Best of The Gold Coast: Mario's Italian in Broadbeach

You may recall us visiting Alto Cucina & Bar a few weeks ago! If not, check out our review HERE. We really enjoyed our first Alto experience but we couldn't help but notice the awesome looking Italian restaurant next door- Mario's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria. It seemed to be a very popular lunch destination! As we left Alto's we had a glance at the menu at Mario's and were very intrigued. The extensive menu consisted of a large array of pasta dishes, gourmet pizzas, and veal. We have a deep love for Italian food. Ever since our trip to the famous Lygon Street in Melbourne Italian food has held a special place in our heart. There is a shortage of good Italian restaurants in Queensland. So we were keen to see what Mario's Italian was all about. Luckily, another excuse to travel down to Broadbeach quickly presented itself. The Country Music Festival took place on June 20-22. So we booked a table for 2 on Saturday June 21 for lunch.

Our customary skinny cappucino to begin lunch...

Mario's Italian & Pizzeria is located in the Oasis Shopping Centre in Broadbeach just minutes from the beach and weekend markets. They are currently celebrating their 25th birthday. Twenty-five beautiful, long years..they must be doing something right!

Mario's caters for groups/functions. The restaurant is able to seat over 400 people. They offer a range of affordable set menus and beverage packages. Take away and delivery are also available. The decor has a very romantic-Italian feel...with deep red chairs, sparkling crystal glasses, and a canopy of vines overhead. You feel as though you've been transported to a cute little restaurant in Venice. The restaurant has a very open layout as do all the restaurants on this particular strip. Now, onto the most important thing: the food.

For our entrees we had cheesy pizza bread...and half a dozen oysters tropical & half a dozen oysters kilpatrick...

Originally we were going to order a standard garlic bread to start. Our friendly waiter highly recommended the pizza bread, however, and we went with his suggestion. I am so glad we did. This bread was heavenly. If you visit Mario's do not bypass the pizza bread. We thought it would be a bit too filling but its about the size of a personal pan pizza on a super thin and crunchy base. Perfect size for sharing between two people. All Italian feasts should begin with incredibly cheesy pizza bread. This warm, cheesy dish helped spark our appetite and put us in a great mood for lunch.

The presentation of the oysters at Mario's was by far the best presented oysters we've seen. Usually you get the standard bed of rock salt but not at Mario's. It was like a garden of oysters...The oysters kilpatrick were delicious. They were loaded high was savoury bacon bits. Heaven!

We decided to be a bit adventurous and try the oysters tropical. Oysters tropical consisted of oysters topped with avocado and crab mouse & a sprinkle of cavier. The oysters tropical were very refreshing. Much lighter than the oysters kilpatrick. The natural flavour of the oysters were still very prominent. Add a squeeze of lemon to this dish you won't be disappointed.

For our mains we had Pollo Romantico (tender pocketed chicken breast with a delicate crab meat, spinach, & ricotta cheese filling, topped with king prawns and finished in a light pink peppercorn sauce)...and the Zingara pizza (garlic prawns, spinach, Camembert, Spanish onion & roast capsicum, drizzled in a light citrus vinaigrette)

The Pollo Romantico is a very rich, heavy dish. The serving sizes at Mario's are massive. Excellent value for money. We were unable to finish both of our mains but it wasn't for lack of trying. Our faces instantly lit up when we cut into the juicy chicken breast and the cheesy centre was revealed. This dish is topped off with plump king prawns. Needless to say we felt very gluttonous. The peppercorn sauce was creamy and complimented the chicken very well.

Mario's knows the secret to a great pizza. A very generous serving of delicious toppings on a super crunchy, thin base. The garlic prawns were fresh & juicy. The Camembert added a nice, creamy texture. The vinaigrette with a hint of citrus really helped balance out the competing flavours.

Make sure to add Mario's Italian to your list of "Must Trys"! As I mentioned earlier Mario's is celebrating their 25th bithday. If you spend $100 bucks at Mario's you go into the draw to win a YEAR'S WORTH OF DINING! The winner will be drawn August 24, 2012. They will receive 52 X $100 dollar dining vouchers. They are also hosting a series of lunches to celebrate their birthday. For $50 pp ($80 matched with wines) you can enjoy a 4 course Italian feast. The next lunch takes place on Sunday July 27, 2014 (the day after my birthday!) Check out Mario's Italian the next time you are in Broadbeach.

Mario's Italian on Urbanspoon