owner of South. And so, from the ashes of down under, rises a Cal-Bistro phoenix. Almost exactly two months after opening, we take a moment to hash out the general word on the street with regards to Marlowe.

The Good News: Sara Deseran of 7x7 has nothing but good things to say about her meal and the new interior design. "Now it’s gone from what felt like a living room to a cool urban place accented in black and white. The bistro-style food cooked by Jennifer Puccio made for one of the best meals I’ve had in a while. We had a Little Gem market salad that raised the salad bar; a plate made of slivers of different varieties of radish with creamy burrata; a beautiful black cod in brothy bunch of spring vegetables; not to mention some great steak frites. The mood there is perfectly convivial and neighborhoody. While the closing of Cortez (where Puccio cooked last), has been a loss for the city, Puccio is Weinberg’s gain." [7x7]

More Good News: Mapplr's Esme Vos had this nice report on both food and wine, and offers some reservation advice based on her visit. The lamb mixed grill was "succulent and delicately spiced," prawns were "sprinkled with herbs and grilled, very delicious," and the Marlowe burger had "very delicious smoky flavor!" Though "not quite as extensive as South F&WB's," she finds the wine list excellent. She does caution that the place is small, so you should try to come with a reservation. [Mapplr]

The Good (But a Tad Salty) News: At OpenTable, reviews are mostly enthusiastic and positive, but one slight judgement is based on one reviewer's salt intake: "I'm not exaggerating by saying everything was good: Good wines by the glass, prawns appetizer, chicken dish ("pullet"), cauliflower side (went really well w/ chicken). And the apple crumble with bourbon kissed ice cream was killer. Only thing I can say that could maybe be improved was that the dishes may have verged a tad on the salty side. Not ridiculous or noticeable up front, but we were definitely sucking down water by the end of the meal." [OpenTable]

More Salty News: Marlowe's not getting much play on Chowhound, but there's a small chain that references the kitchen's salt use, "We went a couple of weeks ago for an after work meal. The service was cordial and helpful, and the food well-prepared. However I found the kitchen to be very heavy handed with the salt, to the extent that it diminished the meal for me." Worth noting: Robert Lauriston counters, "I thought everything was nicely seasoned, but I like salt." [CH]

The Great Burger News: The HamBauer learned to love burgers again, thanks to Marlowe's rendition: "The secret: the moist patty is made with a 80/20 percent lean to fat ratio with a little lamb mixed in to give a bolder, earthier flavor. The grilled meat is then placed on a Acme bun with a slather of horseradish aioli, crisp bacon, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions (which I normally don't like on my burger) and cold shredded lettuce...The Marlowe burger has renewed my interest in beginning the best burger search again, something I once thought fruitless." [Between Meals]

Some Bad News: The yelpers seem to be lining up in favor of Marlowe as well. There are only a few gripes. moonshine w. deducts a star because "it can be reaaaaaally lound and u cant hear wut ur friend is saying even tho shes only a fist away :o" There are also a few complaints about high prices and some mediocre food experiences. M S. for example, thought, "The mains were ok. My friend ordered the Poulet vert (herb raosted chicken) which was good but nothing special. I ordered the lamb mixed grill which was good, but for $24 I really did expect something better...One of the downsides I think is the menu price point. Marlowe isn't overly pricey by any means, but I think it may be a bit high for their food." [Yelp]

The Twitter News: From the Twittersphere, comes a deluge of burger tweets and a few other comments. Dave King, @gastromania, isn't raving like the rest of them "Marlowe: good not great, but an improvement on South for sure. Had brussel sprouts, asparg soup, marrow, little gems, poulet vert, black cod." And @arielk has even stronger negative feelings, "@RobertWD I know it's late coming, but can I say that I hated the brussel sprouts at Marlowe? The overpowering saltiness made them inedible." But then @mralski liked the cod enough to post a picture. "Black cod @Marlowe ...yummm" and there are scores of upbeat tweets about the burger, like this one from @RealDealio, "had the Marlowe charbroiled was all that and then some...great fries too...good side dishes as well...nice decor..I'm going back." [Twitter]
[Photo: Zoom Photography]


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