Today's side deal puts an end to centuries of enmity between mortal enemies and reluctant geographical neighbors Italy and China. For $3, you get $7 worth of seemingly improbable but undeniably superb Italian-Asian cuisine at Marco Polo Café, located in the East Village. Marco Polo is open every day except Monday.
After years of experimentation, Marco Polo's owner discovered the precise alchemical balance between Italian and Asian cuisine, allowing for the creation of a refined menu. Try the moo goo gai panini with chicken, shiitake mushrooms, and fontina cheese ($9); the Tuscan bison meatball sandwich ($9); the Australian lamb platter with bok choy and black beans ($12); or the ravioli/dumpling hybrid dumplavoli in four different pairings (starting at $11 for spinach-and-cheese ravioli with chicken dumplings, totaling 11 pieces). Though delivery is free on all orders over $12, the delivery man will not close his eyes and find you by participating in a call-and-response game.
New York magazine's Grub Street blog spotlights Marco Polo Café's ravioli and dumplings combo:
- Stefano Magaddino, an Italian-American who runs the tiny takeout joint (previously located in Long Island City) with his Chinese-American wife, tells us that combos include four or five ravioli along with five or six dumplings... That’s great, but what about a dumpla-voli-samo-panad-arepa combo? – Daniel Maurer, New York's Grub Street blog
Time Out New York likes Marco Polo Café's multi-ethnic menu:
- Next up, it’s a cultural smorgasbord at Marco Polo Café…owned by a Chinese-Italian couple. With entrées like the Moo Goo Gai Panino (grilled panino with chicken, caramelized onions, shiitake mushrooms and fontina, $8.95), any combination of food—or people!—seems like a potential match made in heaven. – Alex Schechter, Time Out New York
- Saw their menu and couldn't resist stopping in to check it out. So creative and original - love the Italian Asian fusion idea. The couple who owns the restaurant is SOOO nice and sweet. Had the moo goo gai panini, which was super fresh and tasty - the panini was grilled perfectly. And the side of canoli was DELISH. – yummy, MenuPages
102 St. Marks Place
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