Williamsburg-Marlow & Sons, or Diner
Are these two places separate or the same? I'm slightly confused after reading about them.
If they are different, what is the difference between them? Is one recommended over the other?
I read something about the menu being limited to beefburgers. Do they have other tasty options?
If you're looking for a broader and more substantial dinner menu, go to Diner. While they have a standard menu of basics (burger and organic chicken) they always have a long list of specials, including fish, seafood, etc. I think Marlow and Sons does better with their small plates -- cheese plates, bruschetta, soups and salads. Their entrees have been hit-or-miss for me.
They have great oyster selections everytime i went for the happy hour specials at $1 a pop. Would end up staying and eating/drinnking more and racking up a large bill.
Its a shame they stopped the oyster happy hour. Hopefully they will see that it was a big attraction and bring it back.
Marlow i always left happy and the waitstaff is pretty good.
Diner on the other hand I have sworn never to go back again. Everytime Ive been service is extremely poor but, the food is good.
I have been to both recently. I found marlow more original although their menu is more limited. The atmosphere is better as is the service. If you like what is on their chalkboard and you can afford it I would eat their instead of at the diner. I did not like my meal there and it was also quite pricy.
Went to Marlow for the first time last night, and then on a whim (to continue drinking, and eating), hopped over to Diner (a first as well) to sit at the bar.
I have to gush over one particular dish: a marrow-bone toast with artisanal butter, accompanied by a watercress salad. The complexity and balance of this dish really nailed the experience: an almost overly-rich and tremendously unctuous toast balanced with precision by the salad, sharp with the aid of an acidic, anchovy-laced vinaigrette. It was a small bite, but honestly quite perfect.
In addition to this we had a roasted chestnut soup with shiitake mushrooms and bacon. It was lovely, but the bacon harmed it slightly with overpowering smokiness and chewiness.
After those dishes and some cocktails we skipped to Diner, where we had more cocktails (the Flower Pot, a gin-based drink, was superior in every way our to choices at Marlow), an order of french fries (a bit overcooked, but perfectly acceptable), and a wonderfully comforting bowl of grits with sauteed hen-of-the-woods mushrooms. The atmosphere at Diner was far more comfortable (Marlow was packed, and the setup there doesn't benefit from a full-house), and we were treated quite well by a skilled bartender (who made a mean Manhattan).
The egregiousness of this evening aside, the experience at these restaurants made it very easy to forget more-expensive options in Manhattan. Seriously — go get that toast.