Don’t tell anybody, but The Marq, this town’s much anticipated farm-to-table restaurant is finally open. It opened last week. It was a soft open. Very soft.
No balloons, no banners, no blaring TV and radio commercials, no huge display ads in the newspaper.
Just an “Open” sign. Come on in if you feel like…you know…eating or drinking something.
Word did get out among friends and foodies in Marquette, and on Friday and Saturday, the place was packed. The restaurant, in the former Rubaiyat location near the Children’s Museum, seats 62. They served 125 on Saturday.
Not bad for a restaurant that doesn’t even have a website yet. It does have a Facebook page, but as of Monday evening, there was still no indication that The Marq was open.
Of course, soft opens are designed to allow a new restaurant time to iron out the kinks before the crowds start clamoring to get inside. That may be tough here because there’s been plenty of publicity about The Marq in the past few months. Management has made a serious commitment to using mostly local produce, meat and fish. They’ve got a top flight-chef in Austin Fure. And they’ve created a unique space inside.
The food? It’ll change every few weeks, sometimes more frequently depending on the availability of the meat and produce. Among the Small Plate offerings are a beet salad with smoked labneh (huh??), preserved kumquat, curry granola and golden frill (huh??).
For the more conventional palate, there’s deep fried Wisconsin cheese curds with romesco and giardiniera.
Pasta? How about ricotta cavatelli with pork tomato ragu, lemon, pecorino and parsley?
Fish? You gotta have whitefish, of course, but in this case it comes with lemon hollandaise, hazelnut, roasted potato, grilled leek and dill.
Meat? There’s the braised beef short rib and carrot with rutabaga puree, kale and jus.
And you can finish your meal off with chocolate mousse with a hazelnut and Blackjacks Coconut Brown shortbread.
Yeah, this ain’t Denny’s. It’s a place for foodies. The Marq also welcomes anyone who wants to come in for drinks. The Lumberjack, consisting of bourbon and 5 spice simple syrup (whatever the hell that is), is said to be a favorite cocktail.
The guys who run this place are serious and ambitious but we’ve seen other culinary entrepreneurs fall by the wayside in recent years, even recent months. It’s a tough, competitive business. Filling tables midweek, especially in the winter, is nearly impossible in Marquette.
For now, The Marq is open from 5-10 pm Tuesday through Thursday, and 5-12 on Friday and Saturday. It’ll be open on Sundays after its grand opening sometime next month.
You can call for reservations at 906 273 2069. But seriously, you don’t have to eat there. Or at least don’t tell your friends about it. We’re trying to keep this hush-hush.
If you’re looking to fill up your car on the south side of Marquette, good luck. The Oasis gas station on US 41 is no longer selling gas.
The owner, Andy Ferns, says the disruption in gasoline supply is family-related. Something beyond his control. Not sure what that means.
So what next? Well, he and his wife could keep the gasoline equipment and lease the store to someone else, or they might remove the equipment and start selling beer and wine.
Bottom line: no gasoline for now. You’ll have to head west to Marquette or south to Harvey to fill up.
You got news? Click Here to email Brian.