Gone are the days when the eatery was considered a quick fix for boaters docking to grab a burger, bar fare or fast food - fried, mind you. That’s because the new Marker 4 now offers not only a great dining experience, but a host of on-site amenties with a compound/complex-like approach to service.
The New Marker 4
For those with a fancy for an upscale dining experience - and at a restaurant with the culinary credentials to prove that that’s just what you’ll get!- well, welcome to the new Marker 4.
Now that it’s been several months since the Marker 4 completed their renovations and opened up an entirely NEW restaurant - the Buzz thought to catch up with GM Judy Garcia, Asset Mgr. Cassie Meyer and Chef Brian Nieman to get a wholistic view of the changes and see how things are going.
A sharp focus on the renovations reveals the addition of a Tiki area - an enclosed artisan-built structure that comfortably fits several scores of people. Customers not only love the new Tiki, but it’s designed to host receptions (up to 75), entertainment and other special events when customers aren’t simply enjoying the ambiance the Tiki provides.
Inside the restaurant, Marker 4 has opened up the bar area, which now features a unique view of the water and bridges, allowing visitors to enjoy from inside those famed Florida sunsets just smacking of cloudbursts of color.
Perhaps most importantly - in terms of infrastructure - GM Judy Garcia says the most dramatic change during the renovation was seeing the old kitchen “gutted to the dirt” when the Marker 4 underwent a total renovation of its kitchen. The new one - a stainless, state-of-the-art working space - provides a more-than-ample playground for Chef Brian Nieman to make a mark of his own - and word is that he’s doing just that.
Chef Brian Nieman
Chef Brian Nieman took his training with a troika of cooking greats - like celebrity Chef Charlie Trotter (of Chicago), Lenny Russo - an award-winning James Beard Chef out of St. Paul, and Patricia Quintana, who’s written more than 30 best-selling cookbooks. With mentors like this, it’s no wonder the food raves are more than modest.
Brian describes his style as “New American,” blending his eclectic tastes and culinary skills with the area’s finest fresh local fish and produce to create dishes that keep customers coming back for more.
While the menu changes every three months just to keep things crisp, Marker 4 is finding there are some staples that customers simply demand all of the time, like Marker 4’s signature Lobster Bisque, made with fresh Maine lobster and cream cheese. Chef Brian admits to learning this the hard way - citing examples like the time one couple made a long drive down just for the bisque, which wasn’t on the menu that day. Brian says there has been no lack of emotion during times when favorite dishes have not been on the day’s offerings, and the months have offered the opportunity to learn which parts of the food formula are up for juggling on and off the menu (the Lobster Bisque is not one of them!).
Although some things - like menus - do change - some things at the Marker 4, do not: EVERYTHING the restaurant offers, including its salad dressings - is homemade. Even the crostini is homemade.
All this effort goes to frame its signature dishes, which include:
- Grouper Francaise with Picatta Sauce
- Shrimp Escargot
- Short Ribs
- Homemade Vegetarian Lasagna
- Shrimp Bao (a Chinese dumpling filled with spicy shrimp and plum sauce)
Desserts, which change daily, showcase culinary delights like:
- Pear Tartlet
- Winter Bread Pudding with Persimmon
- Chocolate Creme Brulee
Fare for Every Diet
Gluten-free? Vegan? Diabetic? For those with special dietary requirements, Chef Brian not only keeps vegetarian dishes on his menu, but emphasizes that the kitchen and wait staff are trained and more than happy to accommodate special needs.
Daily drink specials change, but all day Sunday is considered “happy hour” and the bar serves high-end liquor. The cherry on top is that the extensive bar area is perfect for watching sports or social gathering.
The Marker 4 has a few special events on tap (Valentine and Mardi Gras dinners), and they’re becoming known for their outdoor events as well, including car shows, poker runs, boats parties and musical events. You can check their Web or Facebook page to learn what’s coming up next.
The Marker 4 “Complex”
For the yet-to-be-baptized, Marker 4 isn’t just a restaurant: It’s a destination on Venice’s stake in the Inter-coastal Waterway where boaters can dock, get their tanks filled (non-ethanol and diesel) and pick up a few staples, like beer...or bait. The complex offers boat slips and charters through onsite tenants. While you’re there, pop into Marker 4’s Mystic Mermaid - and upscale gift shop featuring jewelry, boat wear, trinkets, furniture and more.
Hours and Info:
509 Tamiami Trail N
Venice, Florida 34285
Mon - Sun: 11 am - 9 pm