The Falcon in Marlboro nourishes with good food and great music

Posted: Thursday, September 30, 2010

The first words my friend and fellow food lover, Amanda, uttered while walking into the Falcon were, “This sure is cozy.” That is one good word to describe this club, art gallery, and restaurant hybrid. The Falcon is reminiscent of a log cabin; it’s a solid wooden structure with high ceilings accented with large beams. There is a brightly lit bar immediately to the right as you walk in and tables for dining run across the sides of an open floor facing a stage for performances. On this chill fall evening walking into the warm glow of the restaurant was comforting. Once inside Amanda and I were greeted by light jazz music, a nice start to the evening.

It took a while for a hostess to greet us, but that could be because we were a few minutes late for the show and the audience truly comes for the music. The restaurant opens at 5pm and shows start promptly at 7pm. I recommend arriving early for dinner then staying to enjoy the music, as both the restaurant and parking lot in back fill up quickly.

Once seated, the first order of business was drinks. The Falcon serves cocktails, beer, and wine, including local varieties from Benmarl and Stoutridge wineries. I ordered a Riesling for my friend and me, since we were in the mood for something light and sweet. The Riesling was from St. Michelle Winery in Washington State and was refreshing, with strong pear and floral aromas and flavors.

The food menu itself was small, but with a good mix of burgers, salads, and sandwiches. We settled on the guacamole as a starter. It arrived in a basket accompanied with sour cream, salsa, and a heaping pile of chips. The guacamole was creamy and combined with the lightly salted and crispy chips it was a flavorful beginning to our meal.

Bistro food staples

Amanda went with the grilled chicken panini with pesto mayo, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella as her main course. I was torn between the Caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes and the black bean and turkey chili. The chili was the winner and arrived in a warm bread bowl with tortilla chips for dipping on the side.

The dish was flavorful, but not too spicy. If you like your chili with a kick, you may not enjoy this milder version. Amanda said the pesto sauce on her sandwich was delicious, but soon overpowered her taste buds. She said the chicken was what made the sandwich; it was grilled but still juicy. The portions were large and  filled us up.

The Falcon was packed that night, but I was disappointed that the waitress didn’t come by to ask if we wanted coffee and dessert. However, when we got her attention she apologized and brought the dessert out quickly. Amanda ordered the pecan pie and I went for the apple. The apples in my pie were a bit tart, but the crust was flakey and light. Amanda reported her pie to be sweet and tasty.

Jazz lover’s delight

The real highlight of the evening was the live band. I’ve been to many concerts before as well as listened to bands at dinner, but the Falcon was somehow more intimate than other music and dinner venues. The band is right there and the music just surrounds you. The group we saw is a jazz trio called the Stephan Crump Rosetta Trio. I am not a jazz buff, but they created a fantastic mood. There was nothing hurried about their set and the melodies were lovely.

While the band took a break, Amanda and I went to check out the attached porch which overlooked a flowing waterfall. Looking back inside we saw the band milling around and speaking with audience members. As I breathed in the fresh air, I couldn’t help but be impressed. The atmosphere at the Falcon is relaxed and the dining area also functions well as a listening lounge for patrons.

Dinner at the Falcon was reasonably priced, but the biggest appeal is you get to see a free show—though you are encouraged to give what you can in the donation box. It’s a good place for music lovers to enjoy food with a show. Dinner for two including an appetizer, two glasses of wine, and dessert came to about $55.

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