If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know I’m no stranger to Marco Pierre White restaurants. I loved the Christmas menu at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse in Birmingham, and last week I was invited over to Stratford-upon-Avon to try the menu at Marco’s New York Italian.
Unlike other Marco Pierre White restaurants which are typically ultra modern, Stratford is set in a listed building, so all the period features are intact, which gives the restaurant real character. The low lighting makes it feel very intimate, perfect for a romantic date.
Although I wasn’t there for romance, I was hoping to fall in love with the food. The menu is a mixture of Italian inspired dishes and American classics, including burgers, steak, pasta and risotto. There is a lot of choice, and I struggled to decide what to have, as many of the dishes appealed. I decided to go for the Italian route though, so I started with the Goats Cheese Arancini.
Served on a small board with rocket salad and a tomato and basil salsa, this was a great size for a starter with just enough to feel satisfied before the main course. The arancini were delicious, with a thin and crispy breadcrumb shell and a creamy, cheesy risotto centre. The goats cheese was delicious and the slightly acidic tomato salsa cut through the richness of the cheese so it wasn’t cloying.
We didn’t have to wait long for our main courses, which was good as the arancini had definitely woken up my appetite! As I’d gone down the Italian route, I had Chicken Milanese with Neapolitan Spaghetti for my main course, which was presented very well, garnished with oven roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine.
The Neapolitan pasta was delicious, the roasted cherry tomatoes intensified and deepened the tomato flavour in the sauce, so the pasta was anything but bland. The chicken was beaten into a thin escalope but remained tender, with a breadcrumb and parmesan crust which created a lovely contrast to the soft pasta. To be completely honest, I do prefer my pasta cooked al dente, whereas the way they cook the pasta at Marco’s is much softer, but it didn’t spoil the meal. I must say though, after seeing another diner’s steak Fiorentina, I did have a pang of food envy. I always choose steak when given the option, and as this was a New York Italian I felt it only right to choose a pasta dish, but I could definitely be convinced to go back and try the steak next time.
Onto dessert, there is a good selection including panna cotta, the classic New York cheesecake, affogato, and of course cheese for those who don’t have a sweet tooth, but for me, the only dessert I could go for was Tiramisu.
Served in a glass, the Tiramisu was beautifully layered with softly whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder. It had a strong espresso flavour which was tempered by the cream, so each mouthful was well rounded and delicious. It was the perfect pick-me-up after a carb laden meal!
I really enjoyed the food at Marco’s, it’s down to Earth enough that you could just go to enjoy an evening meal, but equally the setting is so beautiful, you could celebrate a special occasion with family or friends and still feel thoroughly spoilt. If you’re planning on a trip to Stratford anytime soon, I’d definitely recommend it.
My meal was complimentary, many thanks to the team in Stratford, but all opinions are my own.