Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Further along the North Bailey - a tour of Ristorante San Marco, my best favourite of restaurants in Durham City!



After admiring the views of Durham Cathedral and River from the benches we have visited, you may well be hungry!
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A little further along the North Bailey from the previous bench you will find our favourite Durham restaurant - Ristorante San Marco.


Owner restaurateur Emidio (pictured on the left, with waiter Franco on the right), offers a warm welcome to the many local people and tourists who frequent San Marco. A popular Italian restaurant with local people, students and tourists, word of mouth brings customers back again and again!
A small friendly restaurant, the tables are close enough for ambience, yet spaced apart enough for privacy. The upholstered seats are comfortable, (very important after all those hard benches!), the wines are good, and the food - absolutely superb!

There is a glorious range of starters. My ultimate favourites are the homemade soups, most especially the mushroom - the best I've ever tasted! Other delicious starters are the Antipasto All'Italiana and the Caprese Salad. Oh - and the bread is home-made and out-of-this-world!


The main courses are mouth-watering, ranging from pastas and pizzas to chicken, seafood and steak. I adore the Pollo Valdostana, (tomato, cheese and asparagus), the Fettuccine Diavola and the Pollo San Marco (Cream, Tomato, Dijon Mustard with King Prawns finished with Brandy).

Chef Paul is a genius! You can catch glimpses of him deftly creating his masterpieces through the kitchen door, which is always open. Pizza-chef David makes pizza just as it should be - with plenty of topping!



Before we make our way to the door, would you like to hear about the sweets? Or is that too cruelly tempting? Oh - alright ... there's manager Tom's homemade Tiramisu - (melt-in-the-mouth luxury), homemade Creme Caramel with it's subtlety of flavour, and exquisite homemade Bread-and-butter Pudding, plus many more delights!


Now thoroughly revitalized for another stroll, you can return along the winding old street to the River, or head down Saddler Street to the historic centre of Durham ...

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Ingrid Sylvestre - Durham Artist
Durham artist Ingrid Sylvestre, artists in Durham City. 

22 comments:

Prospero said...

The Ristorante San Marco is such a charming eatery. I always like to attempt to find these gems, treasures that are sometimes hidden away. It's evident from your description that Chef Paul takes great pride in his work.

Phoenix C. said...

Yes Prospero, Ristorante San Marco is just like a hidden gem, tucked away in the winding little streets near the Cathedral!

Bim said...

Sounds and looks lovely...now I just have to get to Durham :)

Diane C. said...

Fascinating tour of Ristorante San Marco. All of the food sounds delicious; would love to try the mushroom soup and homemade bread. :)

Phoenix C. said...

Make sure you book a table, Bim! :)

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

Italian is my favorite type of food. Your described it so well I'm hungry now :) It looks so nice, and I just love these small places that need no advertisement just word of mouth, then you know it will be good.

Phoenix C. said...

I'm sure you would love the mushroom soup and homemade bread, Diane, it is lovely on a cold winter's day and is even irresistible in the middle of a hot June!

Phoenix C. said...

Glad you liked my food descriptions, Catherine and hope you had something nice to eat after getting hungry!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Nom nom nom nom. My favorite restaurant is middle-eastern and man I'm jonesing for it now....

Phoenix C. said...

Why not do a post on it, Monica? I like to read about food!

I'm off to make some toast and marmalade now!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Good Italian restaurants are always special. I worked in one for a while when I was 18. Long time ago.

Anna said...

Mmmmmm ! Will have to mention this to my nephew who is a student in Durham - it sounds like his culinary education will not be complete without a visit to San Marco. I am partial to Italian food as my mum is Italian - she makes a mean homemade tiramisu too :)

Phoenix C. said...

I totally agree, Rob!

I worked in a plant nursery for a while when I was 18. Long time ago! :)

Phoenix C. said...

Your nephew may well have already been to San Marco, Anna!

Oh, lucky you having a mum who makes a mean homemade tiramisu! Yum!

Pondside said...

Mmmmm - not nice to make your readers drool so early in the morning (just gone 7 here).
I've had a nice catch-up on your posts. Benches and hedges and flowers - too beautiful!
We have a gunera in our garden. It is an amazing plant - it looks prehistoric to me.

Phoenix C. said...

Sorry to make you drool so early in the morning, Pondside! Hope you had something nice for breakfast ...

Glad you've enjoyed my posts - thank you!

How lovely to have a gunnera in your garden. They have such a wonderful presence.

Barbara Martin said...

You should put this in a travel magazine, Phoenix, complete with photos. A perfectly charming post with enticements that's made me hungry before I retire for the evening.

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Barbara!

I hope you had something nice to eat before retiring for the evening!

Woodland Fay said...

Have enjoyed your guided virtual tour of Durham, never visited in person, I'm one of those Brits who never ventures north of the Midlands to my shameful, cultural loss and for reasons unfathomable to me right now. Must make amends! Your garden and surrounds always delight. BTW spent the weekend with a friend from Phoenix Arizona, a desert gardener!

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Woodland Fay! Hope you manage to visit Durham and it's surrounding areas - well worth a few days exploring, and now you know where to get good food too!

I've never visited Arizona - I follow some great blogs from the area, which makes me want to see the wonderful desert gardens and landscapes.

Mauri said...

i love tiramisu! I love all sweets, ice cream, pies, the puddings, the pastry ..... the tiramisù si can do in light version with ricotta ... hello, mauri

Phoenix C. said...

Hello Mauri! I love all sweets too, especially pies, pudding and pastry! I have not had tiramisu with ricotta - it sounds interesting.