Restaurateur Anna Weinberg has been “starving” in Cow Hollow while working to open her new restaurant in the neighborhood. “I’ve been living on Balboa Cafe fries,” she says, bemoaning the lack of other options. As of last night, there’s something new: Cow Marlowe, which opened at 3154 Fillmore Street a few days ahead of schedule.
When the notoriously debauched Eastside West closed last December, Weinberg and Big Night partner James Nicholas decided to pounce on the space.
“It occurred to me that so many people that were making bad decisions at Eastside West 10 years ago were still in the neighborhood,” Weinberg says, “but now they’re a bit older — some of them with strollers.”
Cow Marlowe, she hopes, will be the place for them: A more mature spot to dine out and cut loose. Last night, they were already at it, with bottles of Piper-Heidsieck bubbles donated to the whole room by socialite (and Weinberg pal) David Shimmon.
Cow Marlowe joins Big Night group siblings Marlowe (2010), Park Tavern (2011), the Cavalier (2013), Leo’s Oyster Bar (2016), and Marianne’s (2016). Like the rest, it’s dressed to impress by Ken Fulk’s design firm, which won Bon Appétit’s 2016 award for best-designed restaurant with Leo’s.
Senior designer Tiffany Kramer took the lead at 3154 Fillmore, and the results are custom brass lighting, retrofitted antique cabinets that serve as the host stand, and cobalt blue Sodalite granite for the bar counters and a communal table. Seating is at leather banquettes and Thonet-style chairs, and the floor is made from dark concrete strewn with red Persian-style rugs.
The bar and dining room are an elegant backdrop for Big Night executive chef Jennifer Puccio, who plays the restaurant group’s hits. She’s emphasizing an extended bar bites menu with popular items like crispy Brussels sprouts chips, warm deviled eggs (aged provolone, pickled jalapeño, and bacon) and a healthier take on the Park Tavern fries: grilled furikake green beans with smoked egg yolk, caviar, and truffle aioli.
Cow Marlowe chef de cuisine Steve Dustin (the Cavalier, Finn Town) will prepare Marlowe hits like a grilled Marin Sun Farms pork chop, poulet vert (the restaurant’s popular roast chicken dish) and Anson Mills polenta (with sautéed wild mushrooms, shaved parmesan, truffle salsa verde, and a poached egg). A late-night menu from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. unlocks the regular Park Tavern fries and more snacks, and dessert from Big Night pastry chef Emily Luchetti includes Key lime cheesecake, Guittard chocolate pudding, and an orange creamsicle sundae (bourbon and caramel soaked oranges, vanilla bean ice cream, orange sorbet and candied almonds).
Beyond beer and wine, Mike Anders of Marianne’s and Leo’s has a fresh Cow Marlowe cocktail menu. Drinks with Marina teasing names include the Lululemon Drop (Tito’s Vodka, Acqua di Cedro, lemon, and thyme) and the Brad & Chad (made with Avion Reposado Tequila, gin, and Green Chartreuse) — and are likely to be embraced by locals.
Cow Marlowe is open for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, and from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. The bar opens at 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and a late night menu is available Thursday to Saturday from 11 p.m. to 1 p.m.