Wednesday, June 28, 2017 This Week's Paper

Marrow to land a spot in the heart of Tacoma

It’s the essence. The core. The nitty gritty.

In short, it’s Marrow: a new fine-dining experience that will make exotic foods accessible to the general public.

And it’s the first of its kind for Tacoma.

Top of Tacoma founders Jaime Kay and Jason Jones have teamed up with local chef Kyle Wnuk to create Marrow, a French-infused modern-American fine-dining experience and craft cocktail bar.

Taking over the location of the short-lived Beyond the Bridge Café at 2717 6th Ave. (before that, it was Il Fiasco, a local favorite for Italian foods and Wnuk’s starting point as sous chef), Marrow will be opening this summer, proving a comfortable and classy atmosphere that aims to bring a true fine-dining experience straight to the heart of Tacoma.

Marrow has its roots in lengthy “food-nerd” conversations between Wnuk and Jaime Kay since Wnuk wrapped up his culinary training five years ago.
Since then, Jaime Kay and husband Jason have operated the successful East Side destination bar – The Top of Tacoma Bar and Café – which has always held a strong focus on high-quality, whole foods that you don’t always get at the corner bar.

And you may recognize Wnuk’s name from the recent local media buzz about his work at Dirty Oscar’s Annex, a new bar that has also helped revolutionize the standards of your typical bar food.

“Kyle and I have been talking shop since before I had this place,” Jaime Kay said while sitting on the patio of the now three-and-a-half year old bar and café. “I’m a food nerd and he’s a chef. We’ve always shared the same tastes and concepts.”

The idea behind Marrow is to bring foods virtually absent in Tacoma into a comfortable atmosphere where people can dare to try new things.

“Our menu is going to be unlike anything Tacoma has ever seen,” Jaime Kay said.

How so? Well for starters, there will be a signature bone marrow dish for every season.

“Marrow” menu highlights include obscure meats such as pheasant, oxtail, wild boar, rabbit and ostrich.

The complimentary “Arrow” menu is fully vegetarian, offering equally inspired plant-based entrees that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere Tacoma.

“This is not your typical vegetarian fare. This is vegetarian fine dining,” Wnuk said.

The small plate format will allow customers to order several things and try new foods without having to commit to a full platter of wild boar their first time around.

“You can come in and share four to five small plates, and at the end you have a new favorite,” Jaime Kay said.

Marrow will also offer a full service craft cocktail bar, an extensive wine list, imported beers and local microbrews.

Food offerings will rotate seasonally, with the ultimate goal of serving fresh, local meats and produce. Wnuk assures he will not be cooking out of a freezer.

“When I got to Portland and Seattle, this is the type of food I seek out and it’s exciting. And no one is rocking it here in Tacoma,” Jaime Kay said. “We have some high-end restaurants with fancy comfort food, but we wanted a comfortable place with high-end food.”

And that is precisely what Tacomans can be looking forward to this summer.