Houston >Restaurants > Da Marco Cucina E Vino
1520 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX | Directions 7700829.742800 -95.397729
Tue-Thu 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-11pm; Sat 5:30pm-11pm
Neighborhoods: Central, Neartown/ Montrose
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.
HIGHLY OVERRATED. Go here because you are told to. – What is it with the reviews of Da Marco- 5 stars by 75% of people? How can 3 in 4 people think this restaurant is "flawless"??
I can only think of a handfull of places in Houston where the parking lot looks like a Mercedes SUV dealership. Da Marco is one of the culprits. And not without reason- if a 150$ dinner for two is up your alley, then your Range Rover should fit in nicely outside.
The restaurant is not at all as strong as others have suggested. Firstly, the service is a bit off-putting. It seems as if the snobbiness of the "discerning clientele" has rubbed its way off onto the waitstaff. It seemed to me that taking our order and being attentive to us was a burden.
The food is not a deal maker either. All of the dishes we tasted were EXTREMELY salty- to the point of inedibility. The wine was expensive and bad and did not pair well with our dishes (even though we asked for specific recommendations). We left our dishes and left the restaurant and will not be returning.
Best Italian restaurant in Houston, Excellent service, pricey – My fiance and I had reservations at DaMarco this weekend to celebrate his birthday. I'd made the reservations based off a glowing recommendation from friends, and I have to agree whole-heartedly with their recommendation. Although the food was indeed extremely pricey, it was DELICIOUS! And unlike many high-class restaurants which give you only a tiny portion for the price you pay, they gave us enough food where we were stuffed by the end of the meal. I highly recommend their sweet corn ravioli with lobster as a 1st course. My fiance ordered the gnocchi and loved it also. Their roasted potatoes were a tasty side dish - crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with just enough flavor, and for the main dish, I ordered the chianti braised short ribs which just melted off the bone. Finally for dessert, we ordered the creme brulee with sorbet, which was equally fantastic - smaller than I'm used to at most restaurants, but very tasty.
In terms of service, we thought they were GREAT (but I think this is a manner of preference). The servers were quick in providing bread, taking our order, removing our plates as soon as we were finished, - they didn't try to push any alcohol on us (we are non-drinkers and many restaurants seem very pushy on this front) and were very gracious throughout the entire meal. The food was quick to arrive and tasted marvelous. We were also very likely the youngest couple in the restaurant at the time , AND non-caucasian, but unlike the reviewer's experience below, we felt we were treated very well by our servers.
The only "con" I would have for this restaurant is the price- it is EXTREMELY pricey and I would only come back for a special occasion. Otherwise highly recommended
A Meal to Remember – Went to dinner last Saturday night here. The service was outstanding (ask for Heath). The wine recommendation was spot on as Heath had described. I spluged on the white truffle angel hair pasta as an appetizer and it was truly worth the expense. It is amazing how a just a few ingredients (white truffle, parm. reggiano, white truffle oil) come together for such an amazing dish. Had the roasted lobster (daily special) as my main. Perfect. A tart lemon pudding cake was the end of an outstanding meal.
This is a place to come to indulge...not to be cost conscious so set your expectations appropriately (i.e if you have to get one dish split 4 ways to manage costs...move on). As other posts have indicated, yes, the table are close together. So, if this does not appeal to you, you might choose otherwise. But if you can treat yourself to an indulgence...this is worth it.
