Report Card: Marcella’s Italian Kitchen

A sneak peak at the dining room at Marcella's

A sneak peak at the dining room at Marcella’s

Marcella's Ristorante on Urbanspoon
http://polaris.marcellasitaliankitchen.com/

Overall GrubGrade B

 

The Breakdown:

Atmosphere:  Grade B+:  From the photo of the dining room, you can tell that Marcella’s is an upscale, Italian restaurant.  Marcella’s was clean, and the tables had excellent spacing.  The only glaring flaw was the noise.  Whether caused by the acoustics of the interior or the number of diners present, we found the dining area of Marcella’s to be really loud.  With such an upscale décor, Marcella’s should be on the short list as possible date night restaurants.  But you’d be better going there for an anniversary, and then you wouldn’t have to listen to your significant other’s tired old stories.  As a date spot, Marcella’s might not be the best choice unless you really have no interest in carrying on a conversation with your date.

High marks:  Clean, well-spaced tables

Low marks:   Really loud

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Service:  Grade B:  This is a tough one to grade.  Our server, Rachel, did a really nice job taking care of us.  She really provided great service when they were out of the dish I wanted to order.  But, there was nothing spectacular about the service.  All of our needs were taken care of in a timely fashion, and the place was pretty packed, but our server didn’t really engage us.  We were starving and fairly cranky, so a “B” in this category is actually really good.

High marks:  Solid service with no errors

Low marks:   Not engaging, nothing spectacular

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Food/Spirits:  Grade B:  As previously mentioned, we were both starving, so an appetizer was a must.  There was nothing on the menu that really spoke to us, so we went with the standard calamari.  The calamari itself was good but the dish was entirely too much breaded zucchini in it.  We left the zucchini alone, and once we’d wolfed down all the squid, it looked like we hadn’t even touched the dish there was so much breaded zucchini left on the plate.  For drinks, Katina had the white sangria and I enjoyed a couple of Stella Artois.  Most beer drinkers have tried a Stella at least once, so there’s no real need to go into further detail.  As for the white sangria, Katina found in refreshing with a nice flavor.  It wasn’t the best white sangria she’s had, but it was pretty good.  For entrées, Katina ordered the lasagna and I opted for a Sicilian pizza.  Katina’s chunk of lasagna was large enough that it came out on a pallet instead of a plate.  She immediately cut the portion in half and it was still huge.  The lasagna had a really nice sauce, with a bit of a spicy hint to it.  But the lasagna was lacking in the amount of cheese.  Lasagna is a dish where balance is extremely important.  You need the right amount of cheese, meat, noodles, and sauce.  The lasagna was just slightly out of balance.  My first choice for entrée was the Gnocchi con Bolognese (which had braised lamb in it).  I was really excited to try it out, but was informed that the kitchen was out of gnocchi.  I was offered the option of substituting pasta for the gnocchi, which I jumped at.  But, I was then informed that the kitchen was out of lamb as well.  So, I just ordered a Sicilian pizza, which ended up being pretty good but non-orgasmic.

High marks:  Large portion of lasagna and decent tasting pizza

Low marks:  Lackluster calamari, kitchen breaks my heart by running out of lamb

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Value:  Grade C:  We dropped nearly $100 for just the two of us, and neither of us got dessert.  The food was good, but not breathtaking.  While we recommend you give Marcella’s a try, we thought the food was a little over priced for the quality.  You usually don’t have any issues with a Cameron Mitchell restaurant, so the quality issue may be an anomaly.

High marks:   Large portion size of lasagna for price

Low marks:   Quality could be slightly better

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