Marco’s Restaurant and Lounge

With its gold-textured walls and table-votive glow, Marco’s has the markings of an Italian/steakhouse hybrid that has spent a summer in Tuscany—where a 14-ounce New York Strip shares the menu with spaghetti and meatballs, the consummate Italian comfort food. That’s just how the hardcore regulars who pack the dining room on any given night like it. Ownership changed hands earlier this year, when Mark Poulos, the restaurant’s namesake whose Greek-Italian heritage inspired most of the recipes, retired and passed the torch to Bradley Lovett, who plans on maintaining the traditionsthat have made the restaurant a northside go-to for 25 years. During the summer months, patrons sipping Prosecco by the glass pack the umbrella-shaded patio. (Beer drinkers will be pleased to find Peroni on tap.) Expect a solid lineup of thin-crust bistro pizzas and time-honored pastas, but the classically prepared meat-centric entrees are the real showstoppers. The piccata is perhaps the best of the bunch—juicy chicken or veal generously doused with a lemony wine sauce and plump, briny capers.

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