Marzano Italian Restaurant has authentic Italian food in an elegant setting, served by pleasant wait staff. Elegant and cozy, it has been at the same location for 27 years. We went on a hot day and decided not to sit inside since it was not air-conditioned, but took seats out on the porch, mostly in the shade. The bathrooms were at the back of the restaurant and would be very difficult for anyone with a wheelchair.
Our server, Niki, brought lunch menus which had less expensive prices than dinner. We started with strawberry lemonade infused with watermelon at $3 and drank it while we tried to decide what to order.
The food looked delicious, but the prices were high and the portions were rather small. The drinks were great, cold, flavorful, even pretty in tall glasses, maybe less than eight ounces, but came with no refills. We settled on a Salumi Sandwich ($12), cured Italian meats, cheese, greens and plum tomato on a crunchy bun, and Pugliese ($14), vegetarian ravioli in a tomato sauce.
The salads, which came with our orders, had baby greens and a big slice of watermelon radish, which looks dramatic but tastes just like a regular radish. The balsamic vinaigrette was the first balsamic item I have ever liked. The sandwich was very good, but small with meats and cheeses combined with tomato, greens and a balsamic dressing, The eight ravioli were combined with olives and onions in a spicy Bolognaise sauce. The food was very tasty and we enjoyed it very much.
I wanted to try a dessert, and Niki brought out the dessert sample tray with brownies, an ice cream parfait, cakes and pies, and I settled on the berry tart at $7. It was wonderful with lots of blueberries and blackberries on a cheese cake-type base with a crunchy crust. Really delicious and cool on this warm day.
If you have a special occasion and want linen table cloths and fine service and perhaps a fine wine, Marzano might be the place for you. Reservations would be a good idea.
IF YOU GO
Marzano Italian Restaurant
516 Garfield St., Tacoma (next to Pacific Lutheran University)
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday , 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. Closed Sunday-Monday
Carolyn Augustine wrote this article. She
is a freelance restaurant writer.