Kin Shop and Perilla chef Harold Dieterle's* new German/Italian, meat-centric neighborhood restaurant The Marrow opened at the end of December. We caught up with the chef and with his beverage director, Jill Roberts.
*Are we finally allowed to stop introducing him as "Top Chef Season 1 winner Harold Dieterle"?
"The customer response to our wine program has been great," says Roberts, a veteran of the beverage world who before The Marrow, was the wine director at The Harrison (where she worked with then-Sous Chef Dieterle) and The Modern. She rejoined Dieterle at The Marrow after a three year stint at Möet Hennesy.
"We're doing about 60% German and Austrian wines, so the list might be a little unfamiliar to our diners." The remainder of the list is made up of a mix of mostly Italian and American bottles, chosen to be "food friendly, accessible, and fruit forward." Every category of wine has several bottles under $50, with some as low as $28 on the menu. "I had no idea the Germans and Austrians would be so popular. There's been a real 'when in Rome' attitude, which is great. They trust us and want something that fits with the German-Italian theme of the restaurant."
"I didn't sell my first bottle of American wine until two weeks after opening," she adds. "It was a Pinot Noir, of course."
Cocktails (all $12) are designed collaboratively by the restaurant team and stray into boozier territory; a refreshing change from the long cocktails and fizzy drinks served at Kin Shop. "Half our menu is either no ice or a big ice cube," says bartender Chris Van Hoy. "Strong drinks. I like that."
The short cocktail list is comprised for the most part of variations on classics—The Marrow 75 is a French 75 made with German gin, a Bank Robber is a straight up Boulevardier—with a few originals thrown in—an apple drink (the Miss Roberts' Cobbler) made with apple butter and cognac, and a tiki-ish Spritzle made with rum, demerara, and Rumple Minze.