The family. And that is what lies at the heart of Marcello’s Wine Market Café in Lafayette, LA.
“…The story goes back a long way, to Palermo, Sicily, when Marcello’s owner, Gene Todaro, was a little boy running errands for his mama, Rosa. ‘She would send me to the bread store. The salumeria, the mercato. She liked to shop every day, and I would run to buy her ingredients,’ Gene recalls. Mama Rosa cooked for her five sons…on a daily basis. Holidays, the extended Todaro family would descend from the countryside to the city, and Rosa would cook for everyone.
“In 1961, when Gene was 14 and Marcello was a year old, the family moved to New Orleans’ West Bank. Gene graduated from West Jefferson High School, then Loyola, before moving to Dallas, and his little brother Marcello left New Orleans for USL (Ed. Note: University of Southwestern Louisiana now The University of Louisiana at Lafayette.) in 1980. Recalls Gene, ‘Marcello called me one day and said, ‘I think we can open a restaurant here.’’ The brothers talked their mother into moving to Lafayette to help with recipes revolving around the spaghetti and meatballs they had grown up on” (theind.com).
The Shrimp Pepate (shrimp sautéed with roasted garlic and crushed red pepper and tossed with linguini and toasted pine nuts in a light olive oil sauce) looked interesting but would not be a good match with red wine. Since I love lasagna and Chuck doesn’t, this was my chance. I asked David if he would recommend it and he told me that this comes from an old family recipe. That’s enough for me. Mario’s Lasagna it would be.
Since we don’t plan to be in Phoenix for some time, Chuck elected to order Marcello’s Pasta Bolognese. The pasta was covered with just enough meat sauce to coat every strand. No more. No less.
To finish the meal we shared a cannoli that had been decorated on each end with chocolate chips and was dusted with powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Delicious.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.