Mario Restaurant
644 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788


Discover An Italian Treasure In Hauppauge

Mario Restaurant, a treasure of an eatery on Motor Parkway in Hauppauge, will have already charmed you before you’ve even reached the door. The perimeter is lined with a series of arches faux painted to resemble stone. The area outside the entrance is also painted, and portrays what might be your very own window view of a picturesque Italian landscape. You will enter through two enchanting ornate wooden doors and step into the warm elegance that permeates throughout each room.

The bar area is separated from the dining room by a wall complete with decorative glass. You won’t find the typical bowl of salty peanuts here, because there is a colorful tray of fresh hors d’oeuvres to indulge in (below left). We encountered thick, hollowed out cucumber slices filled with different toppings surrounding a bowl of black and green olives (below left). Patrons at the bar couldn’t wait to tell us all about this wonderful offering and how the selection changes from day to day.

After being seated, we sipped some excellent classic cocktails while waiting for the rest of our party to join us. We were pleased to discover that they did in fact serve their dirty martini’s with the notorious bleu cheese stuffed olives (above right) that have been ever-growing in popularity amidst the restaurant and bar crowd.

We then inquired about the wine list, which is always of interest when dining on Italian cuisine. The evening of this review, we had with us Juan Sepulveda, owner of Laurel Lake Vineyards. Juan guided our wine selections by pairing each dish with an appropriate wine. This restaurants wine list had a nice variety of reasonably priced wines from different regions many of which could be ordered by the glass or bottle.

After dipping an assortment of fresh bread into well-seasoned herb infused olive oil (above right) we were ready to begin our culinary journey. Our first appetizer was the Ostriche Gorgonzola (below left) - oysters with Gorgonzola cheese in a red wine reduction. Juan ordered The Salvalai Pinot Noir to enjoy with this dish. The wine proved to be sensual and feminine, with just the right acidity to compliment the tangy and crisped Gorgonzola. The cheese was warm and inviting, blanketing the tender oyster within the half shell creating quite a magnificent culinary sensation.

Knowing the next appetizer would be the Insalata di Frutti di Mare (above right), we chose the 2007 Gabriella Pinot Grigio which proved to be a nice dry white wine for this tasty seafood ensemble.  This Italian seafood dish was a beautiful presentation of fresh calamari, scungilli, pulpo and shrimp lightly tossed with a lemon and olive oil dressing. The dressing drew out the essence of the diced red bell peppers and crisp slices of celery. A few drops of juice squeezed from the fresh wedge of lemon will complete this flavorful and refreshing medley from the sea.

The Bocconcini (above right) was served next, an antipasto consisting of tomato, roasted red pepper, red onion and fresh mozzarella tossed with balsamic dressing over arugula salad. Two well-balanced wines were chosen for this dish, The Concha y Toro Chilean Chardonnay and the Kendell Jackson Chardonnay. Both these wines possess similar oak qualities that nicely contrast the bitter bite of the arugula. This is a wonderful summertime salad, with freshly chopped vegetables, tasty cubes of mozzarella, and sweet red onions that glistened like jewels.

The Capelli d’Angelo Mario (below left), the restaurants signature pasta dish prepared tableside, was paired with a 2007 Melini Borghi D’Elsa, a woodsy full-flavored Chianti (below left). Delicate angel hair pasta eagerly absorbed the light and flavorful seafood sauce which reminded us perhaps of a fine bisque. It was neither too salty nor too thickened with cream and had generous morsels of crabmeat, which wrapped in a bundle of pasta made for a satisfying mouthful. Not to mention the live cooking exhibition (above) which enhanced our dining experience and added a touch of elegance as well.

Red Snapper Florentine (below left) was our next entrée, and the chosen wine was a light Pinot Grigio aptly named “Cielo” which means “heaven”. Juicy and well-seasoned red snapper, flaky and moist, lay over a bed of rich sautéed spinach. Lovely slivers of garlic were popping up throughout the lush bed of greens. The fish had a thin layer of egg batter, absorbing the wonderful taste of the garlic and lemon butter wine sauce.

For our last entrée we were served their Sirloin Pizzaiolo (above right) with mashed potatoes. To accompany this beef dish, we had the Louie Martini Cabernet Sauvignon. Savory seasoned slices of tender beef were covered in a delicious Pizzaiolo sauce that was made with basil, tomatoes, onions, peppers and mushrooms. We hope you saved some fresh bread to scoop up this tasty sauce.

When it came time for dessert we were presented a thick slice of house-made White Chocolate Cheesecake with an Oreo crust (above right). This cheesecake was a creamy delight garnished with fresh raspberries, whipped cream, and a drizzling of chocolate sauce. The chocolaty crumbles of the Oreo crust contrasted most excellently with the consistency of the decadent fluffy white chocolate filling.

As the night gently winded down, with frothy cappuccinos in hand, it was hard to remove the smiles from our faces as we reflected on the wonderful array of such delicious Italian cuisine, wines paired to perfection and outstanding service. We 
strongly recommend you visit this gem of an establishment for business or pleasure 
and sample the dishes we have described with the appropriately paired wines. 

Overall Rating: Superb

Cuisine: Classico Italian

Ambiance & Décor: 
Romantic & Elegant

Prices: Lunch $12 - $27 Dinner $15 - $30

Mario Restaurant

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