Marcello is an Italian Restaurant that serves authentic Naples style pizzas and pastas and is run by the ex-Owner of Lombardo which is just a few blocks south on Commercial. Old world decor adds charm to the large, impressive dining hall making Marcello a great place to meet and hang with good friends.

Our experience, however, would have been much more pleasant if the hostess knew how to seat customers properly. Because the restaurant was full, we had given our name to the hostess, but after 45 minutes, was wondering if we had been forgotten. She gave away our table not once, but twice to parties that came after us. Confused by their seating system, we finally asked a server about our reservation and learned she didn’t even bother writing our name down. For this, she didn’t even apologize. Luckily we had a nice server who took care of us right away.

(Clockwise: 1. Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino. Difficult to pronounce, but tasty. 2. Random shot of restaurant exterior detailing. 3. A good Italian meal isn’t complete without wine. )

Tre and I ordered a Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino: spicy sauce with olive oil, garlic and a touch of tomato. We also had a medium sized Siciliana: a thin crust pizza topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, capers, black olives and onions. Our friends shared a Spaghetti Carbonara: pancetta with cream and egg. They also ordered a medium sized Palermo By Night: a pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, salami, inferno sauce and baking cheese. To accompany our carb-o-licious dinner, we had half a bottle of red wine.

(Top to bottom: 1. Spaghetti Carbonara. 2 Palermo by Night pizza.)

Both the pizzas were good: handmade, thin crusted pizzas topped with fresh tomato sauce and fresh fixings. Our friends’ Palermo by Night had a nice spicy kick to it courtesy of  the inferno sauce. The baking cheese added a nice creamy texture to the sauce which took it to another level. Our Spaghetti Aglio Olio was delicious: Light, spicy, and garlicky — just the way we like it. Our friends enjoyed their spaghetti carbonara, which was nice and creamy. The wine was a nice accompaniment to the rustic Italian dishes. Marcello didn’t cheap out on the wine, as the carafe was filled to the brim. It seemed to be a glass or two more than a half bottle, so no complaints here.

Although we didn’t get off on the right foot at Marcello, the food was good and we were in the company of good friends which made the evening thoroughly enjoyable. The prices are decent at Marcello, dinner for the four of us including wine, taxes and tips came to just under $100. Our server was friendly and attentive. As for the hostess up front — your job isn’t rocket science.

Perfect for: Get togethers and carb-o-licious meals.

The Details:

1404 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Marcello on Urbanspoon

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