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Italian
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Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
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All reviews caesar salad pappardelle octopus bread truffle the owner chef italian food tamiami trail small italian restaurant wine menu strip mall fine dining meats
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Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Second year in a row taking my Italian foodie family to Marcello’s for an outstanding meal! From the antipasto to the octopus, Cesar salad, lobster fra diablo, waygu steak to the bananas foster….every person was wowed by their meal. Shoutout to Joshua, our server, who...added to our wonderful experience. It’s a must!More

Date of visit: August 2022
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Reviewed 1 week ago

I do not think Marcelo needs any help from me eulogizing about his place on S Tamiami Trail. He has about 9 tables and a few odd seats at the bar and even purports to have a Kitchen Table. At this juncture, as yet unverified...but may be at his home or something, who knows. The food…. The simplist leaning Italian Food anywhere around Sarasota,Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island. The other two top places, Maison Blanche and Beach Bistro serve their own high end food, mostly depicted by their prices and almost maybe so but Marcelo has the Real Rustic Feel of a little Gaff in Italy. The food is stunning in a rustic casual way, really fairly priced,(BY TODAYS OTHER RESTAURANTS PRICES) but the Taste is Everything here. A full, hit you in the mouth taste. No nuances here…..a pure Tastes Through and Through. My wife, a picky eater, weighing in at 120lbs, ate a full 3 Courses and never left a scrap on the plates. If you knew my wife…that tells you this place is Special..and it is. Won’t bore you with my Octopus or even my Shrimp and Bay Scallop soft risotto. Outstanding our dining partners were equally astounded by Marcelo’s. Not our first visit but still a wonderful surprising Evening. Don’t be shy….Try it. Getting in may not be easy but just persist. OBTW the have the most fantastic Bathroom Photographs since anywhere I have ever been.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed July 9, 2022

We visited Marcello's again last night for our 44th wedding anniversary. The superb food, service and ambiance that brought us there years ago have not lost their luster. This cozy spot on the South Trail has been our "go-to" restaurant for special occasions since it...opened about 8 years ago. Unlike numerous Sarasota dining venues whose prices have sky -rocketed with the waning of the pandemic and the arrival of inflation Marcello still offers a quality meal at a fair price. Also his wine list is one of the best in town with lower mark-ups than than most others. The "kitchen" is a solo operation with Marcello doing all the cooking. He apparently does all the "picking" as well---I ran into him one day lugging the meat & fish from local markets. We are lucky to live in a town with lots of choices for fine dining---this one is on the top of our list.More

Date of visit: July 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed July 8, 2022 via mobile

Such a hidden gem. It is a small Italian restaurant in a strip mall- but no better place. The owner/chef makes all the food- the menu is changed daily and they support local business as they grow themselves. The food is so amazing- wine selection...incredible for the size of the business. They cure their own meats. So many great things to be said! And best Ceasar salad ever! Totally worth it! Book in advance! Thank you Mark for helping get us in!More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed April 12, 2022 via mobile

Had a 8:00 PM reservation last Saturday evening. Arrived to find the place closed and dark. Another couple also showed up and they too had a resv for 8:00 . Still haven't been able to get anyone to answer the phone. ???

Date of visit: April 2022
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Reviewed April 2, 2022 via mobile

Six friends arrived on time, 5:30. We were immediately seated. Our server never told us his name until I asked at the end. We thought we knew what to expect at this restaurant, but we were mistaken. Our server was very condescending with his snide...remarks. When it was apparent to him, that we were not having wine (except for one in our party), it was obvious we were not the guests he wanted to serve. Two of the women cannot drink, one chose not to, and we were almost ridiculed. Maybe being a bit more sensitive would be helpful. I could go on and on about the nasty remarks from our server. “You couldn’t afford it”, “You went to school?”, “You have asked three times for bread” ( well, acknowledge the first request perhaps). Etc. etc. I am from NJ, I can take and give sarcasm, but this was down right rude. The food is what you want to hear about. The short ribs were delicious and plentiful. The veal chop Milanese was delicious, the Cesar salads and antipasto plate were lovely. The pasta with the truffle sauce lacked the flavor that one would expect. The woman filling our water glasses ( we were scorned by our server for having TAP water), was friendly and attentive. When we left (we chose not to have desserts or coffees) no one said thank you, or good bye. Nothing. Reading other reviews we see that our server, John, is ‘known’ for his attitude. It is obvious that this restaurant is for certain clientele, and that’s fine. But not for us.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed March 30, 2022

