Marco’s New York Italian, Stratford-upon-Avon

A few weekends ago I was asked to review Marco’s New York Italian in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Having never been to Stratford-Upon-Avon before, I was excited to finally have an excuse to visit for the first time! So me and Calum decided to make a day of it, enjoying a leisurely lunch at the restaurant before exploring this pretty little town.

I loved the venue and building that the restaurant was set in. The exterior was traditional and inviting, and they’d left it pretty much untouched which just won me over before I’d  even stepped inside. They’d continued this theme inside too and I loved how cosy and intimate the restaurant felt. A few glam features had been added (we were greeted by a grand entrance and photos of the man himself adorned every wall) which gave it an upmarket feel without being too overbearing; so I think it’d be the perfect venue if you’re looking to enjoy a special yet relaxed meal. The atmosphere was really chilled too and it was easy to settle in for a long, enjoyable lunch here. It was almost full when we arrived and conversation flowed around the room, adding a bustling feel to the venue as everyone enjoyed their food and drinks.

Service:

The service was truly fantastic! Our waitress was so lovely and conversational, and really stood out to me as some of the best service I’ve received recently. I really couldn’t decide on a main and she provided some helpful guidance using her great knowledge of the menu by offering recommendations, and continued to be chatty and personable throughout our time there.

Cocktails:

Alongside their extensive wine menu, Marco’s New York Italian offer an attractive selection of classic cocktails ranging from a very reasonable £6.50 to £7.50. My Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri – fresh strawberries muddled with Pampero Rum, fresh lime, and sugar – was fantastic! It was light and refreshing, and they’d got the balance between the fruity, sweet strawberries, the sharp lime and the rum perfect.

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Whilst Calum enjoyed the refreshing Lynchburg Lemonade – American Jack Daniels, Cointreau, fresh lemon and sugar topped with Lemonade.

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Food:

Onto the food, and I couldn’t resist ordering the Calamari with Garlic and Lemon Mayo to start. Compared to other calamari I’ve eaten, I was a little disappointed that they were quite thin and the coating wasn’t as crispy and crunchy as I would have liked. However they were still perfectly cooked and it was a generous portion size. Although there wasn’t much of it, the mayo was wonderfully garlicky and really complimented the calamari too.

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Calum also ordered a fish starter with the Crab Cakes with Tomato, Chilli and Coriander Salsa. Overall we both enjoyed our starters, but said we would probably order something different next time; luckily they have an extensive and tempting range to choose from and I’ll be getting the Goat’s Cheese Arancini Fritters when I return!

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We were spoilt for choice with mains too and I could have happily eaten anything off their menu. I finally decided on the Lasagne al Forno which came complete with some tasty garlic bread; this scored brownie points with me as in my opinion it should always be served with some so that you can mop up the sauce! The lasagne was huge and defeated even my big appetite, but what I did eat of it was really tasty. The ragu sauce was flavoursome and rich and the pasta (of which there were about 4 layers!) was cooked al dente, but I would have liked more cheese sauce.

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Whilst Calum opted for the New York Chicken – chargrilled with Crispy Prosciutto and Monterey Jack Cheese served with Lazy Fries, BBQ Sauce and Crunchy Slaw – which also went down very well as great main.

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I make a lot of cheesecakes and so when it comes to eating them in restaurants, I’m admittedly a tough critic. However their New York Cheesecake was fantastic! The base was buttery and the topping was so indulgently creamy and vanilla-ry, yet it wasn’t heavy at all and they’d managed to make it so light that I easily ate the whole slice! Although the menu advertised it as being served with mixed berries, mine came with a orange coulis; I liked the sharp, sweet flavour of this though as it cut through the richness of the cheesecake and only added to what was a fantastic dessert. Meanwhile Calum enjoyed the indulgent, delicious Chocolate Brownie Sundae for his dessert.

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Overall:

Stratford-upon-Avon was really easy to get to from Birmingham (only a 40 minute train ride, with the station just a short 10 minute walk from the restaurant, or a 45 minute drive away) and is perfect for a lovely day out. We discovered that you’re spoilt for choice in terms of places to eat here whilst exploring the town. But for a tasty lunch in a relaxed, inviting environment with fantastic service, Marco’s New York Italian is a great choice and I’d definitely recommend booking here. Their menu features plenty of classic Italian and American dishes, and you’re sure to find something that everyone will enjoy here. And the prices were reasonable too, with starters around £5.50 and mains ranging from £10-18 (with steaks at £25), but they also offer a great value special set menu at 2 courses for £13.50 or 3 courses for £17 too.

Disclosure: I was invited to review Marco’s New York Italian, and all food and drinks were complimentary. As always all opinions are honest and my own

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