Marlow's Midtown is a Downtown Treasure

Seated in the front window of the downtown location of Marlow’s Tavern, we watched as commuters were heading home for the evening. Had it not been mid-Winter, the expansive windows would be open onto West Peachtree Street. Despite the name, Marlow’s is not your typical tavern. Yes, there are televisions featuring local sports teams playing in the sprawling bar area, yet the restaurant itself is far more upscale as is the menu with it’s turned up variations on old pub standards.

Our hosts for the evening decided to tempt us with dishes from their extensive seasonal appetizer menu beginning with their signature Wild Mushroom Toast made with seared shiitake, oyster and button mushrooms and sautéed shallots in a brandy cream infused with thyme served atop lightly charred ciabatta and drizzled with a parsley oil. This dish is a knockout and will bring me back again and again.

Next came crispy asparagus fries, lightly seasoned and battered, and served with a fantastic citrus aioli that I could have eaten without the fries and just a spoon, along with hand-cut truffled fries sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan that are the perfect representation of their name. Then we sampled the Shrimp & Crab Nachos, which were individually composed bites with rock shrimp, crab, and pepper-jack cheese on tortilla chips topped with fresh jalapeños.

Plates of kettle chips smothered with Gorgonzola cheese, chopped Roma tomatoes and scallions, and crispy bacon soon followed. These chips are completely over the top and surprisingly retain their crunchiness in spite of the creamy topping. The Hawaiian-style Ahi Tuna Tartare was served stacked with alternating layers of chopped avocados drizzled with a Teriyaki glaze and served with crispy wonton crackers. While the presentation of this dish was nice, this dish is probably better suited to a summer menu.

We tried all of the dessert options, the first of which was the milk chocolate-soaked Chocolate Cake served warm with a pecan & “Jack” syrup topped with vanilla ice cream. Although I am not a huge fan of chocolate, I have to admit this cake was superb! The Lemon Olive Oil Cake with vanilla syrup, candied orange peel and fresh grapefruit was moist and delicious, with the grapefruit lending an unexpected zing to contrast the cake’s sweetness. And last, but certainly not least was the Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée. As a bonafide crème brûlée connoisseur, I can assure you with certainty that Marlow’s is among the best I’ve eaten. Creamy and rich, but not cloying with a perfectly executed caramel crust:  bliss, sheer bliss!

Satiated and happy, we headed back to our cars to make our way homeward. As I was pulling out of the parking deck, I was pleasantly reminded that I would not have to pay a fee as the Midtown location has attached parking with FREE parking; a rarity in downtown Atlanta and just one more reason to go back.

While the food and beverage items we sampled were complimentary, I received no additional remuneration. The opinions included herein are honest and unsolicited.