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“What a place! We enjoyed every aspect of it!”
Review of Cafe de Marco

Cafe de Marco
Ranked #16 of 121 Restaurants in Marco Island
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $37
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Tucked away in the northern most point of Old Marco is Cafe de Marco. An intimate bistro/cafe serving the most diverse selection of fresh seafood & other continental specialties since 1983. A favorite amongst locals & seasonal return visitors to Marco Island. Reservations are greatly appreciated. Olde Florida atmosphere in the historic district of Olde Marco. Perfect for an outstanding meal, business, or special occasion. Vast wine selection and beer available. Twilight specials and children's menu available. Owned and operated by same owner & family since starting out in 1983. Our building enjoys a rich piece of Marco history. The Cafe's building was the original quarters for the chamber maids employed by the historic Old Marco Inn just a few yards away. Many years ago the Inn functioned as a "bed & breakfast", and the maids would simply walk to work from our building. This explains the answer to a frequently asked question..."Was this an old house at one time?" Today, step inside to what has been transformed into an islander's tradition for over 30 years. We look forward to serving you soon! ~Sandy Franchino, Owner
Reviewed February 16, 2011

From the minute we arrived everything was terrific. All hosts, hostesses and servers were friendly, efficient and helpful. Our server, Johnny, steered us in the right direction for our entrees. The owners spoke with us and were genuinely interested in what we thought. Wine, food and dessert were fantastic. Even our dad, age 90+, ate heartily!!

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Thank Patty1950_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jwfra345, Owner at Cafe de Marco, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2011

Hi Patti1950,
Ha, ha, ha! Loved the fact that even dad (age 90+) ate well!!!! Reviews such as your makes my life a happy one! So glad my entire staff lived up to "my expectations & yours." I am proud of everyone from Chef to Bussers. Great to hear your server "Johnny" steered you in a satisfying direction based on your tastes. Again, many thanks for taking the time to mention us & we look forward to serving you on your next trip to Marco. Tells us you wrote about us next time you're in and I wish "dad" well!!!
Sandy F owner

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Reviews (741)
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669 - 673 of 741 reviews

Reviewed February 13, 2011

I usually don't write reviews but after reading such negative one from this obviously horrible customer below I have too.
I loved it. Well "we" did. My guests and the surrounding tables all seemed to enjoy themselves. It's small and at times kinda loud but it adds something to your experience. I love seafood and LOVE the prawns and this monsterous dessert whatever it was called. Only complaint is no booze. Wine and beer only. Coming from the Midwest that's just weird to me but we managed and I think it works for them. So to sum it up it's our favorite place on the island. Make your own judgement and definately dont take an obviously bitter diners sad attempt to destroy a restaurants reputation.

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Thank Welikefod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jwfra345, Owner at Cafe de Marco, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2011

Hello "Welikefood", and thank you so much for your vote of confidence! I am most appreciative that you enjoyed everything at the Cafe de Marco, but mostly for your keen insight regarding the last review. Again, many thanks for coming, and reviewing our restaurant in a fair & balanced manner. I do feel "most folks" write from that perspective, but sadly enough a few don't.
Funny thing, I just wrote a response to the review entitled "Most Delicious Food On Marco Island" which explains the Collier County, FL law prohibiting restaurants seating less than 150 people, from holding a full liquor license. I too wish we could, but upon reading that response you'll learn why we cannot. That is why it is important for us to serve quality cuisine, at a great value with superior service. You ordered a winning combo: The Jumbo Prawns satisfies EVERYONE, and the dessert called "The Cafe Puff" is a hit amongst the crowds!
I am thrilled that you think of us as your favorite & look forward to your return!
Sandy F. owner

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Reviewed February 10, 2011

The Hilton offered free taxi service here and cab driver raved about it so we decided to make this our destination for our one fine dining experience for our week's vacation at marco island. After being seated we observed that what we thought was a fine dining establishment was actually a run down building turned into a wanna be restaurant. We kept an open mind thinking the food and service would make up for this. Keep in mind this is priced as a fine dining establishment. We waited 15 minutes with RESERVATIONS made by our Hilton Hotel Concierge and was seated with no dinner crowd whatsoever with no attention whatsoever. Finally the bread server came over with a woman who apologized saying the hostess didn't tell the waitress we were there. After saying we wanted to leave, this woman became confrontational with us saying I'm sorry, what do you want me to do about it? We said we had a reservation made through the HIlton Concierge and you should know we were here. My husband said the couple behind us walked out because they were being ignored and she flat out lied to us and said 'No, they finished their meal and left.' We observed they arrived after us, only had water, were ignored and walked out. We chose not to give our business to people who lied to us and were so blatently rude and inconsiderate.
We will also voice our dissatisfaction Hilton management tomorrow as we are loyal Hilton Honors members and expect way more than this.
Bottom line....don't waste your time. Go across the street to the Snook Inn which is casual dining but on the water with entertainment and good service or go to CJ's which is excellent food and service.

