My My My Marco's

The new Franny's sibling in Prospect Heights has a way with cocktails

Three months.

That's what Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens gave bartender Graham Files to develop the cocktail menu at Prospect Height's new Marco's, while chef Danny Amend developed the restaurant's trattoria-style menu.

Marco's fills what was big sis Franny's former home, where Files previously spent a year-and-a-half behind the bar.

On a recent visit, we took in the new space–a swank mix of mahogany wood, brass fixtures and swooping booths–as we sipped our way through the concise cocktail menu (all house cocktails $13) to taste the outstanding and boozy results of Files' labors.

Italian Beginnings | Barstool Blues

To develop the menu, Files sent a battalion of "pre-prohibition American cocktails on a vacation to Italy," while holding true to the Franny's mantra of local and housemade ingredients.

Files affectionately calls the Barstool Blues, with its Greenhook Ginsmiths gin, Widow Jane Bourbon, Gran Clasico, Cardamaro and orange bitters, "an old-man drink" because, "the spirit-forwardness reminds me of something my grandfather would drink."

On the lighter side, the Italian Beginnings mixes Barolo Chinato, Campari, lemon and soda water.

Sicilian Ransom | Ramazotti Spritz

Files reveals that along with the five current cocktails, "there are 20 to 25 more cocktails ready to go for the coming months, like a thyme Negroni, a rosemary gin fizz and a Brother's Keeper–equal parts rum and bourbon with a splash of Fernet."

Since Marco's only takes reservations for six or more people, chances are you might spend some time idling at the white marble bar up front before you move on to dishes such as wood-grilled lamb chops ($28) and the Carolina golden rice with butter and vinegar ($7).

And that is a very good thing indeed.