Over at Marco Prime restaurant at the Marco Walk shopping center, Chef Francesco Carvelli and his team are reinventing the culinary wheel.

They’re introducing a variety of Kobe burgers, among other innovations being dreamed up in the restaurant’s kitchen.

“One of them is the Marco Prime Style Burger,” says chef Francesco Carvelli, a member of the family which owns Marco Prime as well as DaVinci’s in the popular “food court” at the center.

Ingredients, Carvelli reveals, are Wagyu beef, jalapenos, smoked Gouda cheese, an in-house sauce and Maui onion rings.

“All our steaks,” Carvelli adds, “are cooked at 1,200 F. The charred broil creating the Milliard reaction, which is a chemical process responsible for forming the flavorful brown crust on the exterior of the steak.

Wagyu is a high quality Japanese cattle breed, and excellent marbling results in better flavor and juiciness. Carvelli said this particular steak’s popularity since the restaurant’s opening led him and his team to adapt the high quality cut to burgers, and that so far it’s been a big hit.

Besides a diverse and tantalizing menu, Carvelli also draws attention to his fish dishes, made from fresh fish delivered daily, and cleaned right in the kitchen.

The Carvelli family takes pride, too, in its wine list – which for the second year in a row has been included in a “Best of” list in wine Spectator Magazine. The restaurant’s cellar houses 3,000 bottles at any time. In this regard, Chef Francesco says any queries about wine and wine advice can be answered in-house by Adamo Serravalle, who writes a regular column for the Sun Times.

One other perk from Chef Francesco: With advance reservations, he’s happy to create multi-course banquets for tiny or large groups, and place a cherry on top with wine-pairing suggestions.

Happy hours at Marco Prime, which seats people inside or on the patio, are 4:30 to 6 p.m. daily, and suggested summer drinks are the wild berry Mojito or the Marco Prime Margarita with Grand Marnier foam. Restaurant hours are 4:30 to 10 p.m.

The restaurant number is 389-2333.

On the cover: Marco Prime Style Burger.

If you go:

What: Marco Prime Steak & Seafood

Where: Marco Walk center, opposite the Hilton resort

Price range: $30 and under

Dress: Business casual

Parking: Free valet parking on site


Also: bar/lounge, counter seating, gluten-free menu, personal wines welcome (corkage fee), private room, takeout, wheelchair access

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