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The Mark of Marco

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You need to know this the next time you’re in Houston: You can have a smaller, selected edition of Marco Wiles’ fantastic food for a little more than half the price he charges at Da Marco. All you have to do is sashay down to 500 Westheimer Road to Dolce Vita, his casual pizzeria and pasteria (is that a word?). I did just that on Saturday, before heading to the Museum of Fine Arts for the fun jewelry-as-art show (see image–that’s a bracelet, the emphasis is on “art”). What a great little Houston interlude–the fall weather had turned just a bit, I ate on the outdoor patio with its planters and woven-plastic chairs while gusts of rain hit the roof, making everything seem very cozy. The fish of the day was speckled trout, beautifully fresh, very flaky, like snapper, with a totally Marco treatment consisting of a bed of bitter rapini set off by sweet, succulent red grapes. Wow. You could get whiplash–in a good way, of course. Walnuts added texture. When the waiter came to collect my licked-clean plate, he kidded, “Too bad you didn’t like it.”

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