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Feb 28, 2009 08:29 AM

Marco Trattoria, Brevard, NC - Anyone?

Just learned today that Maple has closed and this new restaurant, Marco Trattoria has opened. AND, the plot thickens beyond that....the new owners of Marco Trattoria are apparently the original owners of Hob Nob! (for those who don't know, Maple/Marco Trattoria is the property right next door to Hob Nob) Reports of Hob Nob under the new ownership have not been terribly favorable. So, this will be owners next door to old. The two restaurants do offer different cuisine.

I called today to find out more about hours and price points. He said right now, they serve breakfast Wed - Fri 7:45 - 10:30, lunch Tue - Fri 11:00 - 3:00 and dinner Tue-Sun 5:00 - 9:00. They also serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 - 3:00. They are closed on Mondays. He said the food leans to more traditional Italian and price points in the teens for dinner and $6 - $10 for lunch.

Has anyone been or heard anything about it?

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  1. Well, we threw caution to the wind and tried it tonight. Hmmm. It's ok. I think it could be so much better. The atmosphere is nice, but they really didn't change much from Maple, so it's Maple's atmosphere - not sure they get any points for that. Service was decent. Food - ok.

    The main theme that kept coming back was "it needs more flavor!" Two of us tried the pizza special (tenderloin, caramelized onion, blue cheese sauce, and some other stuff that sounded good). I thought the crust was very good, but the rest, just seemed lacking. I wanted all those great flavors to leap off the crust! They sorta laid there.... Two people got the chicken parmesan and again, it was ok. Chicken was fine, but pasta was boring - "sauce" consisted of several chunks of tomato and not much else. The other two had pasta dishes which were also deemed pretty good, but lacking in flavor. One of us got dessert - the panna cote. I tried a bite of it. Now bear in mind, I have had exactly one other panna cote with which to compare, so certainly no expert; but this one was no where near as good as the other one I had. Again, no flavor. Needed maybe a pinch of salt, more vanilla?? something. And it was really just a runny creme brulee. The other one I had before stood unmolded, plated on its own - a sort of custard consistency, but much smoother.

    So, I think if they would just punch up the flavor A LOT, then it could be good. But, I will say it's only been open two weeks, so I'd love to hear from anyone else who's been.... After all, the first time I went to the Quarry, it wasn't very good, but a year later, it was dramatically better, so can happen. But, for now, we won't be back unless we hear lots of good things.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Scirocco

      I think I will wait a while on this one.

    2. Took my Girlfriend to Marco's two weeks ago Saturday. Kind of strange to open the front door and to be met with a large "community" table that you have to physically walk around to meet the hostess.
      Our service was terrible to non-existent. Had to physically grab someone for their attention.
      Arrived there at 7:00 pm for dinner, so when we ordered the "Coconut Curry Soup" special, . . . . The restaurant was out of the soup !! Strange
      I agree with 'Scirocco's comment on the flavor aspect. Pretty drab and lacking in spices. Entries were eloquently displayed but then again, . . . looks doesn't add flavor.
      We may try this place later, however, there are other very adequate restaurants in the area with better service.

      1 Reply
      1. re: blackiev

        Agree on all counts. When it was Maple, they had a nice comfy waiting area with couches by the fireplace (instead of the communal table). Considering we were waiting 20 minutes for our "reservation", that would've been nice to have instead of standing in the doorway. :-/

        Like Blackiev said, the descriptions sounded so good and for the most part, looked good, but... we were just disappointed that the flavors weren't there. Same with your experience, they were out of many things, but we were there late (8:30) so we had chalked it up to that. I thought it was odd though, that when I pointed out that maybe she should erase the items they were out of on the board, she just looked at it and said, "oh ya" and turned back around to our table. Never removed them. It would've taken all of 5 seconds to wipe them off and kept others from being disappointed. Three of us had to change our orders because they were out of things. I also figured maybe it was because they were new and didn't have quantities worked out yet. who knows.

