Say goodbye to the duck schnitzel with wolfberries. Harold Dieterle, the Long Island-native who won the first season of Bravo's Top Chef, and Alicia Nosenzo, his business partner, are closing The Marrow, the duo's German-Italian meatery in Manhattan's West Village. Tomorrow will be the last night of service to the public.
"We weren't hitting the numbers we needed to hit, so we decided to close it down," Dieterle tells Eater. "We found someone to buy the lease and the liquor license. It's obviously depressing and upsetting. We've gotten some great reviews, and we've gotten some okay reviews. We're proud of the staff and what they've produced there."
Steve Cuozzo of the New York Post was a fan, as was this critic, who awarded three stars in a review for Bloomberg News. "In a world where mediocre Manhattan spots like Bill’s and Arlington Club command top dollar for shoddy bovine products, The Marrow’s Wagyu culotte is perhaps most important for what it’s not: a rip-off," I wrote then.
But Pete Wells of The New York Times awarded just one star, as did New York Magazine's Adam Platt. "Too many dishes at the Marrow seem to work better in theory than they do on the plate," Platt wrote of the original bifurcated menu, which boasted separate columns for German or Italian-inspired dishes, a hat-tip to the traditions of Dieterle's own heritage and his wife's.
"Our branding message could've been a little muddled when we first opened. And it's just one of those things where I think it just wasn't the right concept in that space," says Dieterle.
Perilla, Dieterle's new American restaurant on Jones St., and Kin Shop, his critically acclaimed love letter to Thailand, are both "very healthy," Dieterle says. The 37-year-old chef has been able to find employment for most of the Marrow's 30 staff members at those two properties, which he runs with Nosenzo, or at other venues.
Dieterle says he's looking for a job for The Marrow's pastry chef, Jennifer Tafuri, while his deputy at the restaurant, executive sous-chef Steve Lopin, will be taking some time off.
But what about that famed duck schnitzel? Will Dieterle bring it back elsewhere? "I don't know. That might be reserved for the Dieterle household now. I'm not so sure I'm going to break that one out. I'm a huge duck guy. I'm very proud of the duck dishes I cook at Perilla and Kin Shop, so I don't know. There's going to be bittersweet feelings."