Gotta confess, I enjoyed Da Marco much more when it was a humble place for those in the know, rather than purveyor to Master of the Universe types. Like Alison Cook, I'm closer to liking his casual Dolce Vita, but still do frequent Da Marco on occasion when I'm in the mood to blow air kisses at Lynn Wyatt.
Best Italian — Upscale Houston 2012 - Da Marco
Gourmet once called chef Marco Wiles's flagship restaurant, Da Marco, "as close to Italy as you can get without leaving Texas," and this still holds true. Part of that is due to Wiles's insistence on flying in the best Italian ingredients on a weekly basis such as fresh Mediterranean seafood and items for its separate cheese menu — yes, Da Marco has its own cheese menu. And part of that is due to Wiles's deep knowledge of Italian cuisine made modern, seen in dishes such as branzino carpaccio with pine nuts and foie gras or simple, house-made ravioli with ricotta and shaved truffles.