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Bad Habits and Lovely Experiences {Marjorie}

January 2, 2011

I have a terrible habit. I eaves drop. I don’t do it on purpose and I try hard to tune out other people’s conversations in public, but I just can’t. I spent too many years in retail learning the art (read: curse) of carrying on one conversation while observing and listening to those around me. It drives B crazy. He never eaves drops.

We decided to have our New Years Eve dinner at Marjorie. Now that Book Bindery is open, we have to split our repeat restaurant time between these two favorites. The two are so vastly different, but we love them both and always leave both places in a better mood than when we arrived. Even though both seat about the same number of guests, the Book Bindery space is larger and each table feels more private. It’s relatively easy to exist in your own space without intrusion from fellow diners. It’s quiet, dark, comfortable and a bit reserved. The space and food alike are beautiful and calming.

Marjorie is community. Regardless of whether you know the people sitting next to you when you arrive, you’re bound to learn something about them just based on proximity. The colors are bright, there is a cheerful level of noise all around. The space, the people and the food radiate warmth.

Sitting in a cozy corner, we were surrounded by people unfamiliar with Marjorie. They expressed curiosities about whether they change their menu often, wondering how long they’d been open. They spoke with the careful caution of unfamiliar dining companions. They discussed politics, art and an absent friend’s poor choice in party clothes. So many conversations I couldn’t tune out, but Marjorie isn’t really a place you go to be alone. It’s where you go to be a part of the experience. Though it’s only been a few months at this location, I feel we’ve been visiting forever. The few familiar faces from the old location who we always look forward to seeing help, but it’s still amazing how at home and comfortable we feel there. And though I loved the old location dearly, aside from missing it’s close proximity to home for us, the new space has grown on me and I may love it even more.

I love our constant new restaurant experiences. With the exception of a few other major US cities, if (and hopefully when, to be honest) we finally leave Seattle, we’ll be hard pressed to find somewhere we can replicate the experience. Sometimes, though, what I really crave is comfort and familiarity where we know the best seat in the house and remember just what we loved last time.

As for the food, from Plantain Chips to Chocolate Tart, everything was beyond amazing as usual.

Oh, and a special thank you to Marjorie’s Ben Sherwood for indulging B’s vague and rambling request via Jarred for “the really good coffee drink” he crafted for him last time. Just like all Ben’s drinks, it was amazing. B thought so too.

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