Leave your frat bros at the door; the Marina is home to a sophisticated new restaurant from Big Night Restaurant Group. Last week, Cow Marlowe opened its doors across the street from the Balboa Cafe with the goal of bringing some glamour to a neighborhood known for its abundance of fresh-faced college grads and Lululemon leggings.
“It's a rare occurrence when a location this spectacular opens up," said James Nicholas, co-founder of the Big Night Restaurant Group. "The Balboa Cafe is where my grandfather, my father and I used to go all the time, and, I hope, my son will go eventually. The opportunity to put a new restaurant in that area was too good to be missed."
Like the group's other well-established restaurants (Marlowe, Leo’s Oyster Bar and The Cavalier among them) the new eatery was designed by the award-winning Ken Fulk design firm. The interior includes a few custom-made items like the wallpaper, which depicts cows, chickens and sheep in the countryside. Above the bar, a big taxidermy cow dominates the room.
“The inspiration for the wallpaper came from the ranch I grow up on,” adds Tiffany Kramer, lead designer on the project.
An array of different textures adds to the elegance of the new bar. The bar counters and communal table, for instance, are made from a rare and highly-sought-after Sodalite blue granite in cobalt blue with waves and specks of black and white. In the dining room, wooden tables are paired with leather banquettes and a collection of vintage Thonet-style chairs arranged over dark navy concrete flooring.
As for the food, executive chef Jennifer Piccino created a menu focused on bar bites, including some of the classic dishes you'd find on other Marlowe menus—like the crispy Brussels sprout chips with Meyer lemon and deviled eggs with aged provolone, pickled jalapeño and bacon. New offerings unique to Cow Marlowe include grilled, Furikake-seasoned green beans with smoked egg yolk, caviar, and truffle aioli and a late night menu (available from 11pm-1am) which features a series of fries inspired by all the Big Night restaurants menus— look out for Leo’s Fries with dynamite sauce, Park Tavern fries, with truffles, a soft boiled egg and caviar, and the Cow Marlowe fries with beef short rib, bacon, caesar dressing.
The bar program, designed by Mike Anders of Marianne’s and Leo’s Oyster Bar, combines a few of Marlowe's classic cocktails—like the intense and creamy Country Lawyer, with Four Roses barrel bourbon, Zucca amaro, doling blanc and benedictine and the lighter and refreshing Juicer with serrano-infused gin, lime, cilantro and cucumber. The menu also includes two exclusive new cocktails named after some of the most iconic places in the Marina: Under the "Marina Girls & Boys category" choose between the bitter and citrusy Lululemon Drop (Tito’s vodka, Acqua di Credo, lemon and thyme) and the refreshing but strong Brad & Chad with Avion Reposado tequila, gin and green chartreuse.
Cow Marlowe, 3154 Fillmore Street, is open for dinner Mon-Wed 5:30–10pm and Thur-Sat 5:30–11pm.