Haute Eating: 10 Questions for Marcony’s Chef Marco Pipolo

At Marcony, which opened up in Murray Hill in March, you’ll find a menu of old world Italian cuisine with modern touches. Chef/co-owner Marco Pipoli, formerly of Scalinatella, and Richard Emmollo, former general manager of Barolo, have created a yacht-like atmosphere where you may feel like you’re cruising around the Isle of Capri as you enjoy many seafood options: lobster salad with saffron, grilled octopus with arugula, linguine with clams, potato-crusted red snapper. But meat dishes, such as lamb chops and veal chops, make an appearance as well. Choose an Italian wine from the thought-out list or sip the house cocktail: the Marcony is comprised of Limoncello, Aperol, Campari and fresh orange juice.

Haute Living: What is new at Marcony?
Chef Marco Pipolo: With Marcony open only since March, I am amazed by the number of people who have already found us in the Murray Hill neighborhood. It is wonderful to see the smiles on the faces of people experiencing our Italian cuisine for the first time. It is even better to see many of our guests coming back time and again. Marcony’s cuisine has one eye to the past, honoring traditional New York Italian cuisine, while having one eye to the future with modern influences. Moving into summer we have an outdoor patio seating area that just opened, perfect for date nights, family dinners and business entertaining.

Tagliata di tonno

HL: What are some of your favorite dishes at your restaurant?
MP: All the seafood dishes, which are reminiscent of Capri are my favorite, such as calamari, octopus, red mullet and grilled mussels served with garlic, thyme and extra virgin olive oil. Spigola Dell’Atlantico, a Chilean sea bass with zucchini, onions, and tomatoes in a Vinsato Sauce, is the house specialty and another favorite. In addition to seafood, the restaurant’s fresh pastas are all house made, such as Tortelloni with Truffle cream sauce, while the dry pastas are exclusively imported from Cercola (Naples), Italy.

HL: Where do you like to dine when you’re not working?
MP: Sushi Seky on 62nd and Park

HL: What’s your ideal meal?
MP: My ideal meal would be clams for dinner in Capri or Naples. The clams in Naples are the best in the world – they have such a distinct flavor.

HL: Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
MP: Nobu or La Masseria, a wonderful Italian restaurant on East 48th street between 7th and 8th, it offers an elegant atmosphere.

HL: What’s your favorite NYC neighborhood?
MP: I love all that New York has to offer and recognize that each neighborhood has a specific attraction, a personality which is reflected in the areas restaurants. Marcony brings a new sophistication to the Murray Hill neighborhood and we are fortunate to have such a diverse clientele.

HL: What do you like to do in the city on your days off?
MP: I spend a lot of time in Central Park with my wife and kids and we bike, relax. I also love to cook for my family use them to try new menu ideas or flavors. The other night we cooked tomatoes in a little bit of sugar…I am thinking of a way to use it in the restaurant.

HL: Your favorite vacation destination?
MP: Capri, Italy. I only get to travel to Italy once a year but wish it was much more. Marcony’s decor is greatly influenced by the Italian Isle of Capri, with white walls, repeated blue and chrome accents and dark wood beams. Guests tell us the atmosphere feels like a small yacht cruising around the Isle. When I walk into the restaurant everyday, it feels like home.

HL: What’s your most memorable meal?
MP: My wedding dinner at Chanterelle was a meal to remember. In 2009, after thirty years of business the restaurant closed. It was known for classic French cuisine that was refined and innovative. I remember we had zucchini flowers and the freshest seafood – a true dining experience.

HL: What are your five favorite ingredients?
MP: Tomatoes, mozzarella, prosciutto, garlic and basil

Marcony is located at 184 Lexington Ave; 212-779-7955.

To reach Tracey Ceurvels, visit her blog, The Busy Hedonist, or email her.