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SIOUX CITY -- Comfort food with a kick.

That's how veteran chef Nick Goodwin described the cuisine at the recently-opened Marto Brewing Co., a brewery, taproom and restaurant in the Promenade complex at 930 Fourth St.

"We want to give guests the kind of gastropub favorites you'd find at much larger cities," said Goodwin, who most recently was chef de cuisine at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Plus he also had to make sure all of the food paired well with the craft beer brewed on the premises by Erik Martin, the owner and namesake of the establishment.

Currently, Marto beers aren't quite ready to be served. Martin said that they'll be ready in the next weeks. 

In time, he'll be able to serve as many as 20 of his own brews. The brewery has a 10-barrel system, which can produce as much as 310 gallons of beer a day.

Until Marto Beers have been properly fermented and conditioned, it is relying on various craft breweries in Iowa and Nebraska in addition to few beers that Martin collaborated on.

"We have good relations with other breweries," Martin said. "We'll add a few key ingredients and create some interesting beer."

This is exactly the same way Goodwin works.

He will add a few key ingredients like capicola, soppressata and house-made Italian sausage onto a Marto's Meats Neapolitan Pizza while a fresh blend of mushrooms, arugula and mozzarella are the stars of the gastropub's Fungus Pie.

"All of pizza are Neapolitan, which means they have a thin crust and baked quickly in an oven with high heat and prepared with simple ingredients," Goodwin said. "That means we'll get your pizza to you very quickly."

In fact, most of Marto's food comes piping hot from a large specialized oven located toward the front of the eatery.

That includes the Sausage Rigatoni Wood-Fired Pasta, which contains fresh mozzarella, red sauce, Andouille sausage, Calabrese peppers and Pecorino Romano, as well as the incredibly tender Bone-In Short Rib, which is braised in an Asian Sesame sauce and is served with fresh greens.

Even, Marto's oversize Bavarian Pretzel -- a favorite of Taproom manager Jzar Templin -- comes directly from the restaurant's oven.

"When guests see one of our pretzels leave the kitchen, their jaws drop," Templin said. "First of all, the pretzels are huge. More important, when served with a Pilsner cheese sauce, a spicy IPA mustard or a house-made bacon jam, they're delicious."

Like Goodwin, Templin has been given freedom to create a seasonal beer and sangria selection.

"While Erik's beers will go with any type of food, we also realize we need to appeal to guests who aren't necessarily beer drinkers," he said. 

This is why menu items like a Cast-Iron Cookie -- a house-made chocolate chip cookie that is served with vanilla bean ice cream and a porter chocolate sauce -- and a Strawberry Panna Cotta -- served with a watermelon consume and black lava salt -- have both emerged as winners for people desiring a sweet treat.

Still, Goodwin said Marto's best innovation may come from a decor that embraces an urban aesthetic with homier elements as well as an open concept that begins with the kitchen and extends to its brewery and taproom.

"I think people will be intrigued by the decor," he said. "What will bring them back is the quality of food and the quality of the beer."

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