Our last review was kind of a bummer (not that it was the restaurant's fault), so it was great to have such a pleasant experience at Marzano. The place feels warm and inviting, not too loud to have a conversation, but boisterous enough that we didn't feel the need to speak in hushed tones. The staff and servers were friendly and generally seemed happy to be there.
Look at these breadsticks: They look average, but if you zoomed in you would see salt! And herbs! Mm.
We got the arancini appetizer. These are one of those things that are often served as appetizers at events and usually just bland filler. Even without the rich "tomato jam", these would have been above average. But the sauce made them ridiculicious(TM). These were probably our favorite part of this generally very good meal.
Briana ordered a 'distinguished gentleman' as her cocktail. A fresh ginger and citrus gin concoction with a sliver of celery. She loooved it. It was a concentrated drink, the only "mixer" was lemon juice. Her drink came with a tiny carafe the extra goodness. Bonus!
Margherita pizza w sausage. Solid upscale pizza (on par with Dopo and Pizzaiolo). Cheese maybe a little sparse, but the cheese that was there was excellent. Delicious sausage, check. Scrumptious sauce, check. Ate too many slices? Check.
Collard greens with chili flakes and ham hocks. It's easy to make decent greens, but these took it to the next level. Not over or under-cooked. The choices in flavoring were surprising (in a good way).
For our other entree we got the chicken all' arrabbiata (chicken in tomatoes and peppers). We might have enjoyed this more if the appetizer had not ruined us for all tomato sauces in the future. While the chicken was tender, the sauce was a little off. Not "spicy" as advertised, and simply didn't meet the standards of the rest of the dishes. BUT, there was a lot of it.
Marzano is a great new Italian restaurant that is fancier than, say, Filippos, but not as pricey as a place like Oliveto. It was a great place to come in from the cold to.
We give it 4.5 Sabuys out of a possible 5. Well done, Marzano.
Here is a collage of some Marzano menu stuff. Note the night time special! Good to know.
Next stop: Garibaldi's!