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.
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.