Review: Marco’s New York Italian, London Bridge
Style Points: 3/5
Marco’s New York Italian is located in the four star Mecure Hotel, London Bridge. This is a great location, practically in the shadow of The Shard and being in a four star hotel certainly gives the entrance to the restaurant a fancy feeling. The restaurant itself has chosen decor to match the New York Italian theme. There are letters with the city skyline and the entryway has a distinct Italian kitchen feel. However, the seating area is just like any other reasonably nice, chain restaurant you’d expect. There are black and white photos of Marco Pierre White on the wall.
Would I Want Seconds?
As we looked at the menu at Marco's New York Italian, I was struck by the fact that save for a handful of items it wasn't a particularly Italian-American menu. There were several American items I’ve never seen in an Italian restaurant and a few Italian items I’ve never seen in a restaurant in America, but never the less the menu had some tasty options so it wasn’t too hard to find something to try.
We started with The Great American starter (£12.95) which had the pulled pork nachos and some buffalo wings. This is a good example of something I’ve never seen in an Italian restaurant in the States…but I love pulled pork so I could help but give it a try. Predictably the nachos were just melted cheese instead of a cheese sauce, but the pulled pork was delicious and the guacamole and salsa really helped to save the tortilla chips.
For my main I chose the lasagne bolognese al forno (£12.50). When this came out it was the absolute hottest thing on earth. I had to mix it up a bit and let it cool. This is pretty typically of lasagne in my experience. It was very tasty and reminiscent of lasagne from back home in the States. I think it still wasn’t made it ricotta cheese which is what we’d typically do at home, but the cheese and meat sauces were tasty and I didn’t find myself missing anything. It also came with some garlic bread which was crunchy and perfectly buttered (as as it happened perfect for dipping!) There was also a ‘wedge salad’ which was literally just lettuce and blue cheese dressing. I think it would have been improved with a bit of tomato and some bacon bits.
We also tried the bolognese pizza (£10.50) and I have to say I never expected to see bolognese sauce on a pizza as a menu item, but it’s exactly the quirky kind of thing you’d see at a pizza parlour in the States. And you know what? It worked. It was exactly what it sounds like…and it was delicious. The pizza was huge and the sauce made it pretty greasy so it’s not exactly a healthy choice, but it sure was tasty!
Then, for dessert I got yet another brownie, the New York chocolate brownie (£6.25). This brownie was a good balance between fudgey and cakey which is how it should be and was toped with a tasty vanilla ice cream. It wasn’t a spectacular brownie, but it was good and a solid choice. My dining companion chose a lighter option with the Sicilian lemon sorbet (£5.95) which even has a bit of limoncello poured over. It was very good, but not for the feint of heart…you have to like lemon to get this dessert! Luckily we both do and it was enjoyable…but eat it quick because it melts fast!
Could I Afford Seconds?
Price wise Marco’s New York Italian is really reasonable in price and the type of thing you would expect in a nice restaurant. In fact most of the patrons seemed to be hotel guests while we were there. The quality of food is really good, especially for a chain restaurant. My only gripe was that the menu selections weren’t totally on theme and some of the items wouldn’t go too well together, but it’s enough of a variety that anyone could find something - which is a challenge in and of itself! Certainly appeals to the hotel clientele and a good option if you’re out with picky friends that want different things.
Overall I thought Marco's New York Italian was a solid choice as a restaurant. The service was friendly and helpful. It was a bit on the slow side but not unreasonable and it was a comfortable environment so we didn’t mind waiting too much. A couple of the photos of Marco Pierro White were a bit odd on the wall to be overseeing the diners, but in general the restaurant was finished nicely and the food was good.
Dinner at Marco's New York Italian was not the most unique dining experience, and not everything on the menu makes sense - but Marco’s is a good choice for a moderately priced meal that you won’t be disappointed with.
Reviewed by Guest Writer A Yank in Blighty
Marco's New York Italian website
Address: 17 Lavington Street, Bankside, London, SE1 0NZ
Closest Tube Station: Southwark