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Da Marco, Owner Marco Fortini's Italian on Colesville Road in Downtown Silver Spring - Closed


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De Marco is located on Collesville Rd in downtown Silver Spring (more or less across the street from the AFI). It used to be exclusively a deli/Italian gourmet shop but recently the renovated the shop and now have a small restaurant area. We've been meaning to check it out for a loooong time but given that it's next to RTC...well....ya know.

We finally got around to trying them last night and I have to say that it was remarkably....boring. The service is attentive and casual. The atmosphere is neighbourhood romantic. It's obviously not high dining but the decor screams family home cooking. Unfortunately, the food doesn't measure up. I had a simple penne in tomato sauce with meatballs. Lisa had the special, which was fettucine with smoked mozzarela, pancetta, and hot peppers. Both of us though the dishes were lacking in flavour. I would have appreciated a touch of heat in the tomato sauce and certainly some browning of the meatballs (which looked like they were boiled as opposed to sauteed or roasted).

The meal was preceeded by a simple salad drowned in balsamic and olive oil (which I was more than willing to forgive if the entrees had been good).

Their reserve wines were so blah (tasted like they had been watered down) that we ended up running into RTC for a quick glass of good wine before our movie.

The food wasn't bad - but it wasn't good. We'll give them another chance because I want a local family run business to succeed (people need to go someplace like that instead of Macaroni Grill). Hopefully they were just having a bad night.

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I used to work around the corner from De Marco and ate their lunch specials once a week or so. For a quick lunch destination, it was good, especially when Silver Spring was much more of a food wasteland than it is now. I think they still do a pretty decent lunch business--and will continue to, as there are many office workers nearby who need a quick lunch--so the expansion must be an attempt to take advantage of the commercial growth of downtown SS.

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Last I checked, the place was being run by the son (other siblings?) of the people who started it (back in the early 80's I think it was), when it was really good. They were an offshoot of Vace I believe. I tried it occasionally in recent years, for Italian food items such as fresh pasta etc., but found it to be not worth bothering with. Quality just wasn't there, nor variety. Seemed to me the kids just didn't have the work ethic of the old folks, or skill, or something. The review above is fairly consistent with that experience.

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We've eaten there twice now, and probably won't give it another shot unless we are feeling really charitable.

The service is decent and friendly, for a deli-by-day, not bad. The owner seemed like a best bud on the first visit and totally ignored us on the second, on equally slow nights. I'm not much for TVs on in the dining room, but if you must this one -which ran a continous loop of a helicopter tour of Sicily -was not bad.

Bread with olive oil and balsamic to all comers, a nice touch. Then came the salad, and when the previous poster said "drowned" it was right on-there is the most amazing pile of "dressing" on the salad, even if you eat all the not very inspiring greens your plate will be filled with the stuff. Quite unpleasant, actually.

I had a penne arabiata once, which was fine though a little bland, and my wife had a special that she enjoyed. The second visit I had a very disappointing lasagne, clearly right out of the microwave, with no texture or flavor. My wife's penne was overcooked.

One good note was the house wine, an simple, fruity Chianti that we thought was very drinkable. No need to move up the winelist here. When we asked about it we were told by the server that they do not divulge the name.

Silver Spring badly needs what this place is trying to offer: a cozy Italian red sauce place near the theaters. Right now the serious miscues in the food stop Da Marco in its tracks.

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Word on the street is that he was getting sick of dealing with the FIllmore crowds on the sidewalk. Being literally next door meant that anyone who wanted to eat at daMarco had to fight their way through the crowds just to get to the door.

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Word on the street is that he was getting sick of dealing with the FIllmore crowds on the sidewalk. Being literally next door meant that anyone who wanted to eat at daMarco had to fight their way through the crowds just to get to the door.

Gee, this seems like a problem a restaurateur would *want* to have - I wonder how Elliott Ratley and Nick Lopata (of The Classics) feel about it.

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For the record, I've seen exactly one show at the Fillmore and that was only because Mrs. JPW's hair stylist is the lead singer of one of the warm up acts.

The kids going to see a punk, metal, or hiphop show aren't really the people that are going to eat at an old-school neighborhood Italian joint.

The bands that would bring people likely to eat at daMarco and Classics are not very commonly booked.*

Also, Classics is far enough down the street that the crowds aren't much of a hassle for their clientele.

*However, I'm extremely stoked about seeing Social Distortion in August

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The kids going to see a punk, metal, or hiphop show aren't really the people that are going to eat at an old-school neighborhood Italian joint.

The bands that would bring people likely to eat at daMarco and Classics are not very commonly booked.*

*However, I'm extremely stoked about seeing Social Distortion in August

Hey, I'm going to see Against Me! on Sunday and I love an old-school neighborhood Italian joint. I just happen to love the one down the street in the Doubletree more than I liked this one, but I'm still sorry to see them go.

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Da Marco has been open since 1985.

Well, counting it's predecessor, perhaps. I think it was called something like "Italia Deli and Salumeria." It was run by Marco's parents. Can't recall the father's name. The mother is Maria. Marco and his two sisters would help out on weekends. I think both sisters and the parents moved to Italy while Marco stayed and took over the business.

Gee, this seems like a problem a restaurateur would *want* to have - I wonder how Elliott Ratley and Nick Lopata (of The Classics) feel about it.

It was what Marco wanted at first. He waited on the Filmore deal to get done before he committed to a new lease and renovations to turn the deli into a restaurant.

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