Closing Time: Mary Martineau shares her favorite restaurants

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

North Market's marketing guru Mary Martineau hits hotspots on her Vespa

Story by Jackie Mantey // Photo by Alysia Burton

Name: Mary Martineau

Age: 42

Job: Director of Marketing, North Market

Hometown: Cleveland

Perhaps it's easier to recognize Mary Martineau than to pinpoint where exactly you've seen her before. That's because Martineau is a multitalented multitasker who's active in many a Columbus scene -- she's a crafter, a vintage Vespa driver, a foodie and a Harrison West and Short North enthusiast.

Another title she holds dear is her position as the North Market's director of marketing. "Food is a necessity for survival," Martineau said, "but it's also a way that people make connections with one another, and that's one of the things the North Market provides."

Martineau's been helping foster said connections since 2005. All those interests of hers have come in handy. She's been integral in creating some of the market's most beloved festivals and events, like the Market to Market Ride, Artisan Sundays and Local Brews and Local Foods. When she's not zipping around on her scooter from activity to activity, here's where you might find her.

What's your go-to North Market lunch?

In no particular order: A No. 9 or banh mi from Lan Viet, stromboli from Sarefino's, Greek salad with shawarma from Firdous, Clever Crow pizza, a Brezel pretzel, or any number of things from Kitchen Little -- their chicken salad or BBQ chicken in the summer, and cassoulet or any of their noodle dishes when in need of warm comfort food in the winter.

You're busy. Where do you go for a drink?

I love the patio at Caffe Apropos. I get a bottle of wine -- a Hey Mambo or some California riesling -- and a cheese plate.

Where's your favorite place to eat for a romantic night out?

Barcelona. My husband and I celebrate our anniversary in May, my birthday is in June and both are perfect patio months. As far as I'm concerned, there's no more perfect patio than Barcelona's. It's always impeccably manicured with gorgeous greenery. Now that the stage is set, top all of that off with a glass -- or two -- of their signature sangria, a pan of paella and my adorable husband as company and we can pretend that we're vacationing in Spain.

Speaking of vacationing, do you have any restaurants that you like to visit to reminisce on trips abroad?

I have a love of Greek food. I have yet to find a place that does authentic souvlaki like you can get on the streets of Crete -- we have friends who live in Chania -- so I settle for the amazing gyros and perfectly crispy fries at the Acropolis Gyro Palace in Clintonville. We went to Quebec for my husband's birthday a few years ago and had poutine at this artsy little diner. That makes it a must-order at Little Palace, where it comes decadently topped with short ribs. I can class it up a little bit with La Chatelaine. That's as close to a classic Parisian cafe as you can get in Columbus and I'll take it. They do a marvelous job.


Where Mary Martineau heads when she wants something specific.

Brunch: "Tip Top. I order some manner of a skillet with eggs, potatoes and sausage. Oh, and a mimosa."

Dessert: "I love anybody who can do a good creme brulee. I know it's cliche according to the food world, but I don't care. Barcelona always makes a good one."

Farm-to-plate: "Hands down, Alana's. She's in North Market every single day. I also love Knead's Motherclucker and the Urban Cowboy at Commonwealth."

Mexican: "Junior's Tacos off Fifth Avenue, Los Potosinos in the King-Lincoln District, and Los Guachos off Sullivant Avenue on the West Side."

North Market

59 Spruce St., Arena District