Marlow’s Tavern In Winter Park Debuts New Fall Menu
Marlow’s Tavern is the latest gathering spot for Winter Park professionals. Located right near the corner of Orlando Avenue and Orange Avenue, the chic setting, creative cocktails, and upscale yet relaxed ambiance makes it happy hour central, and they have happy hour every night of the week! Open since Summer 2013, Marlow’s has quickly gained a reputation among locals, and they often have long lines to get seated, especially on weekends. The covered indoor/outdoor patio bar is a very cool hangout and the perfect place to wind down after a hard day’s work.
Marlow’s invited members of the Central Florida Lady Bloggers to sample some of their signature menu items, and to preview their new fall menu launching this week. We started with cocktails, and the crowd favorite was the Blueberry Buck, made with Hangar One Blueberry, fresh lime, simple syrup, Barritt’s Ginger Beer and shaved nutmeg. It was strong, yet refreshing, but I would have preferred it with fresh blueberries to amp up the flavor a bit. The cocktail I enjoyed the most was the Gin Job. It combined Hendricks, fresh cucumber, basil syrup, fresh lemons and limes with a splash of tonic. We found out later that Marlow’s is discontinuing this drink from the menu, but that they will have the ingredients and can make it upon request at any time.
We enjoyed samples of some Marlow’s classics, including their addictive tempura-battered asparagus fries, served with a tarragon and citrus aioli. These fries deserve their reputation as the best appetizer in town, and I love them, even though I’m not usually a big fan of asparagus. J.T.’s kettle chips are another Marlow’s favorite, and they are freshly made and served warm with gorgonzola cheese, bacon, tomato and scallions. I found the gorgonzola a bit overwhelming, though I enjoyed the chips themselves. The shrimp and crab nachos were actually more like flatbread triangles, and the rock shrimp and tender crab tasted wonderful.
The chef introduced us to two new fall appetizers: Sizzlin’ Feta and Beet, Quinoa & Goat Cheese. The feta was perfectly complemented by a roasted tomato salsa, basil pesto, and ciabatta crostini for dipping. Many of the Lady Bloggers raved about the gluten-free beet appetizer, with delicious heirloom red and golden beets served with goat cheese, baby arugula, and a lemonette dressing topped with quinoa.
The prime rib French dip sandwich was divine, with roast beef, swiss cheese, and caramelized onions served on a soft Cuban roll. My favorite dish of the night was Marlow’s signature shrimp and grits. The shrimp were so tender, bathed in a perfectly seasoned roasted tomato beurre blanc. Shrimp and grits can sometimes be too mushy and gruel-like, but Marlow’s serves the grits with white cheddar, toasted into a cake that is similar to Italian fried polenta. The texture and flavor of this dish made it the absolute best shrimp and grits I’ve ever tasted. I’ll definitely be back again to try the full size version. There is so much to explore in Marlow’s Tavern’s varied menu, and I’m so glad that I live nearby so I can stop by again soon for more!