Houston >Da Marco Cucina E Vino
“The renovation turned a once cozy, romantic atmosphere into one that is cramped, noisy, and too bright for a romantic dinner.”
“We also had dessert - I loved the strawberry dessert!”
“The wine was expensive and bad and did not pair well with our dishes (even though we asked for specific recommendations).”
“tart lemon pudding cake was the end of an outstanding meal.”
“There is a wide variety and each dish is delightful.”
“The atmosphere is nice although the restaurant is a little small.”
“Had we not had to return to the office after our lunch we would have enhanced the incredible tastes and experience with a few glasses of wine from their amazing list of selections.”
“We arrived early for our reservation and decided to wait in the "bar"- a nasty little corner of the room jammed with people.”
“Pretentious restaurant, expensive and bad food”
“One hour and $205 later, an expectation of a long romantic dinner was dead.”
The best Italian restaurant in town.. When I think of Italian restaurants in Houston, one comes to mind immediately: Da Marco. Marco Wiles' eponymous flagship turns out some of the most consistently delicious food in town. The corn & lobster ravioli is always scrumptious. The octopus appetizer is also phenomenal, as is their whole fish. When it's truffle season, go for the gold and get their pasta with shaved alba white truffles or black truffles; it's something you're unlikely to forget, ever.
Excellent date spot. I was very impressed with this restaurant. Whiel parking is limited, they also have a vallet. You get a very private and catered to dining experience for as close as you are to other tables. The restaurant gets quite busy and there is limited seating, but I still felt that it the service and ambience provided for a very romatic date. The specials were left listed personally for us to review on a stand after the server left us, which I thought was a nice touch. I always forget halfway through what the waiter says when they tell me the specials. The somonier was wonderful, helping us choose a wine that was perfect with our meal. It was nice not to have one talk down to you as if you are completely uneducated for a change. We had 4 courses, each perfectly porportioned and light enough to enjoy the whole meal. While I was nearly before dessert, it was definitely worth the indulgence. The gnocci was like a bowl of light fluffy pillows and the pasta was delicate with a slight tooth to it. This may have been the best dining experience I have ever had. As crowded and busy as it got, I felt like we were the only 2 people in the restaurant.
Best in the Hou. Easily the best restaurant in Houston. The food is spectacular. Fresh and tasty. The atmosphere is nice although the restaurant is a little small. Great service. A stellar restaurant--much better than Mark's, Cafe Annie, or Tony's.
WOW - Simply Amazing. I absolutely loved my lunch at Da Marco's. A group of 5 of us went to celebrate a birthday for lunch on a Friday afternoon and found this lovely and quaint restaurant to be an absolute delight! The service was impeccable, the entrees were fabulous, and the desserts were breath-taking. Had we not had to return to the office after our lunch we would have enhanced the incredible tastes and experience with a few glasses of wine from their amazing list of selections. This is definitely a wonderful place for an elegant lunch or a romantic evening dinner.
Used to be my favorite..
My husband and I had dinner at Da Marcos on Saturday night to celebrate my birthday and I am sorry to say that it was an extreme disappointment. Prior to Saturday, I would have said that it was one of the best restaurants in Houston. We had our first date there and he proposed to me there.
The renovation turned a once cozy, romantic atmosphere into one that is cramped, noisy, and too bright for a romantic dinner. There were tables lined up along the wall not more thane 6 inches apart, so a private conversation was impossible.
When it came time to order, the sommelier was very helpful and actually suggested a wine less expensive than the several that we asked about, but the waiter was another story. We try to eat a low carb diet and when we inquired if there was a starch served with our dinner and asked to substitute a green vegetable, we got a very rudely delivered (twice) absolutely no substitutions. I would expect a restaurant of this stature that charges $35 for an entree to cater more to the customer. The lamb was medium instead of medium rare and my veal had so much sea salt on it that I could hardly eat it. We were so frustrated by that point that we didnt even bother sending it back or stay for coffee or dessert. One hour and $205 later, an expectation of a long romantic dinner was dead.
