Over the weekend, Bruce Naftaly quietly began serving takeout at his new restaurant at Chophouse Row. Never mind that the actual takeout window wasn't installed quite yet; customers who made their way to the trial run popped in for soups like celery root or roasted vegetable or a chicken broth with leeks and buckwheat noodles. Marmite served one sandwich, essentially a BLT, though in Bruce Naftaly's hands, a BLT means Canadian bacon with avocado and tomato confit—served, naturally, on a granary roll from Amandine, his wife Sara Naftaly's bakeshop next door.
Marmite—named for the French soup pot—certainly wasn't part of the plan when the Naftalys closed their revered fine dining restaurant Le Gourmand in 2012. But after Chop Shop's sudden closure this year, the esteemed chef stepped in to turn the space next to his wife's business into a casual, soup-focused restaurant, whose open kitchen will double as a place for Naftaly to teach his classes and sell stock to home cooks. There's even broth by the cup...just don't call it bone broth.
This week, he's serving five kinds of soup and a very few other items, just for takeout, from 11:30 to 4. After the new year, a proper sit-down lunch service and brunch and dinner will follow suit. Keep an eye on the Facebook page and Marmite's website for more updates. Spirit in the Bottle, the Naftalys' adjacent bar, is still a work in progress.