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“One of our best meals....ever!”

Mario's Catalina Restaurant
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Ranked #104 of 1,340 Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $14 - $40
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Reviewed November 10, 2013 via mobile

We had a great time and the food was phenomenal . Mario was a fun loving host that was generous and personable. The food was SO good. If you are trying to pick a spot to go, pick this one!

Thank launaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (933)
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Reviewed November 9, 2013

The bride asked the Renaissance Hotel Desk where she could find Cuban fare because she was craving a Cuban Sandwich and the lady gave her a $25 gift coupon and made a reservation for us for about an hour later at Catalina. Upon our arrival we were warmly greeted by Mario, the proprietor, who immediately seated us. Within minutes, the restaurant appeared to me to be full.

Our waiter soon appeared and went over the various featured items. We decided to start with the mussels on special, and both decided on the Lechon Asado (roast pork).

The staff started us with fried plantain chips with a salsa like topping that was out of this world. Like nothing I ever tasted before. Salads soon arrived and it was very flavorful. The mussels came in an order for two, with three pieces of garlic bread to absorb some of the broth. The broth was light and delicious; after the bread was gone, I admit to using an empty mussel shell to scoop up the remains, it was so good.

The pork arrived accompanied by fried plantains, black beans and rice, the pork was arranged in a tower, with cooked onion. Absolutely brilliant. Among the best pork dishes I have ever had; the bride felt the same. Neither of us could eat anything more, but my bride desired a cappaccino. As we were finishing up, Mario breezed by and refilled her Sangria glass! When we told him how much we enjoyed our meal and planned to bring friends back, he told us to keep the coupon and honored it in the bargain.

I think we just found our new favorite restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale.

Thank Dennis B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2013

Mario's Catalina is a little eccentric. You walk in through through the back, past overstuffed chairs in what looks like an outdoor living room. Mario greets you like an old friend, un beso for the ladies, a warm handshake for the men. By then you are his guest, as you are seated and treated to a wide menu of Cuban and Central and South American specialties and variations combining elements from many countries. The mojitos are great, but the white sangria, which I had been introduced to in Argentina as "clerico" was the best I ever had.
Mario sent little extras alike fried plantain strips and a silky flan for dessert, and the menu was wildly diverse and very generous, with wonderfully simple dishes like grilled salmon as well as green-plantain-encusted grouper. The Argentine skirt steak with Mario's rustic cut Chimichurri was also worth the trip.The roast pork is also excellent, and the sweet plantains and black beans and rice made a great side dish, taking me back to a Cuban trip in 2004.
Service is very attentive, with various waiters, waitresses, busing folks. chefs and of course, Mario, constantly refilling glasses and plates.
Prepare to be pampered and overfed and to waddle out very, very happy.

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Thank marshanager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2013

My husband and family members are frequent diners at the Catalina Restaurant. Most recently my husband and I celebrated a birthday with our oldest son. As usual the food, service and atmosphere were great. The employees wait on you hand and foot. Mario is always keen to every detail, especially the comfit of his quests. The atmosphere is cozy and elegant. The food is fantastic as well as the sangria! Great for couples as well as groups. Our family thoroughly enjoys every visit!

The families of Mooney, Gagnon, Carlson and Ryder

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Thank Marie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2013

You must visit Mario's if you are in Ft. Lauderdale. Awesome food, atmosphere, and service. Five star all the way and Mario is a dream host. Go and you won't be disappointed.

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Thank Malcolm M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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