From the food truck business to a brick and mortar in Downtown Buffalo, Marble + Rye is doing its part to elevate the food scene along the reawakening Genesee Gateway. For years, this 112 Genesee Street building sat idly by, as various revitalization projects unfolded around it.
Finally, the owners of Black Market Food Truck (BMFT – see story here) decided that it was time to plant some roots, and thankfully they did, because the restaurant is gorgeous, and customers are flocking to try out the drinks and the food.
Last evening I stopped in for the first time to take a look around. Right off the bat, these guys nailed it with the atmospheric lighting, making for a very welcoming and comfortable visit. It was dusk, and the restaurant was full – the two-tops in the front, the bar stools, and the back dining area. My friend, who is in the restaurant business, immediately pointed out the benefits of the two-top seating in the front, as it makes it easier to mix and match tables in order to accommodate different sized parties. There’s no reason for two people to sit at a four-top. It’s a waste of space, and a waste of money. It’s easier to marry tables. Smart move.
Once again, the lighting at Marble + Rye is perfect. From the candles flickering on the brick walls, to the many lit orbs that hang throughout the restaurant, the atmosphere is calm and relaxing. The orbs also mimic the logo design on the front window. The lack of spotlights made the lit backbar and under-bar pop. The red cap at the end of the HVAC system is very clever, although there is never such a thing as attractive HVAC.
I was also struck by the bizarre terrariums that hung on the brick wall. All of the little design accents speaks to the owners’ attention to detail. The real kicker was the liquor locker storage unit called The Bottle Keep. Customers are allowed to lease a locker space for their coveted whiskeys, Bourbons, etc. Locker owners are part of “an exclusive whiskey program”, and are handed a VIP card that comes with a number of spirit-related perks. Heck, it’s been done with wine and cigars, why not liquor? This program may be new to Buffalo, but it’s trendy in some other cities.
Marble + Rye owners Mike Dimmer and Christian Willmott have done a great job of making the best use of the space. Even though there were a lot of customers, it never seemed crowded. The bar is far enough from the seating areas to not interfere with the tables or the service.
While we were not there to necessarily eat last night, one look at the paired down menu and we were hooked. There are some very interesting selections, and thankfully the chefs were able to prove their mettle without presenting customers with an overload of choices. After trying three appetizers, our hands down favorite was the English Peas (pork fat/pecorino). After that, the Heirloom Tomato (peppermint/marigold) struck a chord with us. The Pickled Onion Rings (green garlic aioli) were pretty good too, but nothing to write home about. I hear great things about the Egg Burger, and will have to try that next time.
Marble + Rye is another fantastic addition to the downtown Buffalo food scene. The place is impeccable, the food is original and delightful (BMFT has a strong following), and from the street, the exterior is a home run.