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|Sunset Travel Guide /10|
|Sunset Magazine /10|
|Home & Garden /07 Article PDF|
|“Art on gleaming wood walls, a simple, low-lit, chic lounge of booths and tables, and truly special food–emphasizing French and Spanish cheeses, olives, fresh and organic foods, handcrafted pastas, and rustic breads–turn this into a food sophisticate’s destination. Try the cheese ravioli–fat pillows of tender pasta with walnuts–or a free-range Oregon steak. The fancy drinks menu is extensive.”Sasquatch Books’ Best Places Northwest /05|
|Showcase Magazine /09|
|“The Mark’s decor is low-key elegant. Floor-to-ceiling red velvet curtains and black vinyl booths evoke a film-noir set. It’s the vision of owner and chef Lisa Owen who — appearing like Veronica Lake with her wavy side-swept mane — seats us at a table near the bar. She single-handedly turned this former tire shop into a hip and happening venue celebrating food, music and art.We begin with Spanish flavours — boquerones (white anchovies) on thick slices of olive-oil dizzled bread, a side of arbequina olives and Manchego cheese. We then dive in to a baked goat cheese served over organic greens.
We toast the evening with a Spanish rioja, Vina Ardanza, and share the fabulous main course of organic whole chicken stuffed with lemon and garlic, baked and finished on the sweet apple-wood stoked grill.”Eat Magazine /07
|News Tribune Review /09|
|“The Mark makes dinner sing. The space itself is the little black dress of Olympia eateries, standing out amid a crowd of tie-dyed shirts, worn flannel and vintage polyester. It’s simply elegant, with dark paneling, cozy booths and lighting that dips romantically.
The drinks feature the same organic ingredients as the rest of the menu. That can be comical (if you’re drinking Blue Curacao, birth control is probably a bigger health concern than pesticides), but it also is indicative of just how purist and perfectionist the approach is here. A simple vodka sour was elevated by fresh orange juice.”The Olympian /06“It’s like ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ and ‘Twin Peaks’ rolled up into a small, clean, red-velvet package.
Housed in a building that once held City Tire Service, the Mark offers a welcome change from otherwise dingy pubs of downtown Olympia. (Not that we have anything against dingy pubs.)
When it first opened last year, the Mark came off like a new millennium speakeasy with little, if any, outside signage indicating what was inside. That has changed a bit, but overall the Mark still feels like a gracefully kept secret.The Olympian /03 “Lisa Owen, who owns The Mark in Olympia, has incorporated a theme of simplicity in her restaurant. The menu is limited in order to provide an especially high degree of quality in all of the ingredients. Her choices are all organic and fresh, the cuisine being rustic rather than fancy. The Mark includes these fresh ingredients in its cocktails as well — creating a playful relationship between health and decadence. She believes service is half of the dining experience and strives for excellence out of the kitchen as well.”The Olympian /04
|“‘This is a casual place,’ says Owen of the ambience she wants to convey. ‘You don’t have to dress up, but you could dress up if you wanted to. You can spend less than $20 on drinks and something to eat or $200 for a complete dinner with several entrees and wine.’
Owen is proud to offer organic produce and meat on her menu. ‘It’s a balance between health and decadence,’ she says.”Business Examiner /09
|“Through the front door, customers discover the dining room with dark stained tables, chairs and booths–each individually lighted for mood and intimacy. Along the left wall is a large bar with low, hanging loghts. Bartenders mix up classics like Sidecars and Pimms Cups, but can also make a killer martini or offer one of the house specialties like a Cuban Mojito. The Mark has two additional rooms for private parties–a Tiki Room and a larger meeting room. Future plans for a patio dining where Owens has already secured a 40s Airstream she’d like to convert into a wet bar.
For now, Owens concentrates on preparing food that’s rustic–as she calls it. Simple, yet finely crafted.The food is organic, which not only tastes better but is also healthier. She serves a variety of tapas, chicken, steak, and pasta. ‘It’s classic,’ she added. ‘Ageless’.”The Ranger /02