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“WORST Italian food ever - You couldn't pay me to eat here again” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Ristorante Marco

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Ristorante Marco
1847 Pulaski Hwy, Bear, DE 19701-1731
+1 302-392-2244
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Ranked #10 of 61 Restaurants in Bear
Price range: $6 - $60
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Great Italian food prepared at order.
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“WORST Italian food ever - You couldn't pay me to eat here again”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

I'm baffled how anyone could rate this restaurant higher than one star. (It deserves zero but unfortunately that's not an option). I got the pasta sampler - 3 types of pasta of your choice. All 3 were bad, the only edible one was a simple pasta with tomato sauce but I can get better out of a jar. The worst one on the platter is what they call "carbonara" they should be ashamed to call themselves an Italian restaurant based on this dish alone. The eggs were completely scrambled, almost as if they did it on purpose. Picture pasta (overcooked) with heavy cream, panchetta (so little it was almost impossible to find) and a plate of scrambled eggs mixed together....ugh. Carpaccio appetizer was a joke, not sure what it was but I believe it was sliced (cooked) roast beef over greens with no seasoning. My companion got a mixed seafood dish - we both laughed out loud when it arrived. There was barely any seafood in it (and I believe it was one of the specials - so it wasn't cheap). The little seafood there was in the dish was a joke. The clams were the size of a quarter or smaller - not normal little necks or anything, I've never seen clams so tiny in my life, they might has well used the little ones you find at the shore. The shrimp - same thing, overcooked and curled up like the letter O and the size of a nickel. You couldn't pay me to eat here again. To top it all off the service was beyond horrible. Our server had an attitude and was never around (even though there were only 2 tables and 2 servers). Hostess was rude. Not even Robert Irvine could fix this trainwreck.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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32 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
231 reviews 231 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“rave reviews from our entire party”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

I am taking the liberty of summarizing reviews from nearly 20 people that were in our party. This was a last minute reservation and quite frankly at the time we called we were not sure exactly what to expect. The occasion was a business meeting and due to the rarity of our gathering we tend to be particularly fussy with regard to expectations for the level of service and quality of food. One of the comments offered was "Ristorante Marco is on par with the Chesapeake Inn" and anyone who knows this area of Delaware near Maryland will understand the reference to one of the areas premier dining experiences. As with any review, your own personal experience may vary but I do hope you enjoy yourself as much as everyone in my group did!

Marco personally took care of our party. He was absolutely witty and entertaining, offering many surprises for us throughout the evening. I believe it is safe to say he enjoys showing off, which he is entitled to do, yet he was just getting started when he entertained us with his presentation of the vast menu that he proudly displays on a iPad. Personally I like that his menu offers some basic pasta dishes that are very reasonably priced ($10-15) while other tantalizing specials provide a respite from the ordinary. There is enough variety you will not be disappointed.

Marco offered us a sampling of each of his most popular appetizers. We were then treated to a Insalata Arrosto which is grilled romaine lettuce with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction topped with Pancetta and shaved Parmesan. We then marveled at his demonstration for memorizing everyone's individual entree orders including all the nuanced particulars (steak cooked medium, side of veg, etc), all while conversing with the group, back and forth, including interruptions and corrections. Even after he returned several minutes later Marco accurately 'corrected' those who tried to test his memory. All orders were received accurately. After dinner the observation was made that everyone ordered a special desert with one comment heard, which is true, that none of us ever orders desert so this really was special. Another comment heard was that we are often too full to want desert but we felt satisfied, not overly stuffed nor wanting, so the desert option was good.

I can attest that everyone in the group enjoyed their meal and no one was disappointed. In fact I continued to receive compliments for the rest of the week from everyone on how much they enjoyed Ristorante Marco. I think Marco is truly passionate about the food he offers and like most Italians he shares the best of everything in his house. In the end we were left with a very memorable dining experience.

Because I frequently offer reviews on Trip Advisor I will be the first to admit the fun and excitement of a good evening may sometimes compensate for any shortcomings, therefore I am looking forward to a return visit to confirm my original impression.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Philadelphia, PA
Top Contributor
545 reviews 545 reviews
162 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 346 cities Reviews in 346 cities
717 helpful votes 717 helpful votes
“Not as good as its reputation”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2012

This restaurant won "Best of Delaware" in one of the local magazines just a couple of years ago. After finding a restaurant.com discount, I decided to try it. It wasn't bad, but "Best of Delaware"? I'm not even sure it should be best of Bear!

As some others have noted, much of the food is bland and unexceptional. My family did a taste-around and we all concluded the same. Crab soup was too salty. Best entre was probably the filet mignon. Veal parmigana was medicore. Pastas were ho-hum; best sauce was the alfredo.

The highlights were the prompt service and good atmosphere. Marco wasn't "in the house," so I don't know if that would have made any difference.

Bottomline is that if I were in Bear again and wanted Italian (or a steak), I might stop by if I had a discount. Otherwise, it wasn't good enough to return, even with the discount.

Visited February 2012
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Bear, Delaware
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Best Food in Delaware”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2012

Over the years, I have eaten at Italian restaurants from New York City to Tuscany, Italy and Marcos is among the top of the pack. The last year and half I have been going at least a few times a month and have tried a good portion of everything on the menu and it has all amazing. Definitely the best Italian in Delaware if not in the entire mid-Atlantic. The atmosphere is also wonderful, not many places around no days that you can actually enjoy conversation over dinner and not have your voice drowned out by loud music or loud mouths at other tables or at the bar.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Overpriced, bland”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2011 via mobile

I ordered the stuffed flounder and it was dry tomthe point being chewy, flavorless, and extremely small portion for $28. Also, my side was peas with pancetta and mushrooms. I couldn't find any mushrooms, and there was a piece of panchetta the size of my pinky fingernail. Extremelly dissapointed.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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