I have been wanting to share with you another Italian gem hidden in London and this one is Da Mario. It is located at one end of Endell Street in Covent Garden. It is quite hidden that you hardly notice this family run Italian restaurant. It is small restaurant but it has this local feel that give you that warm atmosphere.
Since it is small and busy, I would recommend you book a table even for two people. Especially on a Friday and Saturday evening, or you might be disappointed to find out that there are no tables available.
The menu is at a reasonable length that is not too long that at the same time it has variety of choices. There are a range of starters, pasta or main dishes that you can choose. I have not yet tried Da Mario’s main dishes but seen them arrived on other tables and they do look good that it would be something I will consider on my next visit to the restaurant.
Currently my two favorite dishes at Da Mario is one the Linguine all’ Astice (£16.50) – a linguine with lobster, fresh tomatoes in a lobster sauce. The menu does describe it containing brandy in the lobster sauce but I could not taste it which is definitely a good thing since I am not a fan of brandy. When it says lobster you really do get lobster meat and they even give you the shell as part of the presentation. Do not worry if you do not like to get your hands dirty because the shell is empty as it has been removed for you.
The second is the desert Crepes con Cream Pasticceara (£4.70) – pancakes filled with creme patissiere & flambee with Cointreau. A tasty warm and sweet pancake.
Although it is a family run restaurant the presentation of the food has been thought. So even a cheesecake can look like what you get in a classy restaurant and taste just as nice.
My latest visit I tried their starters. Under the antipasti we choice the Capesante Asparagi e Peperoni (£9.50) – scallops, asparagus, roasted peppers, spinach and bacon. This is like a stir-fry dish which was decorated with drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The scallops were cooked just right, as they were not over-cooked but still succulent
With the scallops we had it with some garlic bread (£2.75). At first it reminded me of Pizza Hut since they look almost similar but the ones at Da Mario I found it tasted better. Crispy French bread crust with a lovely strong aroma flavour of the garlic.
Instead of going for the lobster linguine, I decided to try Linguine al Sapore di Mare (£9.90) – Mixed seafood with fresh tomatoes, herbs and garlic. In terms of price this is cheaper than the lobster linguine but that is becasue lobster and this is seafood. In the mix seafood I got clams, mussels, calamari and octopus. It was in a nice tomato based sauce and is a great dish for seafood lovers.
On our table we also ordered the Tagliatelle con Calamari, Asparagi e Perperoni (£9.50) – pasta with calamari, asparagus, roasted peppers in a garlic flavour sauce. I do love the flavour of the sauce that was used for this pasta dish, which show I am a fan of garlic!
To finish off the meal we decided to try out Da Mario’s Tiramasu (£4.50). It came in a small oven proof dish which I thought was cute that gave it a homemade feel to it. The Tiramasu was lovely since it is was a light creamy Tiramasu, so it was not heavy to spoil a meal.
Da Mario is a great place for couples out on a date but also a nice place to have a wonderful Italian meal with friends. The service was nice and friendly, which is important for a complete package of a restaurant. Apart from Stef’s (https://chechemui.wordpress.com/2010/04/18/stefs/) I can add Da Mario as another Italian restaurant in London that I would recommend.
(Prices are correct at the time I was dining there)
Da Mario Restaurant
63 Endell Street