Cheap Eats 2007: Da Marco Ristorante Italiano
Comments () | Published July 12, 2007
Cheap Eats (2009)

Da Marco Italian Restaurant
Address: 8662 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring/Takoma Park, MD 20910
Phone: 301-588-6999
Neighborhood: Silver Spring/Takoma Park
Cuisines: Italian
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Saturday 11:30 AM to 2 PM. Open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM, and Friday and Saturday 5:30 PM to 10 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Takoma, Silver Spring
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Reservations: Not Accepted
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly, Good for Groups
Food Specials

The only thing that tells you Da Marco used to be an Italian grocery is the sandwich board in the back and the bank of refrigerated cases across from it. A year and a half ago the owners decided to turn the store, across from the AFI Silver Theatre, into a full-service restaurant.

In a city dominated by Italian chains at one end and high-minded “regional cooking” destinations on the other, Da Marco is an unabashed red-checkered-tablecloth Italian joint with soulful cooking, remarkable prices, and a spirit of abbondanza. The sausage is cased in-house, all dinners come with a crisp salad, the cannolis are filled to order, and a half-dozen pastas are handmade, including fettuccine with porcini mushrooms and crushed garlic and pasta alla amatriciana with soft cubes of pancetta.

Portions are large enough that you could make a meal of starters alone—the sausage, at once soft-textured and coarse (and excellent)—is nearly entrée-size, as is a wonderful plate of fried polenta, the soft, creamy medallions meant to be dunked into a fresh-tasting marinara.

The warmed-over bread and a too-liberal hand at times with the olive oil are off-key notes. But these are quibbles. This is a heartfelt independent doing battle in chain-mad Silver Spring—and winning.

Open Wednesday through Saturday for dinner.

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Posted at 09:58 AM/ET, 07/12/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Restaurant Reviews