Christmas Eve Eve, we were Mario's special guests. (Mario's tv
commercials feature Mario saying, "you are not just a customers,
you are my special guests.") The service had lots of extra
little touches. For example, instead of just telling us about
the evening's specials, our waitress brought over prepared plates
to show us. This saved having to crane our necks to see what other
people were eating. Because there are mostly tall booths at Mario's,
that would have been kind of hard to do anyway. The food was exceptional.
Especially the Spaghetti Carbonara, and the Pork Balsamico, a
dish with an amazing reduced balsamic vinegar sauce. Everything's
a la carte so dinner can be pricey if you order an appetizer,
salad, desert, etc. For a special occasion, though, it's worth
Refrigerator editor writes: Mario's has bowls of mints everywhere.
In the bathroom you can fill yourpockets with them while no one
is looking. While we were eatting, the hostees brought fresh yellow
roses over to our tabe and gave on to my wife and my mother in
law. She said they were giving roses to all the pretty ladies.
Mario's family is from the Abruzzi region of northern Italy and
the decor here is over the top Italian. He used to own the place
on East Avenue where Roncone's
East is now. He has gone hog wild out here and to make sure the
dining room is full he has a big van, the Mario's shuttle (that
doubles as a snow plow), that rounds up hotel guests and takes
them here, just off 490 East at Monroe Avenue.
politcal signs out front during election time were all Democratic.
Inside there are photos of Geraldo Rivera, Mayor Bill Johnson,
Bill Doyle, Dan Rather, Martha Stewart (2x), George Stephanopolis,
Tom Golisano (we spotted him in person over at Lucanno's),
Hillary Clinton, Pataki and Mario with "Mr. Italian Food",
Luciano Pavarotti. I had lamb and it was fantastic. I like their
bread dipping oil. I had fun at their website.
My mother in law told our server that, "I've
never been particularly fond of Italian food but this was delicious."