Monday, June 2, 2008

The Mark: Olympia

Do you crave for Italian, Spanish, Basque Influenced Rustic Cuisine? Then the next time you are in Olympia check out The Mark. I dont even know how to describe what this food was about because it was perfectly simple, yet very flavorful and delicious. The simplicity of the dishes and the use of fresh, organic ingredients fired on their apple wood grill created a tasty dining experience. The space itself is also worth talking about because the wood interior was beautiful and rich. I felt like I was in a upscale wood paneled basement from the midwest.

I was in Oly to check out a tour date that some friends had in our states capital. I use to live in Olympic circa 97-99-and I am pretty sure I only went back one time since I packed up and moved to the 206. I really don't remember much about the restaurants back then because I was a student and I rarely went out to dinner. Anyway, this is a friend of a friends restaurant who was also on the party train down south--we arranged to have dinner prior to the show just to give you some context on how we made it to The Mark. Her friend was out of town but had arranged for us to get seated which we did and started in on the drink menu.

Drinking out of Seattle is a nice treat when well drinks set you back a cool 3 bucks all the time. We went with cuba libre. Hell yeah. rum and coke plus lime...very fancy.

I was really interested in trying a few things so we decided to share a starter salad. This salad was made up of mixed greens and a light vinegar/oil dressing topped with some breaded and toasted goat cheese. The fresh grilled bread was a nice addition to the salad. This salad was my first taste on how the rest of the items would be delivered simple yet full of flavor. When the salad was put down on the table you immediately smell the wood grill. I was very excited to get down on the cheese too.

We decided to share two entrees. The first being the italian turkey sausage and roasted potatoes with rosemary and garlic. The dish tasted very fresh, but the sausage was way too dry. Again, I was really enjoyed the simpleness of the plates because it truly allows you to taste the main elements not covering them up with sauces or salt.

We also shared the butternut squash ravioli. The pasta was perfectly cooked and filled with a very sweet squash topped with two big slices of butter. You really cant go wrong with butter and pasta. The fresh cheese our server added was also the missing salt element the dish needed.

We talked about dessert but at this point the richness of the food and the sugar from our drinks was starting to set in. While we were waiting for our bill we received a small plate of apple slices which ended up being exactly what we needed. How did they know??? The apple was crisp and refreshing...exactly what we needed before going to the bar down the street for some more drinks and music.

Menu is all fresh prepared in the moment. Menu contains vegetarian friendly food as well as items for wheat intolerant folks. Plates run $6-$24. Other things on the menu included a wide range of pasta dishes, steak, salmon, chicken and veggies. The cocktail menu is large and offers wine and standard as well as creative drinks.

I want to go back to this spot again and spend more time at the venue and meet the owner. The Mark is also a gallery space which features a rotating array of local and regional artwork...might be fun to go to an upcoming event--maybe I will go back down there sooner than 10yrs.

The Mark
407 SW Columbia
Reservations Recommended. 360-754-4414
Open Thur-Sat 5pm-2am (Dinner until 10pm)
Private Hire Mon-Wed (oh boy!)


ndrwmtsn said...

looks great!

TekkaDon Juan said...

i LOVELOVELOVE that they brought apple slices, however, why aren't they cored??? that seems retarded to me.

other than that, sounds interesting. i'm not sure i'll ever be in olympia in the next few years, but if i am, the mark sounds like a nice spot to try.

one pet peeve of mine is candy-sweet butternut squash filling. i loooooooooove squashes of all varieties, but please, it's sweet to begin with!!

ndrwmtsn said...

i LOVELOVELOVE that they brought apple slices, however, why aren't they cored???

wow you feel that strongly?

Suge White said...

that sausage dish is revolting and looks like a sea anemone

TekkaDon Juan said...

i do feel that strongly. where have you gone that they bring you complimentary apples as a palate cleanser that costs $6-$20 a plate? uh, nowhere. it's a lovely, thoughtful touch. also, apples are nature's toothbrush!

but not cored? this is a luxe-interiored restaurant, not halftime at your nephew's soccer game.