Mario’s Osteria (Boca Raton)

Posted on November 19th, 2012 · American Boca Raton Italian Pizza Subs/Salads

Mario’s Osteria, 1400 Glades Road, Boca Raton, Florida 33431, (561) 239-7000.

I gotta ask you guys to pleasssse indulge me…do me a favor and read Jeff Eats’ Mario Of Boca (7/21/08) and Bova Cucina (6/6/09) reviews—it’ll save me a whole lot of explaining.

Anyway…this guy Mario is now back with a new Italian joint…Mario’s Osteria in Boca Raton. For you folks who want to know about Mr. Bova’s restaurant career- check the Sun Sentinel and you’ll find loads of details…you’ll also find the hows?/whys?/whens? concerning his unfortunate business relationship with Scott Rothstein Esq—Florida’s own “Bernie Madoff.”

Now let’s talk about the “dinner” that I just did…

First, the good news… Mario’s is “one” gorgeous looking semi-upscale Italian joint.

For color—Just a hunch here, but my gut tells me that “Mario” has some partners “here”—don’t know any details, but I suspect someone ELSE is bankrolling this joint…but I’m just guessing here (wink wink wink!). For the record, I’m assuming that you folks know the story how “Mario” lost a ton of money–getting crooked by Rothstein. If you don’t, some of you might find it an interesting read.

Second, the not so good news…the large pizza, meatball sub, chicken parm sub, garlic knots, French fries—were all LOUSY. An absolute waste of money. The pizza had no taste and the crust was a soggy mess…the meatballs tasted like something out of an Army rations can…Sorry I stand corrected, the rations’ stuff tastes better.

Let me wrap this one up real fast…don’t waste your time.

Wait! I was just thinking, let me give you guys an early Thanksgiving gift…here’s the 2-”Mario” reviews I mentioned at the top of this rant…


Mario’s of Boca (Boca Raton)

Posted on July 21st, 2008 · Boca Raton Italian

Mario’s of Boca, 1901 North Military Trail, Boca Raton, Florida 33431 (561) 392-5595.

Before we start, take a look at Mario’s wesbite at Gorgeous place, great menu, reasonable prices…it is all “spelled out” for you on the website…WRONG!!!

Mario’s has been a Boca Raton “fixture” for something like 23 years…this Southern Italian joint literally owned (notice I said “owned” not “owns’) the Boca Raton market with lines continuously out the door. Well something happened (and I don’t know exactly what it was) to Mario’s changing it from a great joint into a mediocre second rate joint…kiss the lines goodbye.

I’ll make this as simple as can be…over the past 3 months I have had dinner at Mario’s twice…each time the food was horrendous and the service even worse, if that’s possible. Both times, the joint was literally being run by high-school kids ( no insult intended to the youth of America, but you know what I mean). Just so you know, I “sampled” veal parmigiana, veal chop milanese, chicken parmigiana, chicken scarpiello and shrimp scampi…they were all lousy…by the way, the veal parmigiana was in the same league as eating the sole of your Reebok sneaker…Just so we are straight, the people that I ate with all agreed, that the food was terrible and that the service amateurish. There was one redeeming thing…Mario’s garlic rolls are still terrific.

One final thought…when I was a kid, the big player in the premium ice cream business was Good Humor…the big player in coffee shops was Chock full o’ Nuts…the big player on the highways for hotels/food was Howard Johnson’s…everyone of them failed to stay at the top and are just bit players today. Mario’s was the kingpin.
Bova Cucina (Boca Raton)

Posted on June 6th, 2009 · Boca Raton Italian

Bova Cucina, 1901 North Military Trail, Boca Raton, Florida 33431 (561) 392-5595.

You know…if you dress a monkey in a $2,500 suit (in this case the suit is a great looking restaurant), it’s still a monkey.

Do me a favor and read my review for Mario’s of Boca (July 21, 2008)…it wasn’t very favorable.

Well the owners of Mario’s, recently changed the joint’s name to Bova Cucina and started a “dinner-promotion”…last month it was $8.95, this month it’s $9.95…the “deal”…soup or salad, garlic rolls, entree, pasta side and they throw in a cannoli for dessert.