        I really want this place to be good. I like the descriptions of what they offer and the atmosphere and price points are good. I just wish the flavors were there too.

      2. My experience at Marco is very different from the others posted. Given that Brevard is a beautiful mountain town with less than 10K population, having a comfortable place that serves Northern Italian cuisine, is a treat by itself. The fact that the owner/chef has a subtle hand in the kitchen is not necessarily a bad thing - one of my favorite side dishes is the plump, fresh cannellini beans served in a bath of fragrant oil and spices...very nice, as tasty as I've had in the US or Italy. Another favorite is the Muffelata Panini - a lighter olive dressing keeps this flavorful combination of sliced meats a pleasant combination with the (made-in-house?) panini...nice for brunch...

        While the entry area can get crowded at peak times (most anytime, right now), the "community table" sets the friendly-sophisticated tone of the trattoria - a place where one can relax with a nice wine by the glass (strong wine list), meet some new people, solve the world's problems and enjoy a nicely-priced, but tasty meal.. The owner's European living experience has prompted them to bring some new concepts to Brevard - the ambiance is very different than many "upscale" restaurants in the Southeast - think SOHO, Sausalito, EastAtlanta or even South Philadelphia...the walls are dramatically decorated with original artwork (oils and other) created by the owner, and the meals are served on original pottery designs fired by a local potter...

        If my comments, so different than the others, make you wonder....throw caution to the wind and check it out for yourself :-) I hope you enjoy it as much as I do...


        4 Replies
        1. re: davidday

          i have friends that went last night- picking up at camp- and they said it was great- only got a text so I'm not sure what they ordered-glad to hear it b/c she said her friends did not have a good meal at the Quarry-I cancelled and plan to try Marco or Jordan St or Dugan's when I return on the 23rd.

          1. re: hlsess

            I'll be very interested to hear how you like it. Like I said above, I REALLY want it to be good (I love itlaian). It was just kinda bland (all six of us agreed). Not awful, just ok. It has so much potential. BUT, we went not long after it opened, so perhaps it has gotten better. I'd like to give it another chance if it gets more good reviews.

            sorry your friends didn't have a good experience at the Quarry. When we first went there, it wasn't very good. It took a long time for us to try it again, but lots of good subsequent reviews got us back there about a year later (and with a coupon!!) and our second experience was excellent. Maybe they are hit and miss. who knows.

            we have enjoyed Jordan St, with service being the only spotty issue for us. Dugan's is good pub food. Looks like the new Dugan's spot is nice too. another friend went to the new Thai place (Pad Thai) last night and said the food was very good, but the atmosphere is definitely still "Hot Dog King" (or whatever it used to be), so just don't expect elegance if you go - ha!! Also, no a/c and only a couple of tables inside, the rest on a patio (screened I think). But, the food has gotten big thumbs up from everyone i know who's tried it.

            1. re: Scirocco

              Heading up to Brevard tomorrow for camp pickup- decided it will be either Marco or Jordan St- if we go to Jordan St- can we sit in bar with teens-read the bar is better

              1. re: hlsess

                re: Jordan St. I don't see why not. You could call to be sure, but it's also a waiting area for the main restaurant, so you see all ages in there. I think Jordan St. is on too, so you could save some $$. oops, never mind, it says it's not valid in the bar area.

                was just on urbanspoon and Marco's has gotten great reviews recently. guess I need to go back and try again. will be very interested in your experience if you go there.

        2. I've been to Marco's a couple of times and love their brunch! While I haven't tried many of the entrees their salds, soups and pizzas have been great! The service can be a little slow. But overall I would recommend Marco.

          This is a great place to sit outside when the weather permits. Oh-and they are open 7 days a week during the summer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mckinley

            when we went on the 23rd-sorry forgot to report- we went to Jordan St- sat in bar- did not now about back patio but we got 2 sandwiches/wraps that were very good$10 each but the service was slow- didn't seem like the expensive side was too crowded...