This Saturday, my lovely parents and younger sister, Sheridan, came to visit. After spending the day hanging out at Faneuil Hall and shopping our butts off, we took a detour to the apartment for a few quick rounds of Bananagrams and then we were off to Marliave’s! I have yet to pin down whether it’s actually called Marliave’s or just “The Marliave,” but either way anyone who calls themselves a Bostonian should know what I’m talking about. This place is the fourth oldest restaurant in Boston, and it seems to only have gotten better with age. When my parents asked me to pick the restaurant for the evening, I deliberated for only a few minutes before deciding on this Megan and Gabby favorite.
The last two times that Megan and I went to Marliave’s we sat upstairs, but this time we sat on the first floor. It certainly was louder, which Megan noted, but not too loud. As my father likes to say, “I enjoy the bustle.” The bar was full all night, as were the booths, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. The walls are covered with newspaper clippings and blurbs from ye days of old when the place was busted for selling moonshine during prohibition, and the room is decorated in classy black and white. It’s simple, but I am a woman of simple needs and this restaurant caters perfectly to those of us who appreciate easy elegance with just the slightest hint of kitsch.
I didn’t catch the waiter’s name, but he was very nice. Attentive, but not overbearing, and clearly had been working there for a long time. He seemed to know everything there was to know about the menu, as well as the restaurant, and took our orders quickly and with a smile. While I can’t say that I mind chatting up the occasional pretty waitress, I appreciate a man who is excellent at his job and never hovers or pressures you to hurry up. We were also seated immediately, despite being only partially present (the parents got lost in a cab – woops).
Megan and I have never had a bad experience at Marliave’s for date night, but as I suspected it was great for family time too! Sheridan is twelve and I knew the macaroni and cheese would be a big hit. It’s an appetizer, but it was a nice portion and despite the sprinkling of black truffles and fat, penne-looking noodles (I’m sure they have an actual name…), it was still delicious pasta dripping with cheese. What twelve year old could complain about that? Dad seemed to enjoy his trout and my mom, Megan, and I each got a different steak entree. Beef wellington is a dish I have had only three times, all three of which occurred at Marliave’s, and each time was more delicious than the last. Who knew steak medium-rare covered in pastry could be so delicious? I am nothing if not consistent. Megan got the steak frites, which she ate all of (although Sheridan and I helped her out with the frites), and my mother got the sirloin, which she claimed was also delicious. We finished it all off with their “melting” lava cake. I use quotes because it wasn’t exactly melting, but it was amazing and full of chocolate-y goodness!
Marliave’s has a menu of classic cocktails from back in the day, before Prohibition scoured the land. It was hard to pick just one, and I was limited by my distaste for gin. Apparently the ladies and gents of the earlier 20th century loved them some gin, but I eventually settled on a tequila-based cocktail. Can’t go wrong with tequila. Even though my beautiful girlfriend is too young to drink, that doesn’t stop her from sipping sneakily on my cocktails and she agreed that “The Dove” was very good. Strong, yet sweet. It tasted like a margarita without the salt, which I was surprised to find that I did not miss. I had two. My dad got my second choice, “The Professor,” which consisted of Maker’s Mark whiskey and red wine, and a few other fancy sounding ingredients. I thought it was delicious, but my dad insisted that a classic Manhattan is better. He ordered one later and I would have to agree, but that may just be a matter of taste.
Prices were not low, but they weren’t outrageous either and the extra couple of bucks is totally worth it. Despite my boring consistency when it comes to ordering at Marliave’s, Megan has tried something new each time and she has never been disappointed. The classy old school cocktails are $11 each, the average entree is around $30, and the desserts are all about $9 or $10. Since there were so many of us the price tag was a little high, but like I said, it’s definitely worth it. If you’re looking for a nice night out on the town, a couple drinks, or maybe even a special family dinner, then this is a great place. Not too snobby, but still classy and absolutely delicious.
Price Classification: Blow-Half-Your-Paycheck Swanky
A definite 10 out of 10! One of our favorite places we’ve experienced in Boston during our two and a half years as residents.
Marliave, 10 Bosworth St, Boston