Magazine article The New Yorker

MARLOW & SONS; Tables for Two

Magazine article The New Yorker

MARLOW & SONS; Tables for Two

Article excerpt

You can be annoyed by Marlow & Sons, if you're in a stickler's mood. The place a commissary/newsstand/tavern/oyster bar, and, most recently, restaurantis pure ironic-nostalgic pastiche. Sausages dangle from the ceiling as if to evoke turn-of-the-century Little Italy; the waiters wear butcher-style aprons, and sometimes mustaches, for a dose of Five Points. In the cabinet-of-curiosities mode so beloved these days by hip New Yorkers, the bathroom is filled with salvaged obscurities: a youth-brigade photograph, an old doctor's scale, and a candle stuck in a jam jar. The effect, heightened by the blue nimbus of the looming Williamsburg Bridge, is something like Ellis Island by way of Epcot. But the fact thatin addition to fresh baked goods (plum-nectarine galette, poppy-seed cake, pizza), whole milk, novelty toothbrushes, and a selection of vintage gumsthe storefront shop stocks Cosmopolitan assures us that the period pose is all in good fun.

Despite its hodgepodge leanings, when it comes to food, Marlow & Sons takes a purist stance. In a corner of the back dining room, an oyster shucker plies his trade with an alacrity that would have pleased Boss Tweed. …

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