Belltown’s Hidden Gem
A private back patio right in the midst of bustling Belltown was all the allure I needed to give Marco’s Supperclub a try. This small restaurant is right in the thick of things on the corner of 1st and Wall, just a block south of my go-to favorite Black Bottle. However, when my mom and I visited on Tuesday night, we were the only diners in the place.
Marco himself greeted us and led the way to the sunlit patio. Bright vinyl tablecloths and a tangle of vines and potted plants charmed me immediately. On a warm evening, this little sanctuary could have convinced me I’d left the city entirely, if not for the occasion jolt of honking car horns. So why was this place empty?
It wasn’t due to bad food, that’s for sure. Or drinks for that matter. My freshly made mojito was one of the best I’ve had. Marco served us from a basket of assorted fresh breads and poured us the necessary oil and vinegar for dipping. I believe it was his wife who served us the rest of our meal. She was friendly, but I think her enthusiasm was too understated for the hesitant diner. When my mom asked about the Duck Confit Salad, we both thought she said she didn’t like it! “Excuse me?” Oh, good, she said she really likes it. Glad we got that straightened out since my mom went ahead and ordered it…then devoured it.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. We started our meal with the potato and goat cheese stuffed pierogi, which were deliciously buttery, crispy and topped with strips of fried sage. For my main meal, I ordered the Jamaican Jerk Chicken served with roasted yams and sauteed Swiss chard. Lots of spice, but not spicy, the yams soft and sweet, and the greens tangy and vibrant. My mom’s “salad” was a lovely pile of baby spinach topped with an ENTIRE leg of duck confit. Talk about generous portions! The skin was divinely crunchy and Mom picked every last bit of meat off the bone…I think she liked it! We were too full to try dessert, but the menu had tempting tirimisu, homemade cookies with ice cream, and apricot mousse.
My guess for why this place was so quiet? Compared to its bold and modern neighbors, it’s difficult to tell what Marco’s Supperclub is about from the outside. The facade is low, the interior is dark, and the exterior may be a little too funky for the urban crowd of Belltown. The term “supperclub” gave me some confusion the first time I passed by. I had to linger long enough the read the “everyone welcome” sign, which is something a busy (and hungry) Seattleite might not take the time to do. For these reasons, I’m afraid Marco’s is getting overlooked. It’s a shame, too, since I think we all need a friendly hideaway and Marco’s has a prime piece of heaven in that back patio.