Do It Yourself

For food like this, you might as well stay home

The breast issue was only amplified by the full-portion poultry of the chicken cappazetti, yet another entrée that would have been better off left at home. See, Lee would most likely add capers, wine, butter and lemon juice to a mixed vegetable medley and toss it with frozen shrimp. She'd whip up some instant mashed potatoes, sauté a chicken breast and pile everything together. For an after-work meal, it'd be right on. Then again, she'd use that Le Cordon Bleu degree to take care that the squash was actually cooked through, there were more than two capers in the sauce and the shrimp were at least tooth-tender.

Now, it's hard to muck up a sweet treat, and thankfully, MMT didn't destroy any classics. The tiramisu was a solid effort—light and airy, the ladyfingers soaked through without espresso overkill left on the palate. The zeppole (small, deep fried dough fritters) were brought to the table street-vendor style in a white paper sack, tossed in cinnamon sugar and released onto the plate to be dipped still hot in a smooth, sweet dipping sauce we found tasty but superfluous. The double, double chocolate cake was moist and rich, topped with a perfectly thin layer of smooth cocoa icing. The only disservice here was the freakishly strong raspberry coulis. It overwhelmed everything in its path, but fortunately it was drizzled on.

You don't go to a restaurant to learn you can create the same, if not better, meals at home after watching a Food Network show. A diner shouldn't pay $15 or even $10 for something that comes off canned, zapped or frozen when the point of Italian cuisine is fresh, proud nourishment. At Michael Mark's Trattoria, home-style dishes just don't translate to fare that's steps above Mama's kitchen. Hell, she'd probably give canned tomatoes the stink eye. The menu states, "Mama always said, 'Deliver great food, great service, value, and fun, while making each guest feel special.'" They got the service part right, at least. But one dinner guest said it so perfectly: "What it should say is, 'Mama always said make sure you use half-assed ingredients and cut corners at every pass but still charge the same as you would at a real restaurant.'" 2701 Custer Parkway, Richardson,

The food at Michael Mark's might taste like a bad version of Mon's, but we bet she doesn't have a cool stone patio.
Tom Jenkins
The food at Michael Mark's might taste like a bad version of Mon's, but we bet she doesn't have a cool stone patio.

Location Info


Michael Mark's Trattoria

2701 Custer Parkway
Richardson, TX 75080

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Richardson & Vicinity


Crab cakes $9.95

Spaghetti carbonara $10.95

Michael Mark pizza $12.99

Chicken cappazetti $16.95

Baked ziti de Trattoria $10.95

Zeppole $4.95

Double, double chocolate cake $5.95

Tiramisu $4.95

Sangria $6 per glass

Closed Location

469-330-0900. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. $-$$

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