Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pizzeria da Marco

Pizzeria da Marco offers true Neapolitan pizza in Bethesda, MD.  Hand made and fired in a wood-oven at 900 degrees, the pizzas have a thin/soft crust that is not crispy, nor crunchy, yet topped with fresh local and imported ingredients such as San Marzano tomatoes that transports you to Italy.  Check out the Happy Hour specials offered daily from 4-7pm.  Closest Metro is Bethesda.

Keith and I had plans to watch a concert at the Strathmore Hall in Rockville, and decided to stop off for an early dinner before hand.  Pizzeria da Marco caught our eyes because they were open early, and offered great Happy Hour specials.  We sat at the bar and ordered a bottle of Rosso Piceno-Marche 2011, a smooth and deep Sangiovese from Montepulciano. Normally priced at $30, the HH price was only $18 - a great deal.  We also ordered a HH appetizer of Mini Sweet Peppers stuffed with sausage, parmesan, and breadcrumbs.  While the stuffing was tasty and piping hot from the oven, I would have preferred the tomato sauce to be heated as well.  We then decided to order a HH pizza for $6 - the Margherita Classica with simple tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and parmesan.  The margherita was very classic in flavors and preparation.  Additionally from the regular menu, we ordered the Siciliana made with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, eggplant confit, black olives, capers, oregano, parmesan, and basil.  The siciliana had great briny flavor from both the capers and black olives.  The eggplant was very tender, and overall I enjoyed this veggie pizza.  They offered to cook the pizzas a little longer to make it a bit more crispy than their traditional preparation.  The extra cooking made the crust more chewy and the center a tad less soggy.  Each pizza is a personal size of about 12 inches, and normally is not precut, but since Keith and I like to share everything, they happily sliced our pizzas.

We still had extra time to kill before the concert started, so we ordered another round of drinks and tried another appetizer dish of Calamari con Spinaci.  A warm stew of calamari, spinach and tomato sauce was served with crostini.  The calamari was clearly frozen and thus rubbery, but the sauce had interesting flavor and I loved how the crostini soaked it all up so well.  Keith enjoyed the pizza so much that he wanted to take advantage of the HH deal and ordered another margherita to take home.

All in all, the service and food was decent at Pizzeria da Marco.  The restaurant itself was larger than expected, and soon filled up with regular tables by the time we left.  The Happy Hour specials at the bar are a great deal, with not only many beer and wine selections, but also many food and pizza items not to be missed.

Total Rating: 3.83
Food: 3.5, Price: 4.5, Service: 4, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 5

What I ate:
Mini Sweet Peppers
stuffed with Sausage, Parmesan & Breadcrumbs

Calamari con Spinaci
Calamari, Spinach & Tomato Sauce, served with Crostini

Margherita Classica
Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella, Basil & Parmesan

Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella, Eggplant Confit,
Black Olives, Capers, Oregano, Parmesan & Basil

Pizzeria da Marco on Urbanspoon

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