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“Food good but no atmosphere”
Review of San Marco - CLOSED

San Marco
Price range: $50 - $199
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed September 13, 2012

We had a business conference in Coventry and Googled a good Italian restaurant. San Marco came up with good reviews so we went there.
First impressions when we walked in were poor, the decor was old and tired and in much need of modernisation, as sadly were the two staff. There were 11 of us in all and we started with drinks at the bar, where we were given menus and wine list. Menu was good but pricey, however the wines were very reasonably priced with a Barolo at under £40.
The food was excellent, as was the choice and the bill came to about £650 so not cheap. Therefore one should expect the surroundings to be in line with the price and they're not.
My only other disappointment was the lack of atmosphere. The two waiters had no personality at all and were very difficult to engage in conversation. Not surprisingly we had to ask for a limoncello on the house, as it wasn't offered, which I would have expected when there were only two other diners in on a Tuesday and we'd just spent £650.
If I lived locally would I go again? Probably yes, as the food was good but how often would depend on the improvement to decor and atmosphere. It guess it could be different at the weekend when they're busier.

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Thank Romanknight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (66)
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52 - 56 of 66 reviews

Reviewed June 2, 2012

Seeing the owner and subsequently the chef standing in the doorway smoking before we entered should have given us some warning as to what to expect however we are always keen to try restaurants we havent eaten in before so decided to proceed.

It was early on a Friday evening and we were the first guests. First impressions count unfortuantely for San Marco and sebastian the owner- try to set the bar high if you are intending charging £6.95 for a canneloni starter and £21 for a steak. Do not have cheap ornaments on the bar saying "save water, drink wine" or have hand written A1 menus in the window offering takeaway items, it just reaks of desparation.

We were sat in the window and our bottle of wine brought to us along with a plate of bread. It is the first time I can remember that we were not even offered water with our meal in a restaurant. Approximately 30 minutes later, a couple who were obviously regulars from the banter they had with the owner arrived and were sat in the very next table, again in a window position. I understand that the owner wants the restaurant to appear busy and therefore wants window seats filling however it almost highlighted how empty the place was with both couple in one corner, if indeed that is possible with only 4 covers.

The food - cannelloni starter was excellent as was the warm bread we were brought. The other starter was a baked mozzerrella on bread which would have been reasonable in any high street public house, but not in a restaurant charging the best part of £25-30 for a starter and main. My steak was well cooked but disappointing in size and my partners main of Carbonara was fine but again, felt more pub quality.

Sadly we will not return to San Marco - we live in Coventry and try to support local businesses as much as we can however there was no connection with the owner/waiter, little engagement from him and they need to bring their prices in line with the experience not what they believe it may have once been worth.

Suggestion - try their special offer evenings in the week as the difference in price may mean the food and service are as expected, and not below expected as we experienced.

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Thank ade1266
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2012

Awful location, awful food, service was primitive and the price you pay for the pap was laughable. What can one say ? Lost for words how this got any decent reviews..

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2  Thank Mehran M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2012

This place is so wonderful! The food we had was wonderful as was the service, helps that the waiter looks like Jim Bowen! I adore authentic Italian and this place just oozes that authenticity. The restaurant itself looks like nothing too special but the food and service more than makes up for decor!

If you can go mid week they do a great 3 course meal for £13.95 monday to thursday.

Thank Becky S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2012

Following a recent first visit to Italy, San Marco was my restaurant of choice for a special birthday dinner. It is well known in the area for great food and a friendly atmosphere. Every meal in Italy had been excellent and I wondered how San Marco would compare and I'm delighted to say I was not disappointed.

Everyone gets the same warm welcome when they go through the door and many of the diners were clearly regulars - always a good sign. The meal and service were perfection and San Marco remains firmly at the top of my list.

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Thank Ellen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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