The atmosphere is to die for. You know you are in good hands. Caesar salad is to die for as was the beef carpaccio. The Chilean sea bass was the winner of the evening. I had the pork shank osso Buco which was tasty but...not an osso Buco recipe, served with risotto. Our other member of the party had pasta with truffles, and was surprisingly mild in flavor despite there was a very generous serving of freshly shaved black truffle. It didn't provide any of the wow factor you usually get from truffles. A wonderful evening, and I will definitely go back but will be more inquiring about the way dishes are prepared.More

Date of visit: March 2022
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Reviewed July 14, 2021 via mobile

First visit and we promise it won’t be our last. We celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary here tonight and had the best meal and experience we’ve had ever. We got to sit and watch Marcello do his thing and it is a work of art....What a wonderful chef with amazing skills. Cooking by himself for everyone and you can see the love of his art in his cooking, presentation and people skills. I know I drove him nuts with so many questions but trust me it was worth it. We had grilled octopus and antipasto misto for appetizers. Marcello cures his own meats himself and also made fresh ricotta cheese. Such delicious unique tastes. For dinner I had homemade pappardelle with jumbo gulf shrimp and Maine lobster and My wife had Beef short rib with pappardelle. Both dishes were outstanding. Thanks for making our anniversary so special. Service was outstanding as was everything. Thanks.More

Date of visit: July 2021
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Reviewed June 3, 2021

The cooking in this strip-mall restaurant is nothing that you can't do at home, but our party of six left the table exasperated and offended by the rudeness of the waiter. I send my dinner back due to highly salty taste. The waiter was angry...at me and never asked me if I wanted something different. The cook should came to ask me about it. Amazing that it took so long to get the reservation for nothing but to leave angry and disappointed that you expended our time and money is such a non welcome restaurant. So in the end, it's highly unlikely that any of us would return to this place.More

Date of visit: June 2021
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Reviewed May 29, 2021 via mobile

Food was fabulous! Best seafood pasta I've had in Sarasota so far! Ceasar salad is a must! Wait staff is friendly and service was great. You definitely don't want to miss this one!

Date of visit: May 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed May 22, 2021 via mobile

Called multiple times to book a large party. Owner never called back after three calls. When I finally got a hold of him he said he was too busy to talk. Food is good menu changes every day. Atmosphere is very nice. I have gone...three times and had the same waiter twice. The third time I had a terrible waiter who told me he was to busy to answer question on the wine menu. To this day they have never called me three weeks later. I even called two months before to make sure they could do my party. I was told to call back they don’t take reservations early. Basically good restaurant with poor management.More

Date of visit: May 2021
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Reviewed August 8, 2020

Marcello's is our special event restaurant. We are fine dining snobs who spend all of June in Italy. Let me tell you, I highly recommend Marcello's. The menu always changes. The Cesar salad is prepared at your table and is fabulous. Our favorite appetizer is...the babalucci a snail dish in a red sauce. Our favorite main course dish is the veal. The wine list is outstanding with very little mark up. Waiters are outstanding.More

Date of visit: June 2020
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Reviewed June 26, 2020

THE best Italian in Sarasota - so glad to be able to dine there after the gradual re-opening - nice distances between tables and the Food, the Food, the Food - all freshly made and no rushed dining! great wine list, great service and Marcello...the owner/chef! the best!More

Date of visit: May 2020
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Reviewed May 28, 2020 via mobile

Very good food, large portions, unusually good wine list, excellent service, generous social distancing between tables. My wife and I have been to Marcelllo’s several times but not in a long time. In the future we will come more often.

Date of visit: May 2020
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Reviewed February 9, 2020

When Dining Here You Are In Tuscany"... The Cuisine here is true Italian, not your American version of Italian spaghetti and meatballs. The Frank Sinatra-Dean Martin music sets the mood for a true dining experience pleasantly pleasing your palate. The wine selection is impressive chosen...by Marcello himself the chef/owner. The wait staff are professional, helpful, and wine knowledgeable. An intimate, cozy atmosphere you are with certainty to enjoy!More

Date of visit: February 2020
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Questions & Answers
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Mark M
May 9, 2019|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Chicaree | Reviewed this property |
I’m sorry, I am currently traveling abroad, just saw this post today. I would contact Marcello using the same number you called to make your reservation, he answers all messages. Hopefully, with advance notice, he can... More
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Nancy H
December 17, 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Lee P | Reviewed this property |
no round table for eight.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Marcello

Marcello is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5
  • Atmosphere: 4