Marlow's Tavern Opens at Pointe Orlando

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Marlow roomMarlow’s Tavern is now open at Pointe Orlando. Marlow’s is a “neighborhood pub” that has heretofore occupied only Georgia neighborhoods. The Pointe restaurant is the first outside that state and the company’s tenth.

I popped in for a media preview recently and found the space pleasant and cozy. It has a masculine feel, with exposed Chicago brick and dark woods. It reminded me of a smaller version of another tavern that was at Pointe Orlando many years ago: Dan Marino’s Town Tavern. Remember that one?

marlow metzThe menu is under the direction of cofounder John Metz, who looks a little like Alec Baldwin in a chef’s uniform. We sampled a number of items from the extensive menu, including several from the category labeled Start-Snack-Share. I liked the asparagus fries, lightly battered thin spears served in a paper cone. I think I’ve had enough of the truffled fries phenomenon, and can do without any more of those, thank you. But the hummus was nice, as was the shrimp and crab nacho plate, although it was more like a flatbread than a nacho. The J.T.’s Kettle Chips starter is more like a conventional nacho pile, but with potato chips instead of tortilla. The gorgonzola, bacon and chopped tomatoes were carefully interspersed among the chips rather than just dumped on top.

The burgers were most impressive. Big, thick patties on fresh buns with good-quality toppings. I sampled the black and blue burger, with gorgonzola and applewood smoked bacon (I get the blue part with the cheese but I’m not sure the bacon qualifies as black). I also tried the “everything and the kitchen sink” burger, which, thankfully, does not contain any porcelain or stainless steel. It did have bacon, caramelized onions and crispy onions, wild mushrooms, cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce and chipotle barbecue sauce. They were served with hand-cut fries, and I think they represented a good value at $11 and $12 respectively. marlow burger

Marlow’s Tavern is the first occupant of a space that has been empty since Pointe Orlando first opened in August of 1997, and all these years it has been cleverly disguised as...well, as nothing. The folks at Pointe Orlando use some clever techniques to make empty spaces look as though they’re part of neighboring businesses. It is directly across a fountained plaza from Funky Monkey, and recently was under consideration by FMI Restaurant Group to be a second location for Bananas Diner. (Those plans have been put on hold.) Former Darden executive Alan Palmieri is overseeing the Orlando Marlow’s and will also look to expand the brand throughout Central Florida.

Marlow’s Tavern is at Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Drive. It is open daily for lunch and dinner and is open until midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on weekends. Most items are under $10 or in the low teens. Nothing is priced over $19.50. Sadly, it does not participate in the complimentary valet parking program that several of the other restaurants do, but I think it’s worth it to pay for valet than put up with the Pointe’s self-parking garage. The bar is especially proud of its handcrafted cocktails, so give the list a once over. Here’s a link to The phone number is 407-351-3627.{jcomments on}