Disrespectful and condescending service. – My fiance and I went for the first time to celebrate our anniversary. We were promptly greeted and seated in a cozy corner of the restaurant. Our waiter seemed aloof and did not really talk TO us as much as he talked AT us. He brought us the daily specials on a sign and then turned it away for an older couple sitting behind us to look at. He came back and took my order first. My fiance asked if he could turn the daily specials sign around so he could select what he wanted. The waiter says to the older couple "excuse me" and reaches for the sign. At that point, the older couple says "we're ready to order." The waiter immediately turns his back towards us even though he was in the middle of taking our order, and gives the other couple his full attention. After he was done with their order, he did not return to our table. We had to flag him down so we could finish ordering our meal. I was very upset by this, so I asked my fiance to talk to the manager. The manager told him "Where are you sitting? Don't worry, I'll take care of it." The rest of the meal, we had the same waiter who did not apologize for his behavior and continued to be aloof. I at least expected the manager to come back and explain how he "took care of it." Instead, the manager very quickly leaned towards our direction, asked "everything ok?" and walked off. It was a very uncomfortable and awkward meal. Plus, the back waiter's cell phone went off with T-Pain's "shawty" blaring through the tiny silent back room, and he did not make an effort to silence it, or get out of the room. We got our bill, and it was for the full cost of the meal. It's clear that the management allows/encourages this pompous discrimination to occur on his watch. We were the youngest couple in the restaurant and the only non-white people in the place all night. Perhaps they thought that we would be poor tippers. Unfortunately, with that type of blatant disrespect, it became a self-fulfilling prophesy. I am never going back.
Truly excellent food and service, and it feels like being served an excellent meal in your own home. And an excellent wine list as well. Their best mark of excellence is that the waiter does not insist in torturing you with a litany of specials that one is supposed to pretend to remember. Must try it.
Pretentious restaurant, expensive and bad food – We went to daMarco for an anniversary. We were seated and then ignored for 30 minutes. We had to get up from the table and ask for a waiter, even though the waiter that was assigned to our table had stood around with his arms folded and looked at us several times. Being a Wednesday evening, the restaurant was not crowded, yet it took extremely long for them to bring our food. The waiter pushed botttles of wine costing over $100 and then sniffed when we ordered one costing $45. The wine was so bad we left 80% of it.
The food served to us was mediocre at best. Some of it was inedible. Tough veal and sauces so bland babies could eat them. And then the bill came - over $180 for 2 people for a most unpleasant experience. The simple decor matches the quality of the food, and tables are so crowded we could hear the adjacent tables' conversations as if they were at our table. They didn't like their food either. It puzzles me how critics can rave about this place, while the average person who goes in is treated like dirt and served terrible food. I would never return
Outstanding!! – Simply Outstanding food quality, food presentation, menu variety and Creativity, service, Italian wine list, and parking convenience. Be sure to make a reservation. Food and Wine prices are high, but you are rewarded for your spend.
Restaruant dining facility is a little small (renovated home) with med-high ceilings and if the dining area is completely full, it will negatively impact an intimate dinner. Go early or go late for a special dinner. Mens restroom was very clean.
Italianisimo!!! – Da Marco is a dream come true! The ONLY authentic Italian restaurant in Houston. Absolutely impeccable dishes and fabulous service. Expect nothing but the best. If you wish to expand your culinary horizons and understanding of authentic Italian delights then make sure to reserve a table at Da Marco for a special occasion. If you are expecting loads of sauce like Carraba's or similar places or Texas size portions so that you can doggy bag the rest home...then you're better off not spending your money here. This is a place for the true connoisseur and probably Houston's #1 or #2 restaurant...right up there with Mark's.
Great food, greta service – In a little obscure location (we'd driven past it 100 times without noticing), my wife adn I recently had dinner here (Dec 2007) on a recommendaiton from friends. Have to say we were extremely impressed. The service was great, knowledgeable and quick. The food was exceptional (we shared the Porterhouse for 2 whcih was one of the best we've ever had) and the wine selection was excellent with numerous Italian varieties available in many vintages (we had a Barolo from 1998). Overall an excellent night and we'll be going back soon.
food is good – We went there on a Friday night without reservation. They did well and we sat in ample time even though it was busy. The service is good and well done. The food is the closest thing that I can say is to Italian food. This is coming from an Italian and one who has been in the business for a long time. Perhaps the only thing was that the table were too close together and for a high class restaurant it's not so right. They are correct in pricing the food as they have done for they are one of the best in the city of Houston even though one may think that is highly priced. I'll go there again.
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