Mondays at Bar Marco are known as No Menu Mondays.
The rather vague definition of No Menu Mondays:
Every Monday from 5pm- 11pm, Bar Marco teams with local chefs, serving cocktails catering to your likes and dislikes, and different food each week.
Between the lines, one might read:
No Menu Monday gets you off your ass, gets you mingling, gets you sippin’ something fancy and eating something delectable instead of wallowing in a case of the Mondays. This is not only beneficial to your social life, but it’s also economically beneficial for what might otherwise be an empty bar.
If you ask to see a cocktail list, your beautiful wine connoissuer will tell you, “there is no menu.” There literally is no menu. You have to use your words, and your bartenders extraordinaire have to use their palates, skills and talents. You might say “bourbon” and “summer” (these are common themes in my drinking vernacular), and your talented bartenders will deliver said experience.
Bar Marco is all about community, and No Menu Mondays feed into their spirit of citywide support. Many a Monday features a chef from another restaurant or a startup establishment, in an effort to strengthen the ties of the cooking community. However, every now and then, the kitchen plays host to nonprofiteers and volunteers. The kitchen crew keeps the food proceeds, Bar Marco keeps the bar tabs, and we diners feel a little bit better about our dining habits.
Exhibit A for Assemble:
You know Nina. EVERYONE knows Nina. She is the tireless, life-force behind Assemble and nearly 1.2 million other community efforts. What you might not know about Nina is that she knows her way around a kitchen. The girl can cook! Hence she and her crew took over the Bar Marco kitchen on a Monday in August, and all proceeds will support Assemble’s long list of outreach activities.
Founded in 2011, Assemble is a non-profit, which envisions a diverse community that creates, connects, and learns through the experience of art and technology. From its urban location, it unites artists, technologists, and makers with neighbors of all demographics. Assemble provides a platform for experiential learning, opening creative processes and building confidence through making.
Since Assemble is all about educating kids, the meal was splattered with school-lunch inspired offerings, including rainbow carrots and a deconstructed PB&J. The latter featured various, homemade nutbutters, a homemade strawberry jam and crostini. This should be a menu staple somewhere in this city because it was delicious and nostalgic. Maybe next time Nina can make a gourmet lunchable?!? Imagine that!
The fullest I have ever been IN MY LIFE was after the Easter lunch Nina’s mom prepared. I took a long, afternoon nap and still woke up full. In my exaggerated, delirious, food-coma state, I thought I might die from fullness. Die! Having lived to tell, I couldn’t resist Nina’s mom’s lasagna, which had made its way to the Bar Marco table. A hush fell over my dining companions, as we savored the sweet, tomato sauce and large shavings of salty cheese. The same was true of the grilled cheese and tomato soup bread bowl. Talking was irrelevant.
How to conclude a kid-inspired dinner? With s’mores of course!
If concluding a kid-inspired meal, you might as well destroy that s’more like a kid would…
Are you kicking yourself for missing this meal? Fret not. I have a feeling Nina and her crew will take over the kitchen again, but in the meantime, you might consider finding other ways to support Assemble, so all those Assemblers can continue their volunteer labors of love.