I read many mixed reviews of MARVIN before going there last night, but I have to say that mine will definitely be on the positive side!
We had a great dining experience!! -- The bustling late dinner crowd, very numerous and attentive wait staff (empty dishes immediately removed, always full glasses of water, asking just enough times how the meal was, etc.), and of course the unique and delicious food.
My friend ordered the popular steak frits (also our waiter's favorite dish), which came perfectly cooked to his liking (medium rare), with a small mesculin salad and light vinaigrette and with a separate overflowing cone of crunchy, hot golden brown French fries. Then you also get a side of yummy dipping sauces: traditional ketchup, a sweet curried mustard and wasabi mayo. These are worth the trip alone, and I couldn't get enough, haha.
I had the Marvin burger, which was juicy and huge (I only ate half) on a toasted onion Kaiser bun and included two strips of peppered bacon and sautéed mushrooms. Slathered with some wasabi mayo (or even without!), and I was in heaven! (It too came with a cone of hot French fries and my own tray of dipping sauces).
For dessert, I ordered the home made pear-caramel ice cream – which was good, but not great. First, I’m a chocolate lover and should have ordered something along those lines. Second, the dessert wasn’t very caramel-y, and I imagine that they just use it to really hold the ice cream together. It definitely leaned more toward the pear flavor, and sometimes even tasted a little too mealy for me. Next time, I think I’ll order the pistachio ice cream instead, and oh yes, there WILL be a next time!!
Overall, we LOVED our food and the atmosphere, however I could see how on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night it would get too loud, crowded and the wait too long. Definitely make reservations (They open for dinner only starting at 5:30 pm) and/or go on another week night.
A few downsides to add? No happy hour drink or food specials, no menu online (www.marvindc.com) and nothing too exciting in the bread basket – just plain old sliced French baguette (it would have been nice to see something like mini-Belgium waffle chips -since they feature chicken and waffles on the menu- or cornbread or a whipped butter as interesting as their dipping sauces, etc.).