Good to the bone and straight to The Marrow

Even though I’ll still only be a subway (or two) rides away from the West Village, these are the last few days that I’ll actually be a resident of the neighborhood where I’ve spent the last two eventful years. I’ve had some great times and some not so great times here, everything from career changes to heartbreak, to the many friends who’ve crashed on my couch to getting both locked out and locked in my apartment, to laughing to crying and to everything in between. As a final hurrah and farewell, I decided to have one last big meal out in the neighborhood (though I don’t doubt I’ll be back for more soon enough) at The Marrow, Harold Dieterle’s new restaurant.

Paying homage to both the German and Italian parts of his family, Harold Dieterle has another awesome restaurant on his hands (I’m a big Kin Shop fan) that instead of mixing the two cuisines, features them separately on the menu, like different branches of a family tree. Below, how my friend Stas and I celebrated my move across the East River with one more great meal in the West Village.

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Bone Marrow… c’mon, you know we had to

First out was the restaurant’s namesake, the bone marrow, from the Famiglia Chiarelli branch of the starters section. One giant bone halved and filled with a hearty mix of sea urchin, fried potatoes and meyer lemon aioli, with crunchy toast to spread it all on. The sea urchin was not what I was expecting, with a creamy consistency and sort of neutral flavor.

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Prosciutto wrapped dates

From the meat plates portion of the menu, we picked the dangerously tasty prosciutto wrapped dates with gorgonzola. Plump, tender and crazy flavorful, I could, no lie, throw back a dozen of these. Seriously, these guys could get me in a lot of trouble.

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Duck schnitzel

Moving on to main courses, we first picked from the Familie Dieterle branch and ordered the pan-friend duck schnitzel with a nutty spaetzle of hazelnuts and quark (a dairy product of sorts) with cucumbers and stewed wolfberries, which looked kind of like small red beans but tasted like sweet, cooked raisins. (I love beans and raisins so I was totally on board.)

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Stone Bass “Vitello tonnato”

Then crossing back over to the Italian side of the menu, we chose the sautéed stone bass with fingerling potatoes, cippolini onions, briny olives, a creamy tuna belly sauce and what turned out to be my favorite part of the dish, juicy, fried sweetbreads. Usually I feel just lukewarm about sweetbreads but these were tender and delicious, with a nice breaded coating.

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Chocolate budino

Finally, we were faced with a difficult decision: dessert. Everything sounded great, and while the waiter tried pretty hard to sell us on the ginger stout cake (he said it was far and away the most popular dessert), we were both in a chocolate mood and went with the budino with hazelnut brittle and mascarpone. Chocolate pudding can do no wrong in my eyes and this one, with it’s dense creaminess, was just about perfect. This is in no way a complaint, but the thing to note about this dessert is that it’s a pretty hearty serving of chocolate. The two of us, ardent chocoholics, split this and felt pretty satisfied with the amount we each got. (No fighting necessary.)

Like so many other meals I’ve had in the West Village, I walked out happy and stuffed. Which is basically how I’ll be leaving the West Village in general, happy and stuffed full of memories. Brooklyn, here I come.

Getting figgy with it

The Figgy Elvis. Thank you Murray's. Thank you very much.

It was my day off, and with temperatures outside sizzling in the upper 90s, my only plan for the day was to hang out in my PJs in the comfort of my apartment, AC blasting, music blaring, no plans of venturing into the outside world.

It was a damn fine plan too, until I checked Twitter. That’s when I read a Tweet from Murray’s Cheese Shop advertising their special melt of the day, the Figgy Elvis. As I read the ingredients, my thinking went a little like this:

Crunchy peanut butter (yumm), bacon (double yum), mascarpone (oh heck yea, now we’re talking), and fig spread (that’s it, SOLD). Alright, where are my shoes?

I threw some clothes on and bolted out the door and down Bleecker Street to Murray’s, which thankfully is only about a 10-minute walk away. After popping in, ordering and then beelining back, I was once again home, this time in the sweet company of my new lunch, the Figgy Elvis.

It might not be pretty, but it sure made up for it in deliciousness.

Now, I’ve had sandwiches that combine peanut butter and bacon before, but this was nothing like that. Instead of being a dry, tongue-sticking-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth jumble, the Figgy Elvis was creamy and smooth thanks to the velvety softness of the fluffy mascarpone cheese. The fig jam, rich and fruity, was the perfect amount of smooth and sweet to play off the salty crunch of the perfectly cooked bacon (perfect bacon, in my book, is crispy, not chewy).

I love every ingredient in this sandwich but it’s not every day that I eat them all together. But the Figgy Elvis?  I could eat that one every single day it was so good, even on my days off when I want to just hole up in my apartment.