Marcello’s bills itself as a “wine bar and bistro,” and indeed the back dining room doubles as a well-stocked, decently priced wine shop to peruse between courses. Fun idea, but in truth we prefer the smaller, more traditional, white-tile-floored front dining room. There’s nothing edgy about the recognizable Sicilian-focused menu—it’s just inviting and well-executed. Dressings and sauces pop, each distinctive flavor showing spryly on the palate and not overwhelming the just-chewy housemade pastas. Traditional parmigiana with eggplant (available as an appetizer or entree, or with chicken or veal), so often plagued with a heavy hand, lets the fresh tomato sauce and aubergine shine. Comforting, herbalicious cioppino bursts with local seafood, while lamb ragu over silken pappardelle satisfies the craving for something robust. Our accommodating server extolled the tiramisu; it proved to be a fluffy, superb example of the familiar standard.
New Orleans› Restaurant
715 St Charles Ave
Our Rating Neighborhood Central Business District Hours Mon–Fri 11:30am–10pm; Sat–Sun 5–10pm Phone 504/581-6333 Prices Main courses $14–$19 lunch, $19–$37 dinner Cuisine Type Italian Web site Marcello’s