Photograph property of Restaurant Food Pages
In her opinion:
Our awesome neighbours Rob and Rosanne have been talking about Marcelo's forever. Basically about how they are regulars and how fabulous the food was...that's all I needed to hear...fabulous food. I can honestly say that Italian food is not my favourite cuisine but when it is done right it can be marvellous and that is what I was hoping with Marcelo's.
Marcelo's is located in a strip mall on Eagle Street North. It's very unassuming. When you walk into Marcelo's you enter a nicely furnished room and you are greeted by the Marcelo's wife, Rodi who will show you to your seat.
On his particular night, Marcelo's was happening. Our waitress came over and took our drink orders right away. We ordered sparkling water for the table and everyone got a Negroni (a fabulous combination of gin, sweet varmouth and Campari with orange peel) to start. This is becoming one of my favourite cocktails and this one did not disappoint.
Rodi brought over some delicious bread and dipping oil. It was so delectable. I loved the dripping oil with the wonderful olive tapenade, spicy pepper flakes and tanginess of the vinegar. They actually bake the bread in-house everyday and this wonderful bread is available for sale to take home.
We also ordered a bottle of Don Bosco red wine to share. A very nice Italian red.
For my starter, I ordered "Rodi's Mussels" - mussels, cream, tomatoes, bacon ragu, scallions and gremolata bread crumbs.
The mussels were very good. They were fresh tasting and the flavours of the tomato, cream and bacon worked very well together.
For my main, I choose "the Veal Marsala" - milk fed veal in a Marsala sauce served with a vegetable risotto on this night and topped with Parmesan shavings.
In a word "orgasmic"! I think my eyes rolled to the back of my head when I bit into this veal. OMG! This was the best veal Marsala I have ever eaten. Marcelo is a magician in the kitchen and what is most impressive is that he's not even Italian. Not bad for a Romanian!
Marcelo visited our table at the end of our meal since we were the last patrons left. We basically closed down the place. He decided to make us a special dessert.
He presented us with a dessert gnocchi with stewed fruit and fresh ricotta. This was a savoury sweet dessert. The gnocchi was so fresh and perfectly executed. But for me the stewed fruit stole the show...so sweet and tasty.
I now know what Rob and Rosanne are talking about when they talk about the deliciousness of Marcelo's. This place is wonderful and the food incredible. Definitely worth a visit.
In his opinion:
Marcelo's has been on our radar for quite a while but we somehow never got around to try it. Granted that Italian food is not the top of our list but we do occasionally find good Italian experiences.
Marcelo's has an unassuming front facade but feels very Mediterranean inside. The open kitchen as you walk in to your right is a very nice touch and feels very inviting. Inside the dining area, you'll find the expected Italian style decorations like wall sconces, niches and faux old style plaster walls.
We were promptly seated with our friends and given our menus to peruse. The menu is extensive with the typical Italian dishes, both traditionally Italian and a couple of the expected "North American/Italian" dishes to satisfy some customers.
The bread served was top notch, baked in house and very well complimented by a dipping oil with a tapenade like base. We all got Negroni cocktails and a bottle of red Montepulciano D'Abruzzo Don Bosco (not to be confused with Donnie Brasco). It was a medium bodied red with great colour and gentle tannins, a wine traditionally known to be consumed with food.
For my starter, I chose the Calamari Peperonata - grilled calamari, peppers, greens, home dressing and balsamic. The generous portion of calamari rings were cooked very well as were the al dente vegetables that accompanied it. The balsamic kicks in a nice twist to the taste without overpowering the flavour.
For a main, I chose the Grilled Scallop Fettuccine served in a cream sauce, with tomatoes, bacon and spinach. The scallops were a good size, lightly seared and work well with the sauce. The fettuccine was well seasoned in pepper and aired very well with the spinach. The tomato rounded up the dish nicely to accentuate the Italian in it.
For dessert, we were treated by Marcelo himself to a gnocchi dessert that could easily feed 10 people. It was a gnocchi dessert with fresh ricotta and fruits, full of flavour and light. I had a few pieces myself. Marcelo visited our table and provided a bit of his food/restaurant knowledge as well as treating us to a bit of his dry Romanian humour.
The Bad: The fake exposed brick decor is unnecessary for an Italian feel.
The Verdict: Well executed food and gracious hosting make this place a welcoming and family friendly place. It's good to have a good Italian Restaurant in this town as so many don't live up to the exceptions.
I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 Olives as rating