Brunch is cheerful. It’s sociable. It’s exciting. It’s definitely a time of leisure so it’s no wonder that one of the busiest chefs in the world, with the most engaging and inviting personality, would opt for not just one day, but two days of brunch offerings at his hit restaurant Marcus at Baha Mar Fish+Chophouse.
A year after debuting his beautiful to behold namesake beachfront restaurant, Chef Marcus Samuelsson has unveiled Saturday and Sunday brunch at Marcus, an event that is an experience – live music, an incredible view, great hospitality and food.
The chef himself deems leisurely enjoyment of the brunch offerings as vital, especially after people have been kept apart for so long due to the pandemic.
“Brunch is one of those things where you invite your mommy back out, your aunty and you are social; you can sit for a couple of hours and celebrate. It does not have to be rush, rush and go back. And that’s why I think it’s one of the most important meals, because it’s festive, about coming back together and it’s fun.”
I was one of the lucky few that got the opportunity to enjoy an early preview of the Marcus brunch offerings while enjoying the delightful sounds of the Encore band as Samuelsson himself made the rounds.
While I understand some tweaks would take place in time for the official start this weekend, during the preview, what I found were offerings that combined the restaurant’s menu staples commingling with breakfast favorites.
Classic touches and the whimsical were offered in not one, but two tower offerings – the classic seafood tower (oysters, lobster tail, crab, and conch salad) which is juxtaposed against his brunch chicken tower (biscuit, red velvet waffles, crispy bird, conch croquettes, and bacon and eggs) – and is something that works for all generations. Both towers have a bit of everything.
Samuelsson describes the towers as fun for everyone.
The chef, who takes his fried chicken very seriously, pairs the bird with red velvet waffle with fried plantains and spicy hot honey. Yes, please! Topped with pickled veggies and drizzled with spicy honey, the dish ate savory, but its greatness becomes apparent once you get a bite of sweet plantain, which pulls it all together and makes the dish make sense. Then you can’t get enough.
I also opted for oysters from the raw menu with the passion fruit peri-peri, and hibiscus mignonette, which were out of the norm from my regular mignonette, and provided a nice change.
The paradise coconut tart, a refined version of the Bahamian staple dessert kissed with a sky juice ganache, benny praline and soursop sorbet, rounded out what was a wonderful, yet leisurely introduction to Marcus’ brunch.
I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest ordering the indulgent truffle mac and cheese, which is delicious in all its truffle funk goodness. (I do love truffles.) It will definitely win you over.
Among the starters featured on the brunch menu is Samuelsson’s signature corn bread, which is another must-have, conch croquettes with curry remoulade and pickles.
Besides the towers, the mains showcased include his fried chicken with passion fruit peri-peri; steak and eggs with crispy potato; French toast with sweet plantain compote; Marcus burger (signature short rib and brisket blend); chicken sandwich with escovitch, hot honey and garlic aioli; a sourdough toast with smoked jerk pork, eggs, and berbere hollandaise.
A strawberry shortcake with strawberry confit, sweet prosecco and basil syrup; cheesecake mousse lemon curd with raspberry coulis, and the popular Sunday AF (brioche donut, berbere peanut caramel corn strawberry sorbet, coconut sorbet, fudge sauce, chocolate sauce and Chantilly cream) are also featured to satisfy the sweet tooth.
Samuelsson describes his brunch as “special.” He says there aren’t many places that can offer beautiful sea views, music and food.
“We have live music, an incredible view, great hospitality and food. I am proud of the whole team.”
While Sunday is driven by gospel music, Saturday is a little more soulful pop, with enjoyable classic music. When enjoying brunch, Samuelsson encourages you to not just eat brunch, but take time to walk out onto the pier and take pictures and just enjoy.
“The experience is really around the social. The whole meal is built on take your time, even if you want to walk around the property. So, I think this is very special, and not a lot of places can offer the beach, local music and the food.”
Prior to brunch, Marcus at Baha Mar Fish+Chop House was already known as a celebration of the chef’s passion for exploring flavors – from Bahamian ingredients and local seafood to sharing his latest take on comfort food classics.
Chef Garrette Bowe, Marcus chef de cuisine, said the introduction of brunch is exciting for her.
“This is something we’ve been trying to get off the ground since last year when we opened, and seeing it come to fruition, I’m really excited about it. To get to this day is exciting,” said Bowe.