We have been fortunate enough to visit El Campello on numerous occasions as we have a holiday home nearby and we have tried over the years a large number of the local restaurants.
For some unexplained reason we have not tried casa Mariano until very recently when it was recommended to us by friends who live nearby in Busot.
On this last trip we determined to abandon, (temporarily only), our usual Sunday lunch haunt in Campello (La Nueve Cumbre), and to give it a go at Casa Mariano as recommended.
BIG mistake not to have tried this place before now!!
We had a fantastic lunch and could not find fault with anything at all- not that we were trying to!
The atmosphere was great and most tables were taken. We had in fact booked a few days earlier as we know from past experience that Sunday lunchtime in El Campello is peak time in the week.. I asked for a specific table for 2 (not a romantic tete a tete I assure you) and that's the table we got.
Staff were very friendly, helpful and attentive despite the place being busy.
The clientele were largely local Spanish but hey that is very much a plus point to the extent that if the locals patronise the place then it must be well thought of and we had previously seen much evidence of the place being packed out with lots of big local "do's" such as wedding parties and baptisms etc so that really spoke volumes about the place.
As for the food, we had a set menu at the top end at 25 euros a head. That is more than we would usually pay for a Sunday but we fancied the menu and were not in the least disappointed.
for your 25 euros you get no less than 4 different starters including a house tuna salad and you simply choose a main course from a choice of four dishes. We had the beef medallions (toro) which were delicious and the Dorada which was as good as I have ever had in Portugal and that to me is the ultimate accolade as I am firmly of the view that no-one cooks fish like the Portugese!
The choice of postres was limited but not being a sweet eater that was not a problem to me. Coffees and bread was included in the meal price and in addition, consistent with the local tradition, a half bottle of wine per person or similar was also included.
All in all a great experience and we will certainly be going back. there are places in El Campello that are as good and perhaps cheaper (Mims and Nueve Cumbre) but this is certainly a place to visit and I am sorry that some of the reviewers did not have the same wonderful experience as we did but I have to report as I find personally and it was very good!!