WIN: Meal for two at Marco’s

Marco Pierre White at his new restaurant in Exeter

Marco Pierre White at his new restaurant in Exeter - Credit: Archant

Foodies from across the South West are in for a treat when they dine at Marco’s New York Italian Restaurant in Clyst Honiton near Exeter airport.

Marco Pierre White at his new restaurant in Exeter

Marco Pierre White at his new restaurant in Exeter - Credit: Archant

Opened in May, the restaurant has fast established itself as one of the city’s premier eateries.

Marco Pierre White at his new restaurant in Exeter

Marco Pierre White at his new restaurant in Exeter - Credit: Archant

On behalf of the Journal, I was invited to visit and sample the cuisine as well as meeting the Godfather of modern cooking, Marco Pierre White himself (it’s a tough job but someone has to do it!).

Marco Pierre White at his new restaurant in Exeter

Marco Pierre White at his new restaurant in Exeter - Credit: Archant

Marco was asked why build a restaurant in Exeter? His reply was: “The South West is an area I’m very familiar with. I have friends in Ottery and spend time here when I can and visit sidmouth, Beer and East Devon which I love.

“Marco’s New York Italian is about providing a relaxed but dynamic environment where diners can come to enjoy traditional Italian favourites and have a good time, at any time of day. “Our customers are as important as our food, so I’m looking forward to meeting the local residents of Devon.”

With checked black and white flooring and red napkins, the new 92-cover family-friendly restaurant has been styled to replicate the hustle and bustle of a classic New York Italian.

I asked Marco does he choose all his chefs? to which he replied: “No, I only pick the head chef, it’s up to him or her to choose the right type of people to work with; I don’t want to bring people in who might not work well with the head chef.”

Most Read

Overseeing the food is head chef Al Morgan who has been put in charge of the restaurant’s kitchen. Al added: “Marco is a firm believer that the atmosphere and ambience has to be perfect. People who go out to eat deserve the best and we’ve been keen to make sure that this New York Italian will become one of the most popular places to eat in.”

Marco continued: “It’s about sharing dreams not making dreams. I want people to regularly visit my restaurants. It’s not three star Michelin fine dining where people come once, I want people to come back regularly because the food is good, affordable and in an environment that is comfortable with their friends and relax.”

When questioned where Marco got his inspration to cook he said: “My father and grandfather were both chefs so it was just natural to follow in their footsteps.I was never ambitious but ambitious by default; I just wanted to express myself with food.

“I’ve not seriously cooked since 1999 but concentrate on my vision of what I’d like if I was dining and Marco’s Exeter is about family-friendly Italian food that appeals to everyone including children.”

One last question was do you miss cooking, which he put bluntly with a smile: “No, not at all!”

Marco’s Exeter menu includes, for starters, calamari with garlic and lemon mayonnaise, buffalo mozzarella with tomato and basil and roasted beetroot and goat’s cheese salad. For mains there’s a delicious choice including spaghetti carbonara with poached hen’s egg, Wild mushroom risotto, New York ribs smothered with barbecue sauce or chicken filled with mozzarella and tomato wrapped in prosciutto and lazy fries. Pudding are just as tantalising with Marco’s tiramisu, New York cheese cake with passion fruit syrup and panna cotta.

I’m not a food critic so I’m not going to be pompous about reviewing the food but, if you get the chance to dine at Marco’s, do yourself a favour and go; it is gastronomic heaven!

For further information, please visit www.marcosexeter.co.uk or to reserve a table please call 01392 348111.

? To be in with a chance of winning a three-course meal for two, a bottle of house wine, simply answer this simple question:

What style of food is Marco’s New York restaurant cooking?

A. Irish

B. American

C. Italian

Text EXJ MARCO followed by A, B or C to 80058 before 11am on August 9.

? Texts cost 50p plus your standard network rate.

? Usual promotion rules apply – visit www.archant.co.uk