Meet Me At Marco’s!
Writer & Photographer / Angie Trusty
I’ve been a long-time fan of Marco’s. It started about 20 years ago when my sister-in-law asked me to meet her and several friends there on a Tuesday night for the filet special. She went about every week. Over the years, my husband and I have met friends there for birthdays, holidays and celebrations, but most of the time, there’s no special occasion; we go to Marco’s because we know what to expect – food that is consistently delicious.
My most recent Marco’s trip began with a classic Italian appetizer, bruschetta. The buttery, grilled bruschetta toast surrounds a bowl of caprese salad, the perfect mixture of diced tomatoes, fresh basil, diced fresh mozzarella, garlic with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You can spoon as much as you want on top of the bruschetta. Just a few simple ingredients make this appetizer taste like a fresh bite of summer.
Marco’s fried balls of fresh mozzarella have very little resemblance to the bland, heavily breaded fried string cheese sticks served at most chain restaurants. The stringy melted mozzarella has a crunch coating from the light panko breading and is covered with a generous ladle of spicy marinara sauce. Pile all this on top of a piece of toasted bread for the perfect bite.
I love the sound as the knife cuts through the crisp chunk of iceberg lettuce in Marco’s take on the iconic wedge salad. A tangy homemade blue cheese dresses the lettuce. The wedge is topped with crisp bacon, grape tomatoes and extra blue cheese crumbles.
French onion soup is my daughter’s favorite. On vacation last year, she ordered it at every dinner for a week. We both agree that our favorite is the French onion soup at Marco’s. The dark-bronze beef broth is loaded with the sweet, savory flavor of impeccably caramelized onions and croutons which don’t fall apart in the broth.
All this deliciousness is capped with a molten layer of mozzarella. According to proper etiquette, the crusty cheese baked on the outside of the crock should be left alone, but I say “go for it” and scrape it off with my spoon to enjoy every last bit.
Another classic Italian-American item on the Marco’s menu is the Chicken Parmigiana. The chicken cutlets are encrusted in a mixture of parmesan and herbs, fried, topped in a rich red marinara sauce, sprinkled with mozzarella cheese and baked until the cheese is a bubbly golden-brown. The leftover chicken parmigiana stuffed in a hoagie-style bun makes a killer sandwich the next day.
My husband always, always, ALWAYS orders the Filet ala Dina. He doesn’t even look at the menu. He counts on me to order something different, so he can enjoy his favorite meal while still trying something new. I don’t mind as long as I get a few bites of his Filet ala Dina! The creamy sherry-shallot sauce sautéed with button mushrooms is a wonder accompaniment to the tender filet of beef.
When the waiter brought the Pork Osso Bucco to the table, my jaw dropped in awe of this towering masterpiece. The pork shank is roasted for several hours. Then it’s quickly fried, creating a thin, crispy layer on the exterior, a delightful contrast to the fall-off-the bone tenderness of the pork.
Covered with a lustrous chipotle-peach glaze, the glistening pork shank stands tall on top of fluffy mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts. I’m not kidding, people from two other tables came to my table and asked what the heck I ordered that looked so darn good!
I enjoy trying out new restaurants around Indy, but there’s a reason the only number for a restaurant stored in my phone is Marco’s. It’s nice to go to a place that you know always provides great service, tasty food and a relaxed atmosphere.
That hasn’t changed, even though the restaurant was purchased about five years ago by Bradley Lovett and his father Patrick. Marco’s is the perfect spot to enjoy a fantastic meal with friends. Plus I love the tagline, “Meet me at Marco’s!”