Being seen is an important part of any business, and restaurants are no different. Despite his having been on Thappraya Road for three years, we had to admit that Marco’s had not registered in our collective sub-consciousness till we went assiduously looking. Make a note – Marco’s is on the left hand side going down Thappraya Road between the Grande Caribbean Condo and Food Mart at Thepprasit intersection. However, slow down or you will miss it in the bustling Thappraya traffic, with it being a single shop-house venue. Before you read further – it is worth your while.
There is a small dining area in an outer section, and then the main dining section inside. A bar runs along one wall with a chilled wine fridge with most bottles around B. 1,000. Local beers are B. 90. The kitchen is at the very rear of the restaurant.
On one wall near the front is a blackboard menu with weekly rotating specials such as Organic Duck breast (B. 390), or Half an Organic baby Chicken in Taragon (B. 290).
The menu is one of the most colorful in Pattaya and comes with ‘instructions’ with some dishes. For example in the pasta section, the instruction starts with 1. Choose your sauce and then 2, choose your pasta (apparently I’ve been doing it wrong for years).
Charcuterie platters are also available with a good selection of different cheeses and cold cuts.
Marco places freedom of choice very highly with notes as to what cheese choices would go with certain items, such as the Italian burger (B. 390) which can come with gorgonzola or Parma ham for an additional B. 50. The final taste is yours.
Salads (B. 160-290) has seafood at the top end. Pastas are B. 250-370 (choose 1 and then choose 2).
Meats and Fish run into some Fusion items, with Sea Bass fillet (B. 320) and choose from Mediterranean sauce, Green pepper sauce or white wine.
Pizzas, of course, with a Folded Pizza (Calzone) with gorgonzola sounding delicious.
While looking at the menu we had a glass of the house white (B. 120) an Australian Semillon/Sauvignon blanc. Inexpensive and very suitable for quaffing, so much so, we continued with it for the meal.
At Marco’s suggestion, we began by sharing a pizza and then move to separate dishes, but shared again. The pizza was very filling with a medium crust and plenty of cheese and was Marco’s Signature Pizza and it was no ordinary pizza, but tomato, mozzarella, Parma ham, fresh cherry tomato, rocket salad and parmesan cheese. We then moved on to Gnocchi, the famed Italian dumpling in Gorgonzola cheese, and a Black squids-ink tagliatelle with seafood and a home made ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach served with a fresh tomato sauce and a Scaloppine alla Parmigiana escalope, tomato, mozzarella and Parma ham. All of these were very enjoyable, with the scaloppini being my choice for dish of the evening.
Marco insisted we try his desserts, not that there was much need for persuasion. Presented on a bespoke tray with small ice cream cones at each end and we gorged ourselves on Lemon pie, Chocolate lava cake and Chocolate mousse and Tiramisu.
Of course, no Italian meal is complete without a grappa, thank you Marco.
I took the opportunity to ask other diners’ opinions and all gave Marco’s top recommendation. One couple said they ate there at least twice a week (you don’t do that if the food is not up to scratch or the price too high).
The Dining Out team in total was in agreement that the evening had been most enjoyable and we would return.
Marco’s Restaurant – Pizzeria, 306/94, m12 Thappraya Road, tel 092 475 1493 or www.marcospattaya.com, open 12 noon till late, plenty of on-street parking.