There is no surer sign of summer in the city than the appearance of sidewalk seating. Wicker chairs, potted plants, decorative awning...it’s a pretty picture, and there’s no place more guilty of this aesthetic than the mediterranean farm-to-table restaurant Marlow Bistro.
Located on the Upper West Side, Marlow Bistro is the child of Chef Zivko Radojcic, a place for him to wheel out original and modern twists on classic mediterranean food. The menu, which changes depending on the available seasonal fare, includes fresh handcrafted pizzas, homemade pastas, and expertly mixed cocktails.
On my first visit to Marlow, I could only hope that the food would live up to the charm of the bistro, from the soft candlelight to the pretty potted plants. My expectations were more than surpassed, starting with the first course -- and artichoke salad with Jerusalem artichokes, goat cheese, and frisée; a bowl full of creamy, cheesy polenta, and the house bread: crispy focaccia paired with olive oil.
Having rarely had the chance to try house made pasta, I went with the mint-ricotta tortellini with peas, spring garlic and lamb-shank ragout, while my friend chose the the gnocchi sardi, with ramps pesto, mushrooms, asparagus, and feta. Both were delicious, but even so, there were still so many more dishes I wish I could have had room for -- from the goat cheese ravioli with artichoke barigoule, olives, parsley and a sun-dried tomato, to a tartufata pizza laden with blueberry goat cheese, french beans, Parma prosciutto, and truffle oil.
But even if you’re stuffed beyond belief, is there’s one thing you must absolutely make room for at Marlow Bistro, it’s dessert. The restaurant in unique in that it boasts the full-time pastry chef Leidy Azcona, whose dedication to her craft is apparent in each of her delicate, visually stunning dishes. While I only managed room for a chocolate espresso mousse paired with hazelnut ice cream, there are many, many more options to satisfy even the most picky of sweet tooths.