San Marco is one of my favorite restaurants in Buffalo. This is consistent and high-quality Northern Italian cuisine and one of Buffalo's best dining experiences. Owners/Chefs Frank and Nancy Grimaldi have expanded on and refined their family recipes and traditional dishes for more than 30 years, and the food seems to get better and better on every visit. Even after all these years, there's always something that keeps me coming back.
If you don't hear people mention San Marco often, it may be because San Marco does not have a bar. This is not a social scene. For reasons I cannot understand, that seems to be an obstacle for some people, as if the absence of craft cocktails somehow makes a restaurant incomplete. For me, it's one of the many things that makes this place unique and comfortable. I rather like having to proceed directly to my table.
San Marco has a great back wine room for larger groups. Our group of fourteen was seated there, and it was a perfect setting for a night of great food and wines from Northern Italy. From rich and flavorful Tagliolini al Tartufo, an old signature dish, to perfectly prepared trout with lemon caper sauce, the kitchen showed great execution.
The wines showed great too. Franciacorta from Ronco Calino is a nice introduction to the great sparkling wines of Northern Italy. It delivered lively bubbles, richness and subtle earthiness, proving that high-quality Franciacorta is the closest Italy comes to the essence of great Champagne. Just as all roads lead to Rome, all wines of Northern Italy lead to Barolo. Giacomo Conterno's Barolo Francia, paired with wild boar, did not disappoint. Conterno made no Monfortino in 2011, so all of the best fruit made it into this wine. It showed. We ended with sweet, delicious Passito from La Spinetta.
Ronco Calino Franciacorta Brut
Tagliolini al Tartufo
2004 Scarpetta Sauvignon Blanc Colli Orientali del Friuli
Trout with lemon caper sauce
2011 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Francia
Wild boar with porcini mushrooms and juniper berries
2008 La Spinetta Passito Oro
San Marco Ristorante, 2082 Kensington Ave, Buffalo, NY 14226