Marcello’s bills itself as a “wine bar and bistro,” and indeed the back dining room doubles as a well-stocked wine shop (the owners were wine merchants before they were restaurateurs); diners can peruse the racks between courses and choose their next pour; prices too are inviting. Fun idea, but in truth we prefer the smaller, more traditional, white-tile-floored front dining room. There’s nothing edgy about the Sicilian-focused menu, heavy on seafood, pastas, and recognizable ingredients—but it’s inviting and well executed. The dressings and sauces popped, each distinctive flavor showing spryly on the palate and not overwhelming the just-chewy housemade pastas. A divine, lunchtime lobster panzanella and spinach salad is brightly dressed; traditional parmigiana with eggplant (available as an appetizer or entrée; or with chicken or veal), so often plagued with a heavy hand, let the fresh tomato sauce and aubergine shine through. A comforting, herbacious cioppino was bursting with local seafood, while lamb ragu over silken pappardelle more than satisfied a craving for something robust. The accommodating server extolled their tiramisu; it proved to be a fluffy, superb example of the oft-seen standard.
New Orleans› Restaurant
715 St Charles Ave
Our Rating Neighborhood Central Business District Hours Mon–Fri 11:30am–10pm; Sat 5–10pm Phone 504/581-6333 Prices Main courses $11–$19 lunch, $16–$36 dinner Cuisine Type Italian Web site Marcello’s