With more and more restaurants opening, with familiar hours and the availability of seating indoors, I have found myself revisiting a lot of great hits. My go-to restaurants that I have frequented, to relive and re-eat that in which I had forgotten years ago. Not to mention many restaurants have changed management and run through chefs since, so it is often worth it for a blogger to repeat and reassure themselves that a can recommend stays a will recommend.
Tonight’s such dinner was at Marcello on Commercial Drive. Well known and beloved, this tried and true wood oven pizza parlour is a staple for many on The Drive. We would grab a table on their side patio, without any reservations and with no issue. Being with a beer and a glass of wine to set the tone.
To my delight, my guest and I have similar tastes with no dietary restrictions. So this is actually what I would order, if I were to choose a dish from the list of appetizers, an item from their pasta listing, and naturally one of the pizzas.
The calamari was your standard deep fried chewy bites of tentacles, cut up bite size ans coated with an airy batter (similar to that of tempura in texture, but not taste). The calamari was bland and we had to ask for salt and pepper to self flavour. Thought the intention may be that squid and pieces of pita got its flavour from the scoop of tzaziki served on the side. As the above was best enjoyed with a generous scoop, it was nice that the server readily gave us more creamy sauce when we ask.
We shared the Chef’s Tagliatelle. Neither of us are vegetarian, we just got excited for a pasta that featured everything we liked in a creamy tomato sauce. A tangy and creamy mix with plenty of flavour and bite thanks to the collection of sautéed mushrooms, black olives, and capers with. Must like that pickle tang to like this one. I can see myself craving this one again.
The Funghi Con Tartufo was another inadvertent vegetarian pick. We also both like mushrooms and especially truffles. However my guest wasn’t a fan of this one, he found the truffle flavour off and therefore left more of me. I did enjoy the pizza. It was sharp and earthy with fragrant cheeses to contrast and parallel the woodsy mushroom. I just wish the truffle flavour was richer and more fresh. It felt oily, and if I wanted such a nuance, I would have preferred it as a chilli oil.
In short, the restaurant is as a remembered it, a classic with no real complaints. A great spot to dine at and recommend when craving for heavier, comforting Italian dishes at a premium.
Marcello Ristorante & Pizzeria
1404 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3X9