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“Always top notch”
Review of Marlene - Mangia Bene - CLOSED

Marlene - Mangia Bene
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Between Cooper and Centre Streets
Description: Marlene Mangia Bene is a modern Italian restaurant in downtown Woodbury that is owned and operated by husband and wife, Christopher & Maria Fasulo, and longtime friend, Frank Filipek, Jr. The restaurant is a collaboration of their taste, style, creativity and love for family, friends and food. While the restaurant's decor and menu celebrate family traditions, the name is a tribute to Maria's mom, Marlene. Marlene passed away from brain cancer three years ago but many of her "mangia bene" (good eats) will live on in the menu offerings.
Woodbury, New Jersey
2 reviews
“Always top notch”
Reviewed June 27, 2014

Great food, service, and new pricing. We live locally and try to get there as often as possible. Marlene Mangia Bene does a great job offering a variety of dishes. We hope that people outside of the local area discover Woodbury's gem.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank aallman27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

34 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    22
    7
    3
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
South Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Wonderful Food and Service”
Reviewed May 24, 2014

Went to Marlene's on a recent Saturday night. I made reservations 2 hours before with no problem. The restaurant is small but the tables are not too close together. The service was top notch. The bread was crisp and fresh and the calamari was battered perfectly and fried. My husband had the tilipia special which he was very happy with. I ordered the veal cutlet with provolone, roasted peppers and sauteed spinach. It was to die for!! The owner came over several times during the night to make sure we had everything we needed. The empty plates were promptly taken away--sometimes by another waiter who was walking by! They all worked together which is something I don't normally see. For dessert we split the cheesecake--again very good. We were given the peaches and cream cello on the house--creamy smooth and delicious! We will definitely go again.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Expctation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Lovely atmosphere, but overpriced, unmemorable food.”
Reviewed March 9, 2014 via mobile

In a nutshell: aesthetically pleasing, excellent service, but extremely overpriced, and none of the food stood out to us. Bread not fresh. We walked out feeling like we overpaid.

We also like to support local busineses, and were so thrilled that an upscale restaurant opened in a somewhat run-down area of Woodbury. We're excited about what Woodbury can be in the future, and Marlene Mangia Bene is a step in the right direction.

Positive: The decor is lovely--dark floors and classy lighting. The restaurant was sufficiently staffed, and service very friendly and professional. Great presentation of the appetizers and desserts. The after dinner drink was appreciated as well.

Negative: the high ala carte prices for everything! If you wanted a salad with your meal, It's $8 extra! I have rarely been to a restaurant that charges around $20 and up for pasta, but doesn't offer a side salad with the meal, or at least for a few dollars extra. Here, a salad and pasta dish will cost you anywhere from $25 to $30 combined.

Our bread was not warm, and the crust, I could barely eat because I couldn't chew it. I actually strained my jaw trying. I could not imagine the bread being fresh. It tasted like it had been frozen or refrigerated for a while beforehand. The accompaniment, a type of hummus, was OK, but I actually tasted their refrigerator more than I tasted the hummus. The whole bread basket just didn't seem fresh to us.

The quality of the fresh pasta was great. Very enjoyable, but I didn't walk out raving about it. Portion was appropriate.

Bread pudding was another $8. It was good, but not $8 good.

We were about to order tiramisu, but our server said "Oh, actualIy, we may not have any left." It was 5:30 by this point (a half hour after they had opened), so it was obvious that the tiramisu, like the bread and hummus, was not made fresh the same day.

One appetizer, two pastas, NO SALAD, and one dessert=$76.

They charge Collingswood/Cherry Hill prices, (a little more, actually) but just didn't deliver the same quality we are used to.

I will always compare any Italian restaurant to my favorite restaurant in Collingswood, which is also upscale, but offers much more for the price and freshness of the food. I still haven't found a restaurant that can beat it. We are happy that Marlene Mangia Bene opened where it did, and we hope they continue improving their establishment and ultimately contribute to making this part of Woodbury better.

Helpful?
1 Thank Inblueseas77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbury, New Jersey, United States
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Always a great experience!”
Reviewed March 4, 2014

Marlene Mangia Bene is still my favorite restaurant!
Frank is an excellent host and the cuisine never disappoints.
I have taken many couples there and they were always very
pleased and all said they would definitely return. Buon Appetito!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JohnnyB58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wenonah, New Jersey
1 review
“Agreed...changes not so good”
Reviewed January 14, 2014

I agree with the above reviewer that stated that the changes made to the menu are not for the good. It is very limited and I find it ironic that the picture posted of the appetizer of three meatballs is no longer offered at the restaurant. I also had the chicken and eggplant parm....told waitress I wouldn't eat the eggplant so not to even bother wasting it by bringing it out. I was told that I could have all chicken parm and it came out with the eggplant anyway....so that was good food that went to waste as as I pushed it right off my plate. Contrary to the previous review, I found my chicken parm to be acidic and somewhat spicy...not what I expected. My other disappointment with the chicken parm was that I was unable to get mozzarella cheese (instead of provolone) as requested because they were "too busy and didn't have any fresh mozzarella cheese cut." Really? And you're an Italian restaurant? Next disappointment came in the form of being served hummus with the bread (which was extremely hard and crusty...almost not edible) and not oil. Again...Italian restaurant serving hummus and not oil with the bread. Odd.

We loved previous visits to this restaurant , but unless something changes (this time for the good), we will not be back.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 612Diane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ffilipek, Owner at Marlene - Mangia Bene, responded to this review, January 16, 2014
Thank you for your feedback and giving me the heads up on the older pictures on this website. I updated them. The complimentary accompaniment with our crusty Italian bread changes nightly. Our menu also changes seasonally. Hope to see you in again soon.

Happy New Year!

Best regards,
Frank
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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