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“Mario's Catalina is fantastic!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mario's Catalina Restaurant

Mario's Catalina Restaurant
1611 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
954 563 4141
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Ranked #277 of 1,111 restaurants in Fort Lauderdale
Price range: $14 - $40
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Casual Dining
Niskayuna, New York, United States
1 review
“Mario's Catalina is fantastic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

The service, the ambiance, the drinks, and the food all add up to a wonderful dining experience. I took my wife to Catalina during a quick trip to Ft. Lauderdale and we had a great time. Mario himself greeted us warmly at the door and took us to our table. I ordered a Mojito, which was one of the best I've ever had. The appetizer, meal, and drinks were all worth raving about. I can't wait to travel back to South Florida so I have an excuse to return to Mario's Catalina!

  • Visited November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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594 reviews from our community

86% Recommend
    480
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Miami, Florida
1 review
“A Fort Lauderdale gem!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013 via mobile

There are few places where the owners are passionate about what they do. Mario's Catalina is one of them. I wanted to take my fiancee to a romantic dinner so I googled and searched for places. After seeing all the positive reviews for Mario's, I decided to give a try.

Honestly, we were surprised to see the outside, expecting a bigger restaurant. However, with the cozy and romantic ambient, it is perfect the way it is. The staff received us with a warm welcome, and they were very calm and professional. We were surprised to see that Mario, himself, was on the floor, assisting customers and staff, alike. The waiters were very attentive to our needs and were courteous and energetic.

The food was excellent. From presentation to taste, Mario stands out from other restaurants we've been to. The food is made fresh to order, and full of flavor. The drinks were great; I highly recommend their Mojito. The dessert options were plenty, and I'm they were all as equally exquisite as the one we chose.

After we exited the restaurant, Mario reached us before getting into our car. He asked about our experience, offered us gift certificates for our next visit, and a bottle of italian wine, on the house. We were planning on returning anyways, but this gesture definitely sealed the deal.

It is not every day that customers can find places that leave a lasting impression. It is evident that Mario is passionate about what he does, and it reflects quite well in his restaurant. I highly recommend Mario's Catalina, and I'm sure you will be talking about it on your way home, just as we did!

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seminole
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Authentic Cuban Food in Beautiful Setting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013

Staying with friends in Delray Beach and looking for authentic Cuban food. We googled locations and discovered Mario's Catalina. What a find! On a main road but it has a Old World charm to it on the inside. The decor is rich with portraits of Latin artists throughout. A very romantic setting. The staff could not have been friendlier. The owner stopped by our table several times to ensure all was well. The menu has excellent choices. Their Sangria, one of the best I've ever tried. This is a hidden treasure, sure to become one of my favorites, when in the area.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
1 review
“Dinner at Mario's Catalina”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013

What a great host Mario was for our first visit to this great gem of a restaurant in Lauderdale! Delicious food, elegantly presented, with impeccable service, under the warm and attentive oversight of Mario, who catered to our every need!

I highly recommend this restaurant to all visitors. The Locals certainly know it well, based on the influx of people the evening we attended.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
1 review
“Don't judge a book by it's cover - OMG!!!!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013

Was there on Saturday, Nov 9th, with 5 friends. The building's exterior is deceiving (at least to this Chicagoan).

The meal was one of the best I've had in a number of months. I had the Lechon Asado (a house speciality). Food was perfect. The waiter (I believe it was Johnny) was attentive - just the right mix of attention, interaction, and leaving us alone. Most noteworthy was the owner. Mario touched our tables (and every other) at least three or four times making us feel like we were in his home. After the orders were taken, he generously provided us with a round of salads. At the tend, a round of tequila shots and he graciously took a few pictures with our group.

This was referred to us by people we met at the Royal Palms Gay Resort and we were not disappointed! You will not be disappointed!!

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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