The San Marco Ristorante Facts
2082 Kensington Ave, Snyder NY 14226 / 716-839-5876
Hours: Tues-Thur & Sun 5-9; Fri & Sat 5-10
Price: $$$$ / Cuisine: Northern Italian
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San Marco has been around Buffalo for some ~36 ish years, at one location or the other (almost 25 at their current spot on Elmwood Ave in Kenmore). The husband and wife team of Frank and Chef Nancy Grimaldi have been knocking it out of the park since about day one – serving up brilliant Northern Italian cuisine from the start. Frank came to the states from his home in Italy (Florence according to well placed sources). He makes good use of his friendly smile, a memory for names and a knowledge of wines at the front of the house. Nancy works quietly in the kitchen as one of Buffalo’s best chefs with sous chef Linda Kiah.
The restaurant is located on Kensington in Snyder on the edge of both commercial and residential areas.
Flat out the food at San Marco Restaurant is second to none in WNY. From the succulent Sea Bass, the light fluffy gnocchi, the mouthwatering raviolis to the uber tender veal – this food is divine. Day after day they turn out brilliant cuisine suitable for, but not limited to, the very most special occasions.
Classic Italian that you would find in the northern half of Italy. Think more use of butter and creams, sage and rosemary with some influence on and from France and Austria. San Marco offer a nice selection of pastas, beef, chicken, veal and pork. The beer list is limited, the wine list extensive. Check out the menu here. Put this on the “impress your inlaws” list.
We went for a special birthday on a Thursday evening. We were lucky to get an 8:00 reservation, which will give you some idea of the popularity of the place. San Marco is decorated in a comfortable upscale suburban motif with mostly carpeted floors, rich taupe colored walls, white table cloths and wood accents. Suggestions of an Italian heritage are here and there, along with an assortment of racks displaying favorite whites and reds. One room with tile floors is reminiscent of an attractive wine cellar.
It’s been a little while since I’ve visited San Marco. I remember now the biggest issue here is deciding between dishes. Do not skimp. This is special. Order everything you want and then some – it will not go to waste. Hopefully, you’re on an expense account.
We ordered entrees:
Bresaola – Cured, aged, air dried beef with shavings of provolone cheese served over arugula with olive oil. $14
At first read I wasn’t overly excited, but this is a great combination of salty, nutty, deliciously pungent flavors. Not only would I not hesitate to get this on my next visit I would insist.
Ravioli Della Nonna – Spinach and cheese ravioli served in light porcini mushroom cream sauce laced with white truffles. $10
Heavenly! The mushroom/white truffle combo is killer. I can’t recall when I’ve had anything better.
Gnocchi del Barone – Potato dumplings in a delicate cream sauce of Italian gorgonzola. $10
Is it possible to reach perfection in a gnocchi? I think so.
Capesante al Vesuvio– Grilled sea scallops in a lemon sage butter sauce served with pesto risotto. $14.
The scallops were tender and perfectly seared where the lemon sage butter adds a nice element to the sea fresh scallops. The pesto risotto a perfect herbal compliment.
Insalata Arugula – Fresh arugula salad in extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar with roasted pine nuts and chunks of gorgonzola. $9
I’d like to get a case of this olive oil. Delicious.
QUAGLIE DEL CONTADINO – Fresh quails pan sautéed in cognac and shallots finished on the grill with a porcini mushroom sauce, roasted peppers and risotto. $26
How many ways can one say brilliant. The richness and complexity of the sauce is intense. Feel free to lick the plates. Tell them Step Out said it was okay.
RIGATONI ALLA BOLOGNESE – Rigatoni pasta in a rich slow cooked meat sauce of San Marzano tomatoes, veal and lamb. $23
A rich, luscious intense with a depth of flavor that every home cook dreams of and rarely finds.
ITELLO DELLA NONNA – Veal scaloppini in white wine and herbs, with a thin veil of asiago cheese and grilled eggplant in a fresh tomato sauce and basil. $26
Quite possibly the best $26 you’ll ever spend. Trust me when I say the veal and eggplant combo is better than either solo. I’d get two and take one home for tomorrow. Seriously!
CINGHIALE ALLE BRACE– Fresh tenderloin of wild boar marinated in extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and juniper berries. Finished on the grill with a Barolo wine sauce. $29
A tenderloin of wild boar is very similar to a tenderlion of pork with a little more intensity but not in the least gamey.
SALTIMBOCCA ALLA ROMANA – Scaloppini of veal in white wine and sage with veil of mozzarella and parma prosciutto. $26
A classic dish expertly crafted – a light wine flavor with essence of sage. So good!
Apple Crostata ~ $9
Basically an apple pie this was wonderful – right up there with my wife’s.
Coconut Sorbet ~ $9
I’m never overly excited by a sorbet (sorry sorbet lovers) but this did have a nice, refreshing coconut sweetness.
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