Photo by Ryan Lowry
"Approachable sophistication ... that's how I'd describe Marrow," said Jaime Kay Jones, who co-owns the Tacoma eatery with her husband, Jason, and the man behind the food, Chef Kyle Wnuk. "The art is in the glass and on the plate."
Marrow Kitchen • Bar, located in the middle of the bustling 6th Avenue district, is closing in on its first anniversary since seating their first guests last August.
"We want everyone to enjoy his or her time here," said Jones of the intimate 50-seat venue. "We never want to rush anyone."
To that end, you may have to wait for a table to open up at Marrow; however, at worst, Jones said that could mean 40 minutes and diners can choose to hang at the bar inside or walk down 6th to a neighboring bar, and have the staff at Marrow call you when a table is ready.
Likewise, that is why the establishment is strictly open for dinner; a rushed lunchtime meal could not afford diners that same decadence or allow for the kitchen to cook everything to order - about which Wnuk is emphatic.
"We wanted to set trends here in our hometown," explained Wnuk, who graduated from the Seattle Culinary Academy in 2008. "I'm a Tacoma guy, not Seattle. Marrow is our chance to be a leader - not a follower - in this industry."
Marrow recently unveiled its fourth menu in the 10 months since it opened. Both the food and bar menus are focused on seasonal, local ingredients and are built to pair well together. For instance, with the approaching warmer weather, citrus-based ingredients will appear more and heavier dishes will be diminished until winter.
The current menu features mouth-watering starters like the salmon belly tartare, served with a wonton, dill cream cheese and fish roe, as well as chicken-fried veal sweetbreads.
Diners can also choose from the Arrow side of the house, which features more vegetarian, vegan and even gluten-free offerings. Of course mixing and matching from both menus is allowed, even encouraged, so starting with a stuffed artichoke in sundried tomato pesto and then moving onto the duck breast entree, served with cherry marmalade, ramp Yukon puree and haricot vert, is a great plan.
"We wanted to ensure that everyone can come in groups and that every person can eat a great meal," Jones explained.
While Marrow may no longer be a well-kept secret on the Tacoma dining scene, they do have a special offering that has been flying under the radar - the Chef's Tasting Menu on Wednesday nights. For just $25 per person, diners receive three off-the-menu courses, courtesy of Wnuk's whimsy.
"It lets us try out new dishes and cooking techniques," he said. "Usually its not even that crowded."
The spot also hosts happy hour, every day, from 4 to 6 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to midnight. During those times, micro drafts are $3, wines and specialty cocktails are $2 off and small plates are $2 off. As an added adventure, Wnuk offers the later set of happy hour goers a unique menu with more casual, street food ... for example, elk sausage with peppers on a homemade hoagie roll.
So, what's keeping you away?
Marrow Kitchen • Bar, 2717 6th Avenue, is open 4 p.m. - 2 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday. For questions or reservations (parties over six only), call (253) 267-5299.