The Marigold Kitchen, formerly known as the Marigold Dining Room, has been around in some form or another for 70 years now, tucked away on 45th and Larchwood, but it may have finally hit the bigtime with its newest incarnation.
Reopened as a BYO after a 10-month hiatus just a month ago under chef/owner Steven Cook, a veteran of Twenty Manning and Salt and a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, the Marigold Kitchen now serves regional American food cooked in a traditional French style, in an ever-changing menu relying on seasonal ingredients and artful presentations.
A duck breast and rillette terrine ($9) came with delicate, just barely vinegary pickled chanterelle mushrooms and a sweet, flavorful red onion marmalade. The terrine itself may take some getting used to -- rillette, a spread made of duck and pork, is a unique flavor and texture, and the duck breast was very rare -- but the adventurous will like the dish. A baby romaine salad with white anchovies, manchego cheese and a four-minute egg ($7) really encompasses the same flavors as a caesar salad, but is much more than that -- the flavor of the white anchovies is far subtler than the typical anchovy, and the four-minute egg is a different touch, its yolk still just runny when cut open. A parsnip soup ($6), served cold, was a little bland on its own, but the bacon creme fraiche served on top gave it just the right spicy notes.
Main courses were just as good as the appetizers -- soft, tender and flavorful braised veal cheeks ($17) came with a creamy soft polenta that matched well with the veal cheeks and swiss chard that was well prepared, if too bitter for the dish. Rainbow trout ($17) featured nicely moist flesh and crisp, flavorful skin. A grapefruit and piquillo pepper relish added good flavor, and the smoked potato puree that came alongside was delicious.
Desserts were beautifully prepared and presented. A mascarpone cheescake trifle ($6) came highly recommended, and deservedly so -- with pecans, cranberries and orange foam floating through it, it was a perfect mix of different flavors and textures. A white port-poached pear ($6) was delicious on its own, and even better when mixed with the pomegranate-ginger sorbet served alongside.
Marigold Kitchen is one of those new restaurants that come around all too infrequently, a place with few missteps and many successes, and if Cook can keep it up, he'll have a real winner on his hands.