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“Not sure what the buzz is all about at Marek's Bar and Bistro”

Marek's Collier House Restaurant
Price range: $25 - $40
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Marek's Collier House Restaurant ,Fine Dining specialzing in the finest Local Fresh Seafood, Lobsters and Meats.The Bar and Bistro at Marek's, Casual island setting outdoor dining and live entertainment offering a choice of fresh seafood as well as home made Salads, Flatbreads , Steaks and Burgers as well as a few British twists
Newport Beach, California
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Not sure what the buzz is all about at Marek's Bar and Bistro”
Reviewed February 20, 2011

After weeks of wanting to try the new addition to Marek's Collier House Restaurant, Marek's Bar and Bistro failed to impress.
The ambiance is the best thing this restaurant has going for it. After a glitch in finding our reservation, we sat down at a nice table over-looking the patio. Our server seemed extremely nervous and clicked his pen open and closed while he told us the specials without details nor confidence. Our party of four ordered three drinks and one small bottle of sparkling water. The sparkling water came without a glass, the two bottled beers came unopened, and the wine was fine. We ordered three appetizers; coconut shrimp, seared ahi tuna, and fried calamari. Their coconut shrimp comes pre-made/processed from a well-known bulk food distributor and there was nothing that differentiated it from coconut shrimp at any of the local bars/restaurants. The seared ahi tuna was good, yet very small. The fried calamari was not seasoned and the accompanying sauce was very bland. Then, we had to wave down a passing server for plates to serve the appetizers.
We ordered another round of drinks and again, the beers were unopened! When we ordered our entrees, we also asked if we could get a bottle-opener, too, but the young, inexperienced server did not get our joke/insinuation that beers should be opened.
We ordered a spinach soup and caesar salads which were good, but not great.
When ordering out entrees, our server was unable to give us any recommendations. So, we ordered the Bacon-Wrapped Crab-Stuffed Shrimp, Chicken Stir-Fry, Chicken Curry, and Grouper. The menu identified Nueske's Bacon, as the bacon that is used for it's shrimp, which is (normally) my favorite bacon ever. Yet, the bacon and shrimp seemed like they had been steamed....not having the texture/consistency of freshly-cooked, crisp bacon. It was served with plain white rice and a small salad on the plate. The chicken stir-fry that my wife ordered was good, but not great. Again, the sauce was from the same well-known food distributor that the coconut shrimp came from. My friend ate the chicken curry, but was not satisfied and his wife, who ordered the grouper, was not impressed. After another round of drinks, with two more unopened beers, we skipped dessert and asked for the check.
I'm not sure if it is because I am a Corporate Chef that works with the aforementioned food distributor, making it easy for me to spot many of their products, but, I just expected food that did not come out of a box and/or bottle from this establishment. Again, the ambiance was great, but the service and food were sub-par.

  • Visited February 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank FaulknerBrennan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

140 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    86
    19
    22
    9
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Cheshire
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Marek's is excellent!”
Reviewed July 16, 2010

In a nutshell, we've eaten in lots of the local restaurants and to date this is by far the best. Fabulous food with wonderful wines in an extremely pleasant, comfortable and civilised ambience, staff and service simply superb. Highly recommended! Here's to the next time!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Bradolph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Food that's worth the price”
Reviewed May 9, 2010

Prepare to pay $25-$40 for the entrees (I had lobster, so my $ is in the $40 range and that's not including drinks, dessert or tips) -- but boy, was it ever worth every penny of it!! I read some pretty ghastly comments about the place, so when my husband suggested that we visit Marek's, I was looking at him funny, especially when we showed up without any reservation and was asked to sit outside at the waiting area while our table is being readied. But once seated (the wait lasted less than w minutest), we found the atmosphere accommodating, and our waiter was both attentive and engaging. If you're the kind of person who's comfortable and enjoys food from dinners to formal fares, yes, do go, visit and explore. It's really worth it.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Xuxun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fantastic Dining Experience”
Reviewed April 24, 2010

My wife and I dined at Marek's after it was recommended to us by a friend who is a chef. We called ahead to ask about vegetarian options for my wife and were told a special dish would be created for her. Well this special dish was fantastic. My wife loved the originality, taste and presentation of the dish. I had one of the best tasting lobster meals I've ever eaten, and I've had plenty all over the world. We had fantastic service and the co-owner frequently checked to make sure we were enjoying our meai. We ended the night with blueberry creme brulee and Tiramisu, all made in house, that was just delicious. One caveat, be prepared to open your wallet for such delicious food.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Shivan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Dreadful experience - don't waste your time.”
Reviewed April 5, 2010

I went to Marek's for dinner with my girlfriend this past week. The meal was adequate. The cuisine is bland and unoriginal, and the presentation is 25 years out of date but this is not Manhattan, it is southwest Florida. I had, however, ordered the seafood bisque and for lack of a better expression it was swill. It was overfinished with Brandy or Sherry and was too thin to be called bisque. Additionally, it was heavily overgarnished with scallion. A mess in all. I smelled it, took a taste, and when the proprietor asked how everything was I told her that I didn't like the soup and she took it away. When it appeared on the check I asked the waiter whether or not it was a mistake. For that I was promptly and vehemently scolded by Penny Marek, the co-owner of the establishment that there was "nothing wrong with that bisque and they'd been serving it all night". With another grunt she removed it from the check. If she had told me she couldn't take it off I would have just paid for it. I paid the bill and tipped a customary 25%. This woman then harassed my girlfriend and I all the way out the door of the restaurant, even following us into the parking lot yelling that there was nothing wrong with her bisque. She even threatened that her husband the chef may want to give me a piece of his mind as a result of my opinion of the soup. Unreal. I guess that's why the original Marek's is in Marco Island and this isn't the sister restaurant to the one in NY or LA. No five star restaurant would dare treat a patron that way. I don't always find service staff warm, but I've never found them threatening before. If you're used to true fine dining, these guys will be a letdown. It's amatuer hour at this place. Save your money and go parasailing.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Swimstyle78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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