They hold hands as they enter through the small door, nearly running over the hipster hostess. Marco & Pepe is made up of uneven church pews, assorted seating, and a thin bar with a row of chatting patrons. The bright yellow of the awning peeks through the large front window. But they end up at a table by the side door— she on a wobbly pew, and he in a dark stiff chair. A skinny menu with specialty cocktails is left between them, listing drinks recalling summertime and vacation. The blue food menu is round but not very full with a range of starters, sandwiches, entrees and portions.
Their drinks come, pretty and festive, topped off with citrus and straws. Both the Dillinger and the Caribbean Cooler are tangy, fruity and fresh, just strong enough to loosen their tongues and let out giggles.
They want to keep it light—meant to be a snack, a simple outing, a delicious distraction. So just a kale salad and a lobster roll to share. It felt like a first date with a history of forever.
The kale salad is raw and fresh, with sweet yellow corn, round green peas, buttery avocado, and chunks of Manchego. It came alive with the tart sherry vinaigrette. Moments of fancy lettuce and fresh mint pervade each bite, transforming the earthy flavor profile.
Stringy, hot and salty french fries covered most of the circular wooden slab the lobster roll is served on. At the very corner is the lobster roll, overflowing with succulent lobster pieces dressed in flavored mayo and sprinkled with scallions. It’s fresh, meaty, and reminiscent of the warmth that has yet to come. Even the lightly toasted potato bread roll sticks to the roofs of their mouths and enhances the sweetness of the luxurious lobster.
The dessert menu tickles all kinds of fancies with an array of treats. The two decide to indulge in the sweet and savory lemon rosemary cheesecake, topped with a dark round of blackberry sorbet. The cheesecake is smooth and creamy, dotted with the aromatic herb, an innovative twist on the classic. Sweet and tangy, the sorbet brings out a floral note in the rosemary, resulting in utter awe and gastronomical delight.
They laugh over the fading daylight and the growing yellow orange glow of candlelight, while enjoying the enhanced comfort food. Marco & Pepe combines what they know and what they would like to know, a world of complex flavors with straightforward concepts and ingredients.