Marshall Free House - Upscale Casual Dining RestaurantsFood ★★★★☆ Ambiance ★★★☆☆ Patio areaAmbiance ★★★★☆ dining areaService ★★★★☆ Creativity ★★★★★ Value ★★★★☆
meal for 2 $35 -45 plus drinks
Excellent beer list on tap plus full bar
******** Closed as of Sept 5 2016 *******
Will reopen as Farmer's Realm in early winter.
Marshall Free House Restaurant August 2016
I have been to Marshall Free House about 6 times now and in this the third review in this series. During the past visits, the food has been pretty good. Tonight, however, was a let down as the shrimp and grits was not up to their typical standards.
We started off with Marshall Free House's Sexy Hot Pocket. This was a puff pastry stuffed with beef tenderloin, country ham and mushrooms with a foie gras aioli. This dish was very tasty. The puff pastry was perfectly flaky and tender and the beef was falling apart tender. The salty country ham worked well with the beef and mushrooms and to top it off with a foie gras aioli pushed it over the edge.
For my main dish, I had Marshall Free House's Shrimp and Grits. This was shrimp and andouille in a tomato curry sauce over grits with crispy Onions. The grits were not creamy and only had the flavor of corn, no significant cheese or dairy notes were present. The grits were far from the creamy state and actually stood up on the plate with straight sidewalls. I don't mind having a little texture in my grits, this was just too dry. The tomato curry (as on the menu) tasted more like sweet canned stewed tomatos. I felt the concept of curried tomatos on grits sounded interesting, however the execution failed. The shrimp were good and fresh, but the dry grits and boring tomato sauce really brought this dish down. I have plenty of fantastic dishes here and this dish was a bit of a let- down.
Marshall Free House Restaurant March 2016
We had another chance to dine at Marshall Free House and try some more of their upscale pub food.
Tonight we sat in their patio section. We were originally seated in the inside dining area, but the table we were put at had a massively over wattage bulb over our table and we asked to be reseated. The restaurant was full inside, so the asked if we wanted to sit in the patio area. We were a bit apprehensive about sitting n the patio in March (a very warm night in March), but to our surprise, it was very warm due to the heaters and windows.
What is a bit strange is they have a very large bar area that is empty with large pub tables for 8 people and a smaller dining area that is full. The patio area also had very large tables which would be great for large parties. The patio area is OK, but it is lacking a bit in ambiance with large tables and about 3 or 4 large TVs.
Marshall Free House's Food
Tonight we started with the Bubbles and Squeak. Bubbles and Squeak is a traditional English dish made from vegetables and potato. That gets its name from the bubbles and squeaking sound during cooking. Marshall Free House's Bubble and Squeak was made from Potato and Cabbage and is breaded and fried. The Bubbles and Squeak were served with a sauce that tasted like creamy Italian with a bit of horseradish. Each patty was the size of a large hamburger and they are quite heavy and filling. This plate was enough for 6 people as an appetizer. Really too big. The Bubbles and Squeak were very crunchy on the outside and moist and creamy on the inside. Very well done and creative version of Bubbles and Squeak.
For our Main Courses, we had Marshall Free House's Boneless short ribs gently braised in a Boar Brown Beer, handmade truffled gnocchi and carrots.The short ribs were inconsistent as if they came from different batches. One was a bit undercooked while the rest were extremely tender. The sauce was fantastic. Rich and full of flavor. The Gnocchi was good with a slight mushroomy truffle flavor. Overall this dish was excellent and worth trying
We also had Marshall Free House's Shepard's Pie. Their Shepard's Pie had Lamb braised in a rich sauce with vegetables, topped with whipped potatoes. This dish was ludicrously too big. The server said that it had 8 oz of meat and 8 oz of potato. I think they need a new scale. It was enough for a family of 4! It was, however, beautifully prepared and it had an impressive presentation. Good flavor.
Marshall Free House is a consistently good restaurant and it is really so much more than a Gastro Pub, which by the way if you like whiskey's you MUST visit just for the Whiskey Menu and Gastro Pub. There are very few Gastro pubs in the USA and we have one in Greensboro!
Marshall Free House Review from December 2015
I must state I had a hard time placing this restaurant in the Burger and Pub section of my menus. Yes, Marshall Free House is a pub. But it is so much more. It is pub food but served in a much more upscale environment and level. Marshall Free House advertises itself as an upscale casual UK Themed Gastropub. That description alone made me visit this restaurant!
Marshall Free House has plenty of signs typically seen in London such as the Underground signs. However, the waiters are all wearing Scottish Kilts. Is this a Scottish Pub or a British Pub? Yes, both are in the UK, but the Kilt is Scottish and the signs are London... Minor detail.
The Marshall Free House is associated with Pig Pounders Brewery that is about 1/4 mile away.
The decor inside and out is very pleasing. Lots of fine woodwork, fireplaces inside and out and an inviting whiskey bar. Well done decorations and other fine touches of British antiques. This is a clean modern pub that is very up to date. This is a truly a unique place.
The only negative from our visit was the service today started off on the wrong foot. We were seated and our waiter disappeared and was unseen for 15 minutes or so. We called over another who tracked him down. I don't know what caused this glitch, but after that small glitch the service was wonderful. Our waiter was attentive and gave accurate descriptions of the food and what he recommended and why.
The bar is a molecular Mixology Lab type bar that mixes science with your beverage of choice. So there will be plenty of VERY creative drinks such as whiskey mixed with liquid nitrogen and such. We did not try any of these beverages during this visit, but next time we will!
I must mention Marshall Free House has a VERY extensive whiskey menu. If you are a whiskey connoisseur, you must come. The beer menu is equally extensive with lots of British style ales.
The menu is a mixture of typical British Pub foods mixed with some very creative dishes. Marshall Free House's menu has plenty of interesting dishes that will excite everyone from bland diets to those who are more adventurous. The goal of the restaurant is to take common pub dishes and make everything more upscale. I felt they have done an excellent job in this. Marshall Free House does their best to purchase locally and try to be a farm to fork type of restaurant which explains the southern touch to many of the menu items. Nice touch!
Tonight I tried Marshall Free House's Braised Pork Cheeks served over grits with a rich brown gravy with a touch of anise and other herbs and a side of the daily vegetable which was sweet potatoes. I have never had Pork Cheeks before so I was very curious about this less traditional cut of pork. The pork cheeks were incredibly tender and to be honest, very un-pork like. It reminded me very much of beef short rib. The pork cheeks were full of flavor and extremely tender. The sweet potatoes were on the edge of being undercooked. A few pieces still had the raw potato crunch. Overall the dish was excellent.