Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Jul 20, 2010 12:47 PM

New Marben?

Has anyone been? Thinking about going this weekend.

488 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1E5, CA

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I just read the Toronto Star review by Amy Pataki in which she gave them a 3.5 out of 4 and was wondering the same thing. Anyone?

    I may give the Monday brunch a try. At least if disappointed, you can make up for it come dinner time.

    1. The Globe also gave them a favourable review. Am really interested in hearing some feedback in fellow hounds!

      4 Replies
      1. re: team_eater

        We had dinner at Marben recently.
        Nice space, and manageable Music.
        We very much enjoyed our Meal.
        DH had the Trout starter on a salad with white Beans and said that it was very good.
        I ordered the mushroom Starter which was excellent.
        Several types of Mushrooms with Miniature Spaetzle tiny crispy Croutons, bits of Parsley, which blended beautifully.
        One of the best dishes I have had in Toronto..
        For our Mains we shared the Duck Breast which was perfectly cooked, as well as the Roast Beef served quite rare (at our request).
        Perhaps we were lucky, but each dish was impressive and tasty.
        Competent and pleasant staff.
        I don't know exactly why, but the space and food remind me of the small Restaurants we like New York.
        I would return.

        488 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1E5, CA

        1. re: erly

          Thanks Erly for the heads up. Will definitely give it a try in the near future!

        2. re: team_eater

          My friend and I went for Monday brunch and we both had Michele's Benny, so I only tried that and the Pommes Kennedy, but I loved the benny. Our server was also very friendly and the complementary bread came with a nice strawberry jam. I wasn't sure what to expect when I went, I was bracing myself for it to be style over substance but I was impressed, I'd really like to go back and try out more menu items.

          The Pommes Kennedy we ordered seemed a bit strange to us, it wasn't what I thought it was going to be. They tasted good, just a bit awkward to eat. We took a photo of the Pommes Kennedy, they're like... french fry clusters?

          We ate on the patio so I'm not sure what it would be like inside. The patio is really lovely though. It's a moderate size so there's quite a few tables out there but you don't feel cramped. Streetside, but Wellington isn't busy so it's still pleasant. There's a small bar area next to the sidewalk and a canopy above it that extends over probably about half the patio so it wasn't too hot.

          Overall, I think our experience was pretty consistent with erly's so it looks like you'd be fine going there for brunch or dinner :)

          1. re: ggom1

            Funny, I just drove past this spot a couple of weeks ago and wondered about it.

            I'm digging the references to a New York vibe and I LOVE the idea of Monday brunch since weekend brunches are virtually non-existent for me these days. Did you try the Stumptown coffee?

        3. I recently fell in love with the burger at DBGB in NYC. I wished Toronto had a similar restaurant. So I was a little excited when I heard that Marben had a new chef who had worked for Daniel Boulud and that they had a great burger. I had the burger for brunch and it costs a whopping $17. The plate looks small and comes with fries and coleslaw. The burger is stuffed with braised beef but somehow the burger at DBGB, which was a regular patty, had stronger beef flavour. Texturally everything is soft with no ingredients adding contrast. I also found the burger to be too sweet for my liking which could come from the toppings and the brioche bun. Despite all these criticisms I would gladly run back and pay for another. What makes this burger so appealing is exactly what makes the DBGB burger, its richness. The braised beef adds richness to the patty and the ground beef around it is nice and pink. With the soft texture the whole thing appears to melt in your mouth. Despite such a rich, moist burger, it doesn't come across as heavy or greasy and you aren't left with a pool of juice on the plate. The accompanying fries were thin cut and crispy, the coleslaw was shaved razor thin, even the mayo for the fries was intensely flavoured.
          Everything else I tried was equally well executed. The side of corned beef is easily competing with the Black Hoof's beef tongue as the best deli in the city. It was warm, intensely flavoured, moist with ample fat and not at all greasy. All in all it felt like I was back in NYC and I look forward going back for dinner. If they manage to maintain this consistency, it will easily move up people's list as one of the better restaurants in the city.

          488 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1E5, CA

          The Black Hoof
          928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

          1. Might as well add my two cents!

            Went recently, liked the food. Too loud if you go later on a Friday night as they make the change-over to club. I sort of didn't realize this when I went. Looking to check it out on a quieter night, as the noise-level from the speakers was just too loud to enjoy a meal.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jlunar

              Yeah I think it gets a bit noisy anytime the place is full. I went for my birthday and we ordered an assortment of platters for our group of about 12 people. We were seated upstairs but the place was full on a Wednesday night and it was a touch loud (there was also a private party downstairs). But definitely no complaints about the food - we also ordered a couple extra mains (burgers!) and dessert (ice cream sandwiches!) to share - everyone enjoyed the meal. My friend ordered one of the fish mains and I was amazed by how well the fish was cooked; ultra-crispy skin and very moist flesh. Oddly, the Pommes Kennedy we had this time were totally different to the time I went for Monday brunch. This time they matched up to the description the Star (?) had - stacked layers of thinly sliced potato. Really good! Much better than what we received at brunch.

              Has anyone gone for the chef's table?

            2. I love this place and would recommend it to anyone looking for great seasonal food. They really show what you can do with local ingredients and their prices are very reasonable. Best new restaurant in Toronto for 2010.

              488 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1E5, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: shaZamm

                We ate at Marben about a month ago. The food was great. The atmosphere was just okay, though... The lighting was lousy, no candles on tables, very rustic. Felt like a pub even though the food was obviously much better than average pub fare. It also really bugged me that they didn't have a coat check.

                The service was well intentioned but didn't feel expert - had to keep asking for water etc, but the staff was really nice and you could tell they wanted you to enjoy yourself. Better than the indifferent, snooty service you get at so many places.

                If you are about great food this would be a great casual weeknight place, but I wouldn't recommend it for a big, special celebration.

                Didn't know they did brunch. Could be perfect...

                488 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1E5, CA