Cafe Society

It gets worse: A week in Italian food

Of all the entrees, only one was even vaguely edible: a piece of swordfish, nicely cooked, napped with a chive crème fraiche - and mounted on a ratatouille that was like mush and bled oil like it'd been knifed on its way out of the kitchen. But still, somewhere in the back of the house at Mark & Isabella, there was a poisonarde who did right by this fish. Who could hold his head high. The rest of Tarbell's crew ought to be ashamed of what they tried to pass off as food. They ought to feel pity for the animals whose lives they spent so carelessly, who were killed only to end up at the bottom of a trash can. This wasn't just a bad meal, it was an embarrassment.

And yeah, that actually one of the nicer things I had to say about Mark & Isabella, the restaurant opened back in January by Mark Tarbell (who also owns The Oven, which I like). Like the headline says, it gets worse from there.

Luckily, not everything this week was awful. I also got back to Dave Query's West End Tavern in Boulder for some breakfast, lunch and dinner all rolled into one. There's also news from one of Query's other establishments -- the former Happy Noodle House, now known as just, well, Happy.

All that and more this week in Westword. You don't want to miss a minute.