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“Loved it”
Review of Mario's Place

Mario's Place
Ranked #11 of 714 Restaurants in Riverside
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Bar scene, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Reviewed December 27, 2013

We have eaten here three times now and have always been incredibly impressed by food and service.

The first time was for lunch several years ago. I had read great things about them and on a road trip out to Palm Springs, we decided to stop in for lunch. They weren't very busy which allowed us to chat with the waitstaff much more than busier times would permit. They were extremely nice and although I don't recall what we had specifically, I know we left feeling satisfied on all accounts.

The second time we had a family celebration after my sister graduated from UCR. They were more than accommodating to our party of 8+ people - our only complaint was we came on a very busy Friday or Saturday night and the only table they had available was directly next to the live band that was playing.

The third time was this past Christmas Eve. Our reservation was at 8:30 but being how slammed they were, we weren't seated until 8:45 or 8:50. Not a big deal, it happens during the holidays.

I started with the prosciutto di parma and burrata, which was excellent. I had the veal chops as my main, which was cooked perfectly - the sauce was delightful as well.

Would definitely go back the next time we're in Riverside.

Thank kiwifoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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150 - 154 of 212 reviews

Reviewed December 10, 2013

We had gone with a small tour group to see the Christmas lights at the Mission Inn. Unfortunately it was too windy and cold to be outside so we looked for the closest place that wasn't a sandwich shop or deli. Luckily we stumbled upon Mario's. We got the last table available for that evening but since we were a little early for the dinner seating we wandered into the bar to wait. The bartenders there are amazing. You name it- they can mix it! Our drinks were perfectly prepared.Now we were really excited to see the menu and it didn't disappoint! My husband had the butternut squash ravioli. It was beautifully presented in a light sauce. I ordered the filet of beef. The sauce it was served with was fantastic! I can't adequately describe the favors! Go try it for yourself- you will love it too!

Thank Carolyn E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2013

After a nine month absence, we tried Mario's again recently. Same great service, attitude and menu all the way around. Most all of our dishes were excellent, but I do have some nits to pick about my entree, the Spaghetti Bottarga. Both the menu and our waiter implied this dish is an acquired taste, with tuna roe as a key ingredient. I've eaten all measure of roe and fish innards, primarily at Japanese restaurants, so I decided to give this much-cautioned-about dish a go.

I was disappointed on two levels. Flavor: the tuna roe was barely present and was not a key factor as I had expected. The whole thing was rather bland and tasteless. I felt that a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon juice and pepper were needed to awaken the sleepy dish. Texture: while the noodles were perfectly cooked al dente, the overall dish was extremely dry. It could have used much more sauce and/or oil. If this dish is an acquired taste, then it needs the taste to be acquired.

I'm still a loyal Mario's fan and won't let this small misstep deter me from eating there again.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Mongoeat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

It was my birthday dinner before heading to the Fox Theater and it was all I hoped for and expected. Usually only make Mario's Place once or twice a year to keep it special, but each time I think, why do I wait so long? This is fine dining with excellent service. The waiters really know their stuff from food preparation to wines. If I use the restroom and my napkin has been replaced and they quickly scrape the bread crumbs off the white linen table cloths with those magic hands...then I know I am in good hands.

It's the kind of restaurant you don't want to leave. Lots of ambiance and worth it do all the courses.

1  Thank Scott B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2013

I never miss a chance to get in at least one dinner at Mario’s Place whenever I am in Riverside. It is conveniently across the street from the Mission Inn where I stay, and as I eat early it is always easy to get in. There are a lot of decent Italian restaurants around but Mario’s falls in that group that is a cut above the rest on a variety of levels, including diverse, interesting menu offerings, the quality of the food itself, and the attentive and knowledgeable service. The pastas are excellent, and you should be aware that they offer half-orders. Fusilli with wild boar ragu and latini maccheroncini with oxtail sauce are a couple of my favorites, but often there will be daily specials to lure you away from the printed menu. The last time I was there they also had a daily special calamari salad, which was a perfect way to get a smaller order of their nice, lightly fried calmari without spoiling the rest of the meal. If you are interested in meat, I have always enjoyed the pan-roasted veal chop, and on one occasion they offered a vension chop that was moist and tender and delicious.

Mario’s has an extensive wine list, and I appreciate that they offer several excellent 375 ml bottles since I am usually dining alone when I eat there. I usually don’t order desserts when I travel, but one night a fellow at the next table who had been eating at Mario’s weekly for many, many years counseled me that they offer a cheese cake that is not on the menu, and it was indeed excellent.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank ElVarguito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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