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“Great find!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Marcello

Marcello
4155 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL
+1 941-921-6794
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Ranked #138 of 794 Restaurants in Sarasota
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Bradenton, Florida
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Great find!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014 via mobile

Every time we drive by this place, my husband says, we need to go there. Well, after months of driving by, we stopped. We walked into a small, quaint little restaurant, sort of like a smaller version of the Palm restaurant. Not fancy, but the waiters are old school with tuxedos. They serve the Caesar Salad tableside, and it is the best! We ordered the chicken Parmesan and I had the salmon special. Hubby said it was the best chicken parm ever. The chicken melted in your mouth. I did get to sneak a small bite. My salmon was flavored with Rosemary and other spices (sorry, I'm not a cook, so I don't know how they made it so good). You just have to try it. It was great! We ended the meal with their homemade tiramisu. I will say it was the best ever. We liked the place so much we made reservations for this weekend too. And we're bringing friends. We were told you can also bring in your own bottle of wine, so that is nice. We watched Marcello cook from the open kitchen and he was good. He is the only cook, I think. You have to make reservations if you want to get in. Like I said, it's a small place. Tables for about 50 people, maybe... Trust me, you will love it.

Visited March 2014
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
pittsburgh
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Not to be missed”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

Had one of the best meals in 20 years of Sarasota vacations. We sat and watched Marcello cook. Gus, our waiter, took great care of us. We had red snapper, veal and cioppino. Fresh and well prepared. Beautiful sauces. Take an evening and enjoy. Prices were very reasonable. We will return.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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West Bloomfield, Michigan
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Great Food with Service to Match”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

A small trattoria-like place located in a very plain set of stores along Tamiami Trail, this restaurant really delivers a wonderful experience. Seating around 50 guests, the food is prepared by the owner/chef. In addition to their standard menu, a chalkboard of specials are presented and expertly described (by our waiter Gus). His service was gracious, professional, and properly attentive. No rush to turn the tables even on a busy Saturday evening. The grilled calamari appetizer was tender, perfectly cooked and placed on a bed of fennel. A different yet delightful combination. The Pompano (a delicate white fish locally caught in Cortez Village) was very fresh ( they buy their fish daily from Walt's Fish across the street) and prepared With tomatoes, olives and a touch of wine done without overcoming the delicacy of the fish. It was served with broccoli rabe. Another special that evening, a lightly scented cioppino was overflowing with fresh mussels, middle neck clams, jumbo Gulf shrimp, calamari, and grouper served over fresh pasta. Perfect. It made for a perfect evening. Highly recommended and personally will return

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Sarasota, Florida
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“'Can't figure out why this restaurant is full”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2014

We ate dinner at Marcello with friends. From the beginning, we knew we were in trouble: the table tilted and one chair was unstable. Dinner wasn't fun either: We ordered a caesar salad for the table, as the waiter prepares it tableside. It was meh. We ordered a steak for two, prepared medium. It came to the table a full 7 minutes after our friends received their dinners, and the meat was bloody--a step or two up from raw. The waiter replaced the steak in the pan at the table, but it never reached the point we had requested. It wasn't pleasant for us to 1) wait for our dinners, 2) receive undercooked meat, 3) watch as the waiter tried in vain to cook it more, and 4) end up with rare steak that wasn't even tender.

Yes, the restaurant is in a strip mall. Yes, we had a disappointing experience. No, we won't return--Sarasota has many better Italian restaurants than this.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Worcester MA
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“6 stars!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

Outstanding in every way. We landed here when Walt's had a huge line. ( For those unfamiliar with Sarasota, Walt's is a seafood restaurant directly across the street from Marcello's on Tamiani). WHAT A FIND!!! There were 6 of us for dinner. Every meal was great. The server was very nice and not overbearing at all. The Caeser salad was prepared tableside and was outstanding. We had a variety of meat, fish and seafood dishes. All were outstanding. One member of the group is on a gluten free diet and when his dish was served with pasta touching the meat, the waitstaff immediately took back the dish and the chef prepared a new dish promptly. The tiramisu was outstanding. I am not much of a sweet eater, so I just had a tiny taste. It was quite good. Others in the group were tiramisu fans and proclaimed this excellent.
In addition to the menu there are daily specials which also are varied. This is not the usual Italian cuisine. It is exceptional in flavor and freshness. On review listed the capacity at 40-50. I think it is closer to 30.
As word gets out, this place will be more and more popular. It is on the northbound side of the trail. The signage is not great and parking is a bit snug. The chef came out during the meal and chatted with us. You can see he is the real deal. Prices were more than fair and this is not one of these restaurants where the plate is huge, the portions are minuscule, and the drizzle overwhelming. The portions were more than adequate, but do not expect an IHOP stack of food. This is far and away the best Italian in Sarasota. Far better than Dolce Italia,
Just to give an idea how impressed I am with this restaurant, I was at a lecture and the speaker was from Sarasota. He had recently moved there. I told him about Marcello's and said to him that if he did not like the food, I would reimburse him the cost. That is one bet I won't lose.
You can bring kids, but the meal is paced nicely and small kids might get fussy. Take the young kids to the Olive Garden and go to Marcello's to enjoy a nice evening.
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  • Visited December 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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