I Ate at the Gayborhood’s Newest Restaurant, Bud and Marilyn’s, Last Night
Let’s get all of the obvious things out of the way: Yes, I know Bud and Marilyn’s isn’t a gay bar. Yes, it was totally worth the wait for it to open. Yes, it is as good, if not better, than some of the other establishments by the famed lesbian restauranteurs Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran. And, yes, you need to go there…like, now.
I had high hopes for Bud and Marilyn’s, and I wasn’t disappointed. Positioned right smack in the middle of the Gayborhood, right at the intersection of the rainbow crosswalks, the restaurant is, by far, much more casual, much more fun, than some of the other Valerie and Marcie establishments (Barbuzzo, Little Nonna’s), yet still packed a total punch. Think of it as a much, much, much better version of Stephen Star’s Jones Restaurant, but more grown-up, and more refined. Everything is dark, cozy, almost like your grandparents’ home: There’s several counters where guests can sit and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat, and the former Bump space (remember that?) has converted nicely into a totally comfy restaurant.
My friend and I started off with a drink called the Lakeside, a blend of vodka, mint, lime, and violet, and enjoyed two starters: fried cheese curds (do I even need to describe this?) and something called warm skillet bread, which can best be described as pressed bread with potato, onion, corn, and butter. Honestly, how bad could that be, right? It was crazy good.
For our main courses, my friend had a huge helping of rotisserie chicken, while I enjoyed some amazing corn ravioli. My friend casually leaked to our waitress that it was my birthday this past weekend, and out of nowhere, Valerie herself came out with a huge slice of homemade confetti cake with a gold candle and a fortune cookie on top of it. Embarrassing, yes, but at least no one sang “Happy Birthday.” My friend got a killer peanut butter and jelly cheesecake, which was delicious.
I’m often asked how I feel about “non-gay” places opening in the Gayborhood. To me, that’s something of a laughable question: I feel like we’ve moved beyond the notion to have to label everything accordingly, and I’m more than happy to have places like Bud and Marilyn’s (along with the rest of 13th Street, for crying out loud) to open up in the ‘hood. I can totally see the place being packed with hungry folks before they hit up some bars, and I only hope some sort of Sunday brunch might be in the works (please?). In short, this new restaurant is the pot of gold at the end of those rainbow crosswalks.