I love good Italian food and I’ve waited five years to get back to one of my all time favorite places, Osteria Marco in Denver, Colorado. I can easily say this is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. It’s been a few months since our visit, but at least it’s not five years, and while you might see our food served out on the patio (a must in the summer time) they have a very cozy, cool sub level space inside.
Osteria Marco, five years later, is still on my top ten list. That sounds big and embellished, but it’s the food I love. House made meats and cheeses thrive amongst some fancier imported Italian meats. There is no pasta on the menu, but it’s very Italian, in that rustic, elegant way that makes me feel at home, yet the food is much more sophisticated and chef driven than anything I could make.
Consistency is the mark of a great restaurant and the food is just as good as I remember it, and they still feature most of the same dishes, such as the grilled artichoke, the pizza, and the butterscotch bread pudding.
House made burrata with bread that needs no describing.
Carpaccio is one of my favorite starters. Thin slices of raw beef with arugula and shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese could almost be a meal in itself. The crunchy bread sticks are a nice touch. This makes it into 2013’s best bites of the year.
I followed up with a corn risotto that was creamy, dreamy, and perfectly simple, and simply perfect. Risotto is tricky in that it can be bland, and although revered in Italian cooking, not a dish I usually want to make as my main course with this exception.
The Cesear salad had crunchy croutons, and was very unique, dressing perfectly balanced.
Sunday night, Osteria Marco slow roasts a suckling pig. Mr. ST jumped on the offer, and I was hoping he would. The pork was very tender, served with a pork broth and risotto.
A chocolate cake and my well remembered butterscotch bread pudding were ordered for dessert.
While the chocolate cake was quite moist and would take care of anyone’s chocolate craving, I had to have the butterscotch bread pudding, as it was a dessert I never forgot about. I was so happy it was still on the menu five years later.
Osteria Marco is the type of place I would return to over and over again, and eat every single dish off the menu. My words cannot describe how well prepared the food is. It drives me to remember that good Italian food is still the best food on earth, my personal favorite and food I don’t get enough of living in Tennessee. We have a few eateries that understand the true meaning of rustic simplicity in Italian food prepared with finesse. Food that does not leave one stuffed and sick, but leaves feeling they’ve had a great food experience. I long for that type of dining out experience, as it puts everyone in a great mood and creates a lasting memory.
Mr. ST and I have such fond memories of Osteria Marco that you can bet if we get back to Osteria Marco, it will be on our dining list. I say this in spite of all the fantastic restaurants the Denver area has to offer. It’s such a foodie town that it’s worth a vacation stop even if you don’t hike or ski or are gluten free. (That’s a joke, sort of).