Review: Marco's, Clyst Honiton, Exeter

Marco's is a relatively newly opened Italian American restaurant on the outskirts of Exeter. Owned by celebrity chef and "Godfather of modern cooking" Marco Pierre White off of Hell's Kitchen and Oxo cube fame.  I have been wanting to go here for a while, and when a Groupon voucher showed up for a 2 course meal with wine for 2 for £19 it gave me the perfect excuse for us to go!

It is about a 25 minute drive from our house to the restaurant, so it's quite a way to go for a meal.  It also means that Nick isn't able to drink, being the only one out of us that can drive.  When we arrived we were greeted by friendly staff who took our coats and showed us to our table.  It was very nice inside with checked carpets and matching checked napkins.  You could see the chefs in the kitchen preparing the food, a nice touch.

We decided to go for a starter and main, and because Nick doesn't actually like wine, it meant 2 glasses for me... yippee!

For starters Nick went for the calamari with lemon and garlic mayonnaise, and I went for goat’s cheese arancini risotto fritters, with tomato & basil salsa.  For mains I ordered spaghetti carbonara and Nick went for an Americana pizza- tomato, mozzarella, spicy sausage.  I also ordered a cheese garlic bread to go with my mains.

 Nick loves his calamari. If it is on the menu when we go out to eat then he almost always orders it, even if it's as a side! Nick said that this calamari was cooked to perfection and is the nicest that he has ever had, and considering how much he has had this is saying something!  I tried one, and he was right- delicious! The mayonnaise was also very flavoursome and tasty.

These are my goat’s cheese arancini risotto fritters.  They were really really good, but I was very impressed with the salsa.  Fresh, tasty tomatoes with lots of flavour.  The fritters were good, but didn't taste particularly goats cheese like, but were still delicious.  There is just something totally awesome about any kind of fried cheese!

As I mentioned earlier I ordered some cheesy garlic bread to go with my main but unfortunately they brought this out with the starters.  This wasn't the end of the world, but just meant that I had eaten most of it before my mains came!  It wasn't what I was expecting, a full size pizza base with garlic and cheese!  You could tell that the base was made in house, it was thin crispy and tasted so good!

I was very impressed with my main.  The egg on top was poached perfectly, nice and runny- just how I like it!  They gave me fresh grated parmesan which added to the lovely flavour of the carbonara. There was a really nice pancetta used with gave a really strong smoky flavour and it all went really well the the little amount of garlic bread that I had left!

Nick's pizza had the same base as the garlic bread, thin and crispy.  Nick enjoyed his pizza, but said that it didn't live up to how good the calamari and garlic bread was.  He said it was a little "nothingy" and didn't really have enough toppings to give it the wow factor, or make it anything other than just a standard pizza that is readily available elsewhere closer to home.

Overall we liked everything, and considering that it only cost us £19 it was well worth every penny.  I am marking the food down because of Nick's pizza, and the service down because they brought my garlic bread out with the starters instead of the mains.

Food ****  Service **** Atmosphere *****
L x
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