Mario’s Place

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Acclaimed Contemporary Italian Cuisine – Reservations Highly Recommended

Fine Dining has always been about sheer pleasure. Allowing ourselves the indulgence of savoring food of the highest quality, that was prepared for our personal pleasure. This also means saying yes to dessert and to bottles of the finest wines, all surrounded by family and friends. Award Winning, Mario’s Place is where you can have the experience you seek.

For the most adventurous among us, there is a Chef’s tasting menu for $85 ($45 more for wine) where, after a conversation regarding food allergies and preferences, your adventure begins. The menu is distinct each day, focused on seasonality and the whim of Chef Leone, but believe me when I say, you will not regret a single thing. This is the experience of a lifetime.

After ordering, I heard the Chef say to the kitchen staff, “show me what you are capable of.” Here is what that looked like on the day I visited: Course one was yellowtail crudo; It was absolutely exquisite. Next came fried soft-shell crab, followed by calamari wild arugula salad. Course four: red prawns and sweet corn soup that was floral, plush, velvety, and deep. I could have bathed in this seductive soup and eaten a meal of nothing but these prawns happily. The pasta course was hand-made tagliatelle in duck ragu. This dish is confident and imaginative. Next to arrive was porcini-crusted lamb saddle. The lamb is better than any steak you have ever had and pan juices so savory I wanted to cause a diversion so I could lick the plate. Last, I had orange water panna cotta. Then, of course, there was the wine. Oh, the wine. Mario’s boasts a comprehensive and expansive Award-Winning Wine Collection
of more than 450 selections.

Mario’s Place was named after Mario Palagi. He was a second-generation restaurateur from Pietrasanta, Italy. He taught his boys that what you do is who you are. Mario’s legacy lives on at Mario’s Place with his three sons: Andrea, Arrigo, and Leone, now as the third generation. There are several children among the Palagi family, so we may hope there will be a fourth generation as well. When Leone was sixteen years old, he asked if he could work in the kitchen for some spending money, and his dad said no: he would give the boy some money if that was what he was after, but if he were to come into the kitchen, it would only be to learn to cook by his father’s side, learning integrity, pride, and craftsmanship. Luckily for us, Leone said yes.

Mario’s Place is proud to offer Live Music Entertainment every Friday and Saturday nights. Reservations fill up fast for this. There is something electric about the combination
of live music, good food, and excellent wine.  Chef Leone told me that they are constantly trying to find magic. They are searching for magic clouds. And when they find them — it is nothing less than fantastic. I agree with the chef; there were clouds, and it was fantastic.


(951) 684-7755

3646 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501