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“One of the best Italian restaurants in Southern California”
Review of Mario's Place

Mario's Place
Ranked #7 of 704 Restaurants in Riverside
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Bar scene, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
san diego, ca
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“One of the best Italian restaurants in Southern California”
Reviewed February 10, 2014

Mario's Place will probably most be appreciated by serious foodies and people who enjoy good wines. By that I mean people who are not just happy with a steak, a pizza or pasta for dinner. In other words, food prepared by a trained chef from the best ingredients. In that area they excel. They have a pretty amazing wine list as well.

My wife and I live in San Diego. We are fortunate to have previously lived in Santa Monica and we dine out often for both pleasure and business reasons. We have visited Italy 6 times so far as well as other European countries. When we are in Riverside, we always make it a point to have dinner at Mario's place. We feel that the restaurant would be successful in Italy, West Los Angeles or any place we have ever visited. Where they stand out the most is in their specials. They are a gourmet restaurant in a market that caters to many people with less ambitions taste. Therefore, their standard menu, for the most part, is mostly focused on the market they are in. However, in our opinion, the specials are always very impressive.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank CaSdfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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203 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    126
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Caldwell, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great late night restaurant”
Reviewed February 4, 2014

Went to Mario's Place after a show at the Fox Theater.
It was past 10:30 but they were still serving.
There was a great Jazz Band playing, I think they were the Jazz Junkies.
The restaurant was directly across the street from the Mission Inn, and we had a great view of the Festival of Lights.
We had reservations for 10:00 but they held them for us and were seated immediately.
After a nice round of cocktails we ordered the entree's, the food was brought out soon and we were both surprised by the quality. My wife had the Salmon special ($29.00) and I had Butternut Squash Ravioli ($18.00). Both were excellent.
The room was quite loud but that is to be expected that late on a Saturday night.
We would gladly return to this restaurant.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Buytheshorts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sedona, Arizona
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fabulous service on a very busy night”
Reviewed February 3, 2014

We arrived at 7:30 on a packed Wednesday night during the Festival of Lights over hungry and exhausted. Miraculously a table on the street opened and my wife and I had an exquisite experience. All of the staff was knowledgeable, helpful and willing to share their favorite dishes.
First class food and service right across the street from the Mission Inn.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jay S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corona, California
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A let down...”
Reviewed December 28, 2013

After reading so many positive reviews of Mario's Place, we were completely shocked at how blah the food was.

The good before the bad... The service was exceptional! The ambiance was really nice. The jazz band was pretty good.

Now for the rest... The food was just fair. We were actually warned by someone in the bar to avoid the pasta, so we did avoid the pasta. Avoiding the pasta at an Italian restaurant seemed odd... We thought that going with the steak would be safe... no such luck. The steak had no taste at all! It was served with tasteless potatoes.

Not a place we will go back too.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MyBrokenJeep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Loved it”
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.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank kiwifoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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