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“Authentic Cuban hospitality”

Mario's Catalina Restaurant
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Ranked #107 of 1,335 Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $14 - $40
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
New York City
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Authentic Cuban hospitality”
Reviewed August 2, 2013

If you go once, you'll go again and again. The friendly owner Mario will make sure of that with gifts and coupons for first time diners. The Tamale with pork is a must, as are the chicken filet and the beef dishes. The meats are marinated and cooked slowly for many hours for fork-tender juiciness. Refreshingly, the dishes are perfectly seasoned (no over salting), allowing the fresh natural flavors to come through in waves on your palate. Warning: vegetables are scare. Aside from some peppers and onions with the entrées and the ubiquitous plantains, that's it. No salads. It is meat and fish heaven, though. The wine list is very reasonably priced and offers ample choices that match well with the food (although I hear the san grias made to order are wonderful). The desert tray--I guess the Cuban version of an Italian Viennese table--has assorted flans and cakes, so save room if you can.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank VParry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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929 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    82
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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
Asheville, NC
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Absolutely Fabulous!!!”
Reviewed July 30, 2013

This place does not look like much from the outside, but step inside and you are transferred to a wonderful dining experience. We were greeted at the door by the owner, who presented with a hand out to shake and a big smile. We were seated in the back alcove of the restaurant at a corner table which was very romantic. Our waiter was fabulous as well as other staff members who refilled drinks and water. The food was the best latin fare I have had in a very long time (other than my own, I love to cook and learned from a cuban friend the secrets to latin cooking). Plantain chips are given as bread would be at other restaurants and had a wonderful sause on the side, cilantro, garlic, oil, basil, onion and other stuff, it was YUMMMY! We ordered the meat empanada which was simply, OUTSTANDING. We actually had some left over and I ate it the next morning for breakfast. I had the Argentinian Skirt Steak, OMG, melted in my mouth and the flavors were bountiful. My husband had the seafood with cream sauce and there was so much seafood in it. I hate it when you order a seafood combo dish and pay for it and you get 6-7 pieces of combined shrimp, scallops and fish. This dish was absolutely overloaded with seafood. We had what was left of the steak, seafood, plantains, rice and blackbeans for lunch the next day. A little pricey but worth every penny!!!!!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Suzbaroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing food, wonderful service”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

The food at Mario's is so yummy! They always bring an appetizer of crispy plantains and a delicious fresh salsa. All of the meat just melts in your mouth and is so flavorful. The owner also will, on occasion, send over a free drink or dessert for the table. They really take care of the guests here and make sure everyone enjoys their experience. You will love this place!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Megan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The best mojito ever!!”
Reviewed July 28, 2013 via mobile

We started with a delicious mojito followed by the Mario salad. Our delicious main courses were grouper and snapper with shrimp in a garlic sauce. The owner was so hospitable and gave us a complimentary flan (which was the best we ever ate!!) We give it a 2 thumbs up:)).

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kiding821
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Highland Beach, FL
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Luxury in A Hidden Setting”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

We used a Groupon to enjoy a wonderful meal. We had the Mixed Seafood in Lobster sauce for 2 with rice and platanos which was enormous. The large carafe of white sangria was too much for both of us. We were very intoxicated. Next we will order a small carafe. The desserts looked great but with the complimentary platanos tostados there was no more room for us to indulge anymore. Mario the owner has a special that we bought after dinner. For $100 you can get $200 in coupons to use with no expiration date. We live in Boca and it is worth the drive to this elegant jewel with exceptional food

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank decosailor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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