Dining review: Da Vinci Ristorante for a night in Italy

Will Watts

The next stop in our ongoing dining adventure is Da Vinci Ristorante Italiano in Marco Walk Plaza.

Things got off to an appetizing start with the rollatini di melanzana – eggplant stuffed with ricotta cheese and topped with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. If an Italian restaurant is to be judged by its sauce, then Da Vinci’s has nothing to fear. It was the perfect harmony of fresh tomatoes, garlic, herbs and onions blended into a masterpiece. The ricotta was light, but not grainy – as is the case with some fine Italian restaurants. And the cheese topping was just enough.

The rollatini di melanzana, aka stuffed eggplant, at Da Vinci Ristorante, Marco Island.
The house salad at Da Vinci Ristorante, Marco Island.

This appetizer arrived within 10 minutes of ordering it; which is a plus; especially when you are fine dining. It also left us confused, because once we had finished, about 15 more minutes would pass before our salads arrived. I assumed that had just been forgotten.

My dining companion for the evening picked the house salad, with vinaigrette. I upgraded to the Cesar for $3 more. Mine was a delight with tangy, garlicky dressing. My friend described his salad as “out of harmony.” Not as fresh as expected with a muddy dressing.         

For my main entrée, I chose the rigatoni Bolognese. Well, sort of.  I switched the pasta for angel hair. And I did so without any problems, I might add. If you’re like me, sometimes you want to tweak things a little bit. And I like restaurants that are adaptable.

The portion was generous. The sauce was just as amazing as before. The beef, pork and Italian blends were also near perfect. My only complaint? Very little meat. I like a meaty Bolognese; oetherwise I would have ordered spaghetti.

The Bolognese at Da Vinci Ristorante, Marco Island.
The quattro stagioni at Da Vinci Ristorante, Marco Island.

My partner in dine picked the quattro stagioni, chicken breasts sautéed with a mix of green and red peppers, mushrooms, garlic, rosemary in a brandy demi-glaze sauce. It was served with a scattering of fresh veggies.   

The chicken and the sauce were not the best marriage; as the sauce paired much better with the few veggies; making the diner wish there was more veggies and less chicken.

The service was well timed, accurate and precise. Perhaps intentionally, but there were no smiling faces among the staff.

Make a date with Da Vinci and make sure the marinara is on your mind. With that, you can’t go wrong.

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If you go

Da Vinci Ristorante Italiano

599 S Collier Blvd, Marco Island