Mike Price knows a good corner when he sees one.
“So when this one became available, we were on it,” he says of 99 Bank Street, the home of his newest restaurant The Mary Lane.
The chef, whose Blackfoot Hospitality group includes Little Owl, Market Table and The Clam — all located within corner spaces themselves — has opened The Mary Lane after scooping up the space almost two years ago, right before the pandemic. Thanks in part to residential foot traffic, reservations were already filling up for the restaurant’s first week. “The anticipation has been building. I think people are ready, especially now, for the next new thing,” adds Price, who runs Blackfoot Hospitality with cofounder chef Joey Campanaro. “Credit to everyone involved, we were able to make it to the other side, get to a place where we’re able to be open, and super excited about it.”
Led by chef de cuisine Andrew Sutin, the menu at The Mary Lane is vegetable-driven and seasonal, with influences from California, Japan and the Mediterranean reflected in the dishes. “This is an exercise in doing a little bit lighter food than we normally do; a little bit more vegetable-focused,” says Price of the cuisine.
Dishes include butternut squash with kohlrabi and mizuna, a king trumpet mushroom tartare with sunchokes and halibut with roasted grapes and bon shimeji. While the cuisine cleaner approach to eating, “I say all that, and then there’s a steak with onion rings on the menu, and there’s a pork loin with our own sauerkraut,” says Price. “We’re writing a menu for ourselves in the sense of: what are we interested in cooking right now? What have I eaten recently that inspired something else, or what did I get from the market? Or what did I cook at home the other day for the kids?”
The beverage program, led by Lisa Komara, takes a similar produce-drive approach, offering twists on classic cocktails and a wine list that reflects the regional influences of the cuisine.
The restaurant was named for a California-native fig varietal, the Mary Lane. That namesake is reflected in the dining room decor, with fig-inspired art on display, and branding. The restaurant’s fig logo was designed by Steven Fragale, who’s been creating chalkboard designs for Blackfoot’s other restaurants for several years. Fragale also painted two murals in the space, both of which contain an augmented reality component. Architect Alta Indelman, another longtime collaborator of the owners, designed the restaurant’s interiors in hues of blue, dusty rose and light neutrals.
Price’s family of restaurants have always been neighborhood-focused (while still resonating with out-of-town visitors), and that local appeal has been underscored by the past year and a half. “As far as eating habits go, you would think that you’d probably see less sharing or less family-style eating. But in all actuality, I feel like I see more of it,” says Price, adding that his other restaurants have seen increased demand for eight- to 10-person reservations. “Just enough where it feels like a party.”
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