Well as you may know I settled on Dam Marco for are Ann./Valentine meal this past friday and it was very good despite being rushed early (things slowed down after I told the waiter to slow down). We started with the artichoke appetizer in a lemon sauce. The artichoke has a delectable charred exterior and is perfectly cooked through. This dish was a hit and I thought to myself if the rest of the meal is as good as this then we are in for a treat. Well halfway throught the artichoke the pasta dishes came out. Jeni ordered the porcini risotto and I ordered the ravioli stuffed with ricotta, egg yolk and truffle sauce. The porcini rissoto was decadent. The kitchen properly added a rich porcini stock to the dish instead of just settling for a chicken stock. The porcini flavor permeated every bite. But like many risotto dishes it always seems as though they are too rich for me. I say the same thing about the always great risottos at Simposio. I was glad that it was Jeni's dish because of the richness I wouldn't have been able to finish the plate. My ravioli dish sounds just as rich as the risotto yet was very light. The ricotta was very fresh and the fresh pasta was barely cooked leaving the yolk of the egg still runnny. The combo of rich yolk and truffle oil is really intoxicating.
The Artichoke, Risotto, and ravioli alone put this restaurant in a small group of Houston's elite restaurants. And although good the 2 entrees were merely an after thought. Jeni ordered the sea bass served with a balslmic reduction and some surprisingly good grapefruit segments. The dish was good but not worth ordering again. I had the "fiji" snapper in a sea urchin sauce. The whole reason I got the dish was because of the interesting sounding sauce. Well again it was good but I didn't find the sauce interesting enough and would skip this dish in the future. In the end I would probably stay with the pasta dishes maybe explore the antipasta dishes a bit more and certainly try to find something as the main course that lives up to the pasta dishes. The service is good, I like the fact that they were able to slow things down when I asked but on the other hand I really shouldn't have to ask. Overall I would say that I look at this place as a very good restaurant but not great and that's fine. In fact I don't know if this place could be great because of the limitations in the size and the interior is only ok. Its a nice room but there are certainly nicer.
To LazyMF I still stand by this restaurant and think you should give it a try if it sounds like the kind of Italian you are looking for.