Review: New menu at Marco’s in Kenilworth hits the spot - mostly

Main course - sea bream with caponata
Main course - sea bream with caponata

A new menu is always a bit of a gamble for any restaurant to try, but Marco’s New York Italian’s effort left me very satisfied for the most part.

Sitting within the Holiday Inn in Kenilworth, the restaurant serves a mix of Italian and American food in a stylish setting.

Starter - chicken goujons with aioli

Starter - chicken goujons with aioli

When I turned up on Friday September 16, the staff were very welcoming and showed me to my table very quickly.

This standard was kept up throughout the evening - the waiting staff were very attentive and polite without being overbearing.

But the real test would be the food.

Everything I ordered was from the new menu, purportedly made with the input of Marco Pierre White himself.

Dessert - 'The Italian Job' - brownie, blueberry cheesecake and tiramisu

Dessert - 'The Italian Job' - brownie, blueberry cheesecake and tiramisu

I opted for the chicken goujons with aioli to start, as I had committed to having fish for my main course and I didn’t want seafood to dominate the meal.

When it arrived, I was rather surprised it did not come with any salad, which meant the three goujons and the small bowl of aioli had to be very good.

Sadly, they fell short. They were underseasoned and the aioli was not strong or rich enough to counter the bland flavour of the chicken.

After that, I was hoping my main course, sea bream with caponata, would step it up a bit.

Pleasingly, this dish was far better. This time the seasoning was spot on, with the tangy saltiness of the capers and aubergines in the caponata complementing the beautifully cooked sea bream perfectly.

If I was being very picky I would say the skin on the fish could have been a little crispier, but overall the dish was delicious.

Still having plenty of room for dessert, I ordered ‘The Italian Job’ a trio of tiramisu, blueberry cheesecake and chocolate brownie with ice cream.

This was presented beautifully on a wooden board, and I couldn’t help but get excited as the waiter brought it over to me.

All three desserts were excellent. The brownie was warm and succulent, the cheesecake was bursting with fruity flavour, and the tiramisu was deliciously light.

Despite the disappointing starter, I left the restaurant feeling very satisfied.

I could not fault the service and while the standard of the food was inconsistent, when it was good it was very, very good.

I would happily go back and enjoy another meal there, but perhaps I’d go for a different starter next time.