Best Italian in Houston. I've been going to Da Marco since 1997, so I've seen it grow and mature. We go about 2-3 times a year, and when we went last week, I was surprised to see more changes (no more shocking pink paint! plus a new foyer). The food was about as good as ever. I enjoyed an appetizer of roasted peaches w/proscuitto and taleggio, lamb chops, the wonderful velvety nocciola gelato; husband ordered the rabbit which was excellent. However, we made a costly mistake: our guest had ordered one of the daily specials - a pasta dish with the famous seasonal Alba truffles, not realizing the price was $85. And to compound the mistake, she had ordered some for her hosts to share, so the tab just for pasta was $170! Apparently, no one saw the price posted on the board, so be warned! I did call the manager (apparently the old one has departed?) to express my surprise, but to my disappointment, I got absolutely no sympathy, in fact, a rather defensive attitude. Still, I would recommend Da Marco, but for the moment I feel like staying away.
very quaint atmosphere! Good food to boot!. My take on this place is, it could be better, but why fix what people don't know is broken. Not bad for a bite when romance isn't your goal and excellence isn't top priority. The service was great but the quality of produce isn't there. The modern take on Italy works as does the wine list. With all that said, I still like it, but wish the customer base were a little more upscale and less dumpy/frumpy. Tony's is more my speed.
Simply Elegant.... There are only a few places in Houston that really have the sophistication of service and cuisine to be entitled "Fine Dining", and this is one of them. It may be a little overwhelming for the diner more accustomed to casual atmosphere even if they're used to spending money... but go into it with the idea that the waiters, sommeliers and chefs are there soley for the purpose of bringing you a pleasurable culinary and social experience. Don't feel silly if you don't understand the wine mini-lectures -- it's their job to know more than you do -- and don't be afraid to experiment with things you've never tried. They are among the few proud restaurants in the city who regularly patronize local farms and ranches for their produce and meat, and so if you get the chance to try it, do it! I had a rare Harris Ranch filet with foie gras and truffles, which I couldn't help but chuckle at... they'd put almost every decadent savory ingredient into one dish! It was magnificent. The food in general is all very good, but what really makes this place are the Hospitality Professionals who work here. These are not young folks riding a part-time job through college; they are highly-trained, suave, elegant people who, in keeping the hospitality bar raised so high, do our city a great service both literally and figuratively.
A contemporary Italian bistro in a quaint Westheimer cottage..
This Montrose-area upscale eatery is consistently crowded with fans of the authentic Italian fare and standout wine list. Tables are tight beyond the small entrance-area bar (which also houses the wood-burning oven), but the candlelight and ambience maintain the romance. Menu standouts include the signature fried artichoke heart appetizer; raviolo with ricotta, egg and truffle; and sea bass with grapefruit and aceto tradizionale. Desserts include handmade cannoli and a selection of artisinal Italian cheeses. Reservations a must.
Expensive but worth it!. I dined at this restaurant for a friend's birthday. There were four of us. We had the best time. We chose the recommended wines - kind of felt dumb when the wine person was describing each wine, too much detail for us - but interesting still. We had our waiter recommend appetizers, and they were delicious! I had the swordfish for the entree and it was perfect. We also had dessert - I loved the strawberry dessert! Yes the bill was quite high, but it was nice to be able to have a delicious meal! Our waiter was very attentive too! I'd recommend it for special occasions.
Greed. I have never been pushed out of an expensive restaurant so quickly. All of the staff is highly trained to turn over the diners as quickly as possible. Set your fork down, and someone will try to take your plate. When your wineglass has only a sip left, it will fly away. Don't bother to ask for the check - it comes with the desert. And why not, when there are 40 or so people waiting for their reservations. A fool and his money are soon parted - here you are allowed less than 1 1/2 hour to burn through $70-$80 a person. The food is as excellent as it has been for the past several years, but the formerly great dining experience has succumbed to pure greed.
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