My husband lunches at Da Marco with a group of wine-loving, foodie former coworkers a couple of times a year. Today was my turn. I had been to Da Marco for dinner years ago and figured it was high time for a revisit.
Soon after the day’s specials were presented tableside on a chalkboard, an amuse-bouche arrived to prime the palate.
After struggling to make a choice amongst the many deliciously described offerings, I buckled down and made a decision. My salad was a beautifully plated tower of shaved celery and herbs, topped with slices of beet and pecorino and dressed with a perfect citrus vinaigrette. I wish I had the nerve to ask for the ingredients in that dressing. There were probably only 4 components but it made an impression.
My husband’s Jerusalem artichoke heart was lightly fried and arrive splayed open like a blooming onion. I opted for the monkfish piccata special served with a buttery caper sauce and swiss chard.
Monkfish taste and texture are similar to lobster however I didn’t enjoy my fish as much as a piece of lobster. Instead of opting to serve cleaned up medallions of monkfish, the fish included brown chewy membrane and stringy pink bits. I also didn’t care for the fibrous swiss chard stalks included with the tender leaves. While the taste of my dish was perfection, an edit was needed.
My husband’s sweet corn ravioli was nestled amongst chunks of lobster. The generous serving was gone before I could ask for a bite.
The ambiance is intimate, old school elegant and perhaps a bit dated around the edges. The servers are well versed in the minutiae of the menu as well as the wine list. Lunch entrees range from $15 (ravioli of the day) to $70 (black truffle risotto). A 3-course business lunch is offered for $32.
This gourmet Tuscan restaurant opened 18 years ago with Italian born chef Marco Wiles at the helm and continues to bring authentic Italian cuisine to Houston. It is known for its house-made pasta and imported truffles. If you find some Benjamins in the crevice of the couch or wish to celebrate a special occasion, beeline to Da Marco. Take a bite and close your eyes. You could be in Italy.