One of the loveliest dining rooms in town has a new occupant (and yes, the murals are still there). On Wednesday, June 11, Restaurant Marron officially opens in the Loveless Building at 806 E Roy. Keep an eye on Facebook for soft opening info.
Eric Sakai, Marron's chef and owner, tells curious passers by that the food is "modern French," layered with influences from his own culinary background. He has tempered his original plans for a 16-course tasting menu, at least for now. “At the end of the day this place is meant to be a neighborhood spot,” he says. “We never wanted to be a destination or just a special occasion place.”
Here, a handy primer on what you'll find at Restaurant Marron.
The Snapshot: After cooking at the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole, Hawaii's Diamond Head Grill, and San Francisco's Rubicon and Acquerello, Sakai and his wife Zarina moved here to open a restaurant that serves tasting menus without the usual fluff and circumstance of fine dining. Sakai is fond of saying you can eat here in shorts—he's a Hawaii native. They scouted locations for more than a year and scored a lease on the 1930 Tudor-style building most recently home to Olivar.
Eat: Course after course. Order the $98 “carte blanche” option and you’ll consume a parade of 8 to 10 items rather than Sakai's original dream of 16. He also added two- and three-course menus for $39. Once diners warm up to Marron, the chef is itching to add that grand tasting menu to the lineup. Sakai described a few sample dishes earlier this year; he's still excited about those dry-aged squabs.
Drink: Every menu has a beverage pairing option, heavy on wines and composed by Zarina Sakai. But the lineup of wines is quite flexible; order two or five-ounce pours, whole bottles, or carafes.
Sit: At a table made of reclaimed oak (linens speak of fine dining and higher prices) and admire the murals depicting Russian fairytales. Overall, the space looks much the same, if a little brighter, thanks to new lighting—a building this charming doesn’t need much adornment.
Bonus Intel: During his Acquarello days, Sakai cooked with a guy by the name of Nathan Lockwood. What ever happened to him? Oh, right—he now runs his own tasting menu-focused restaurant around the corner.
Regular hours will be 5-10 Wednesday through Saturday and 5-9 on Sundays.