I have a friend who is notoriously picky about her Italian food. She’s Italian and has very specific requirements for what qualifies as authentic and delicious Italian food. The one restaurant she always raves about is Marcello’s on Commercial Drive. So when Marcello’s invited us for a tasting, we were very excited as we’ve heard such good things about it. You might remember how much pizza we ate in Japan – now it was time to try some local pizza!
I need to know where they sourced these prawns because they were so plump and juicy! I’m not a sauteed peppers fan but somehow they convinced me to enjoy these. They complemented the flavor of the prawns so well, I was impressed. I also loved that they loaded the dishes with olives because I love those. But seriously, those prawns were something else. They weren’t over salty or oily. This was a very well done appetizer.
We tend to never order bread because we don’t want to fill up our tummies with carbs before the main dishes. However, we learned that Marcello was the first to bring focaccia to the city and we had to try it. It was warm when it came to us and we loved that all the herbs’ flavors came out to play. It was thin but chewy soft at the same time. I thought that the butter deserved recognition too. We speculate they added olive oil to it to give it more flavor and it was absolutely delicious with the bread. I could have eaten a whole basket of focaccia (with extra butter, please!)
Do you want to know a secret? Whenever we go out to eat, I could never convince Howie to order some gnocchi. He said he’s never had gnocchi that he liked. I managed to convince to order this handmade gnocchi and when he had his first bite, I swear his eyes popped wide open.
Turns out, Howie just always had bad gnocchi which is why he didn’t like it. However, he said eating this gnocchi was like eating clouds. With four types of cheese that was gooey and rich, he was a huge fan of this dish. We liked how the cheese topping was crispy but underneath it was all melted cheese and yummy gnocchi.
It also took a bit of convincing to get Howie to agree to sharing this with me. He thought that a meat sauce pasta was too simple of a thing to order here. Little did he know this would be his favorite dish at Marcello’s. Firstly, the pasta was cooked perfectly al dente. Like almost all of their pastas, this was handmade. We loved that the pasta was thin and delicate yet had texture to it so it managed to hold the sauce.
Oh boy, we have to talk about the sauce. We felt it was very creamy and not watery in any way. They put a lot of meat into the sauce – we appreciated that they didn’t skimp on the amount. It was the perfect blend of creaminess and tomato flavor. We were so full when we ate this pasta but both insisted on finishing it. We knew we’d be waddling to the car but it was absolutely worth it.
Friends, we couldn’t leave Marcello’s without having some of their pizza. This is Naples-style thin crust pizza. This is cooked in the oven for 7 minutes on a lower heat than the Neapolitan pizza. You can see how remarkably thin the slices are yet there is not one scorch mark on the crust or bottom. We don’t know the magic behind this pizza, only that it was impossibly thin yet held all that delicious prosciutto and sauce.
All evening, we saw the staff greet customers like they were old friends. It’s obvious that Marcello’s has a special place in the hearts of its patrons who come again and again. We think we’ll be like them one day. It’s hard to miss the charm of this restaurant – the food is outstanding and the service is warm. There is indoor and patio seating so perfect for date nights or dining in groups. Come visit Marcello’s and you’ll see why we love it so much!