A historic restaurant in Downtown Crossing welcomes the addition of a European-inspired espresso bar today, where customers will be able to snack on breakfast treats and light lunch fare during the week. Café Marliave features a personalized approach to coffee at 51 Province St., from the same people behind upstairs neighbor Marliave.
Marliave is a hot spot for French and Italian cuisine and cozy dining, and this cafe addition will be no different. With daily pastry offerings including beignets, pain d'epices, lemon bread, and zeppole, plus panini and salads for lunch, Café Marliave takes on the traits owner Scott Herritt appreciated about cafes he visited in Florence, Milan, and Paris.
Herritt, who is also behind Grotto, recently closed his third place, Kitchen Restaurant, in the South End, telling Eater at the time that he planned to focus on the other things he had on his plate, including Café Marliave.
Nick Baughman will serve as head espresso master at the street-level cafe, which has a standing zinc counter inside, where customers can enjoy their beverages.
Café Marliave will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Here is a look at the full menu:
Update 6/1, 4 p.m.: Herritt told Eater he had been thinking about doing a cafe in the space for a while and almost started last year, but the brutal winter sidelined the project.
There was already a bar in the space, which they replaced with a zinc counter, and they partnered with Counter Culture to source coffee for the shop. Nick Baughman visited the company's local training center to learn the optimal way to brew coffee in preparation for taking charge of the cafe.
"Our goal is to make a nice coffee that is how the producers wanted the coffee to taste," Herritt said. "Sometimes you just want a good cup of coffee."
He said the area around Marliave has grown progressively more busy in the last few years, with greater foot traffic.
"I really hope they can get this pedestrian area really going down here again," he said. Herritt's hope is for Café Marliave to function as a neighborhood coffee house as European cafes do, where patrons can build a relationship with the barista and appreciate quality coffee.