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Marco Polo Ristorante on Court Street was awarded the prestigious International Five Star Diamond Award, on May 12, from the American Academy of Hospitality Services. The award is bestowed on better establishments in the world that meet the highest level of food and service.

Of the 25 restaurants in the New York area to be so awarded this year, including Manhattan’s Jean-Georges, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant, and Daniel Boulud’s exalted Daniel, Marco Polo Ristorante was the only Brooklyn recipient.

Academy representative Karen Dixon cited Joe Chirico, the restaurant’s owner, as a large factor in the decision.

"Joe is one of the most dedicated restaurateurs we know. He is charming and makes every guest feel special," Dixon said. Of Marco Polo’s new chef, Bruno Milone, who revamped the restaurant’s menu in March, Dixon added, "He is wonderful. We expect great things from him."

Chirico describes Milone’s style of cooking as "fresh and light." Milone, who hails from Altamura, Puglia, in southeastern Italy, is making all the pastas, the pastry and even the gelato and sorbetti in-house. His supple fettuccini, tinted pink with red wine, is crowned with only a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan. Grilled jumbo shrimp are served on a pillow of wild fennel, and a lamb chop is sauteed with anise. Sounds like five-star summer eating.

Marco Polo Ristorante (354 Court St. at Union Street in Carroll Gardens) accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Discover. Pastas: $11-$13, entrees: $16-$25. The restaurant serves lunch Monday through Friday and Sunday. Dinner is served seven days a week. For reservations, call (718) 852-5015.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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