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1  Thank nancyrules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jwfra345, Owner at Cafe de Marco, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2011

Hello “nancyrules”,

I am Sandy Franchino, owner of Café de Marco Restaurant. My first order of business today is to apologize for your unfortunate experience at Café de Marco. While I am very proud of my entire staff that does their utmost to please our guests and strive for excellence in the hospitality industry, once in a while we do make mistakes. Yes, being human, a mistake was made in a definite lack of communication between hostess staff & server. Your wait, from time seated to time attended was far too long, and again for that I do apologize. I called your hotel & reported to your concierge the event leaving word for you to call me back if you wished. I would have loved the opportunity to speak with you personally regarding your visit. Unfortunately, there was no response before you left. Therefore, I am hoping your read these responses, to accept “our apologies” as well as straighten out a few facts.
I need to make clear that since this is a public forum, all reading your review should know that “we” at Café de Marco offer the free round trip taxi service from our local hotels to the restaurant. Therefore we pay for this service not the hotels.
In addition, while you didn’t care for our atmosphere, our “building”, does enjoy a rich piece of local Marco Island history, in our part of the island known as “The Old Marco Historic Village. This house was transformed into a restaurant after having served as the chamber maid’s quarters for the Old Marco Inn when it once was as a bed & breakfast. Hence the separate small dining rooms you see within. Shiny & new, we are not, but I assure you, we are not “run down”, as we pass yearly inspections & code requirements as well as do annual updates as needed. Many of our guests do enjoy the “home like” atmosphere found here and love it’s historic value. Again, sorry you didn’t stay long enough to learn about it.
In addition the table your husband thought had left actually requested a move to a “corner table” in one of our other dining rooms. (I can see how he may have thought they departed). My hostess’s response to your husband was that of yet another table who had indeed completed their meal. (Their paid guest check is proof of that.) Now on to my hostess: I must say she is “a lady” and would never be so thoughtless as to put her job & dignity at risk with lies. That simply is not the caliber of character she possesses. I am also confused as to how her apology could be conceived as “confrontational”? She took total blame for the incident to you, as well as to me, as I arrived just after this occurred (in the early portion of our evening’s service). When caught up “in an upsetting moment” things can certainly be quite different from what they seemed, and a misunderstanding as to who each of you were speaking of definitely occurred.
Naturally, Mrs. Barth /”nancyrules” my staff was quite aware that you were present and accounted for when acknowledging your reservation upon arrival. We do not purposefully ignore any guest. Certainly, we would not have survived 28 years in a competitively tough business, while winning many awards along the way for our cuisine and service if that were the case.
Lastly, our price point is on the very same structure as the other restaurants you mention. So we are not any more expensive for the value and caliber of cuisine we offer. I only wish you were able to accept my hostess’s apology and stayed for the best part of what any restaurant should strive to offer, “our fabulous food!”
In conclusion, and once again I certainly would love the opportunity to speak with you and even greet you again one day. If you so desire please call me and allow me the opportunity to reach out personally. Our telephone number is 239-394-6262 and I hope you read this response and do call.
Sincerely,
Sandy F. owner

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Reviewed January 30, 2011

My husband, kids and I were on Marco Island for a quick vacation, and the trip coincided with our wedding anniversary so we got a few recommendations for a nice restaurant to have our anniversary dinner. I've been to quite a few restaurants on Marco Island and generally, I'd say the views and atmosphere are better than the food. Not so with Cafe de Marco! Delicious food, great service, fantastic staff. I tried one of the house specialities - the prawns - and can only say YUM. They were huge and delicious. My husband had lobster which was fantastic (yes, I stole some), and very generously sized. They do have a good kids menu, so even my picky 11 year old found something he wanted. My older son had the scampi and said it was great. And the desserts were fantastic.

The whole staff was friendly, helpful and really made us feel at home.

Go there - the food is great and the prices are average for a nice restaurant. The 4 of us ate for $150 and two of us chose higher end entrees and each had a glass of wine.

They do only serve beer and wine, BTW.

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Thank denvertrix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jwfra345, Owner at Cafe de Marco, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2011

Hello denvertrix "family"!
I apologize for not having responded more promptly! I try to check Trip Advisor periodically, but guess I got tied up "running the day to day details of the business. In any event, naturally it is a pleasure to read a review such as yours. Happy Belated Anniversary! Thank you for spending one of your evenings with us! I am so glad everyone in your family was pleased ( even your picky 11 year old)! I too have had my troubles pleasing my children at that age, so I know how happy it makes a mom to have the dining experience enjoyed by all at the table!
Loved the comment regarding your pleasure with great food as well as atmosphere. Wish we had more of a view, but you've got the priorities right..... when dining out, isn't it all about the food & service first?! Everything else is secondary. Yes, I am with you regarding liquor license, it would be nice to have one. Collier County Florida has an old ruling in place whereby any restaurant having less than 150 seats CANNOT apply for one. Urban legend has it that back "in the day" when this county was becoming developed, the powers at hand did not want it to become like a "Key West" resort, so they limited liqour lisences. I would need to "purchase" one, when one was available, and they are outragously expensive. So, yes we emphasis our direction toward "quiality food & service". It is always rewarding when folks like you, recognize it & appreciate our efforst. I hope we see you all next time you return to Marco!
Many thanks,
Sandy F. owner

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Reviewed January 9, 2011

Cafe de Marco is crowded, not much atmosphere, food good to average, fairly expensive

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Thank ATravelingVirginian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jwfra345, Owner at Cafe de Marco, responded to this reviewResponded January 12, 2011

Hello Traveling Virginian,
So disappointed you did not enjoy our atmosphere, and only rated our food good to average. We are an upscale restaurant with quality products & therefore we are on the higher end of the cost scale. I wish you were more informed on that note so you would have been prepared as to our pricing. I also invite you to contact us directly ( if you wish ) to let us know "exactly" what items you ordered & where exactly your disappointment occured. That is the only way we can continually improve & possibly rectify any problems. Our number is 239-394-6262 and I hope to be speaking with you soon!
thank you,
Sandy F. owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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