Well, it’s still the same monkey dressed in the “$2,500 suit”…and the food is still mediocre.

The other night the joint was jammed with “bargain hunters”…trust me on this, the portions are small and like I said before, the food isn’t very good… your favorite neighborhood “mom & pop” serves better stuff.

Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me.

33 Comments to “Mario’s Osteria (Boca Raton)”

  1. YH says...

    This is a place for tourists. The food is mediocre and overpriced. For example $2.85 for a 10 oz Pepsi in a bottle.
    The GM is a condescending sob.
    I agree with you Mario is only fronting this joint. He must have found a new pigeon for cash.
    Mario use to be a good operator but his last few ventures have sucked.

  2. AR says...

    Jeff Eats:
    You got this one pegged right.
    My wife and I shared a pizza and a hero sandwich with 2 sodas ( no free refills) and with the tip it was $41. The pizza was terrible and the chicken parm sub wasn’t much better.

  3. Kenny V says...

    I had pizza there.

  4. Larry K says...

    I have lived in Boca Raton for over 30 years. I am very familar with Mario’s.
    His first restaurant was dynamite.
    When he moved it the first time it went downhill. When he moved it a second time it went even further downhill.
    I tried the new restaurant.
    Like you wrote it’s great looking.
    The food isnt good.
    The garlic rolls that use to be great are rolls just topped with a drop of oil. Not good.
    Soda goes for $2.85 for 10 ounces. No refills.
    The pizza is bad news.
    The food is cafeteria style crap.
    I have no idea whatsoever why anyone would go there.

  5. Junior Walker says...

    The original Mario’s made some of the most delicious garlic knots going. The ones I had last Sunday weren’t the best. Very little garlic etc.
    I also tried the veal parm. The veal was tough, not good.
    My son had meatballs and pasta. The meatballs were tasteless.
    As jeff mentioned it’s a good looking place but the food is second rate.
    I wont be back.

  6. KJ says...

    Jeff Eats:
    Like you I love to drink a load of Coke or pepsi when I eat Italian food. Free Refills get the job done for me.
    Mario’s charges $2.85 for a 10 ounce bottle. Based on what I usualy drink, it would have cost me close to $12 to fill me up. I limited myself to two bottles, but really wasn’t too happy.
    This is a rip off.
    Such a small bottle is not a good move.
    I had a pizza there and it was second rate.

  7. Ralph Y says...

    They got bigger, cheaper, plastic soda bottles for to go orders. People who eat in get screwed with smaller glass bottle.

  8. BocaB says...

    I like Mario’s and have eaten there about 7 times. I would never order pizza or a sub there as it’s not really a pizza joint. I think their prices are very reasonable and the portiuons are nice size. I like their red sauce. Chicken Parm with pasta was very good as is their eggplant stack. As for the soda complaints, order Ice tea, they give free refills. Garlic rolls might not be as good as the original Mario’s, but they are better than most other places.

    • Simon S says...

      Are you a nut or something.I don’t like ice tea so why would I order it?

  9. Ron Cohen says...

    I ate at Mario’s about 3 weeks ago.
    It is a really great looking place.
    The menu is huge.
    It has an outdoor bar area with great 1/2 specials etc.
    I have eaten the pizza and it is definitely not the best in the area. I found it kind of tasteless.
    I have also had the meatballs and chicken scarpariello on the bone. The meatballs were not very good. They tasted like meatloaf with very little flavoring. The chicken scarp was fair but nothing great.
    Mario’s is a nice place to eat at because of the decor. The food isnt the best.

  10. GFD says...

    Great looking restaurant with mediocre food and service.
    Bova lost his touch when he moved his original restaurant to the hotel. It’s been nothing but a downhill slide foodwise since then.
    This Bova fellow use to have great food.

  11. Vic D. says...

    I didnt like the food or the service.
    It’s like a chain operation.
    The pizza I had wasnt very good.

  12. Mark says...

    I have to ask when did free soda refills start in high end resturants? I know its was in fast food places. What i want is free beer and wine refills. Also why is it everyone orders Veal or Chicken Parm when its not even italian food its American. When a chef comes to America from Italy he has to be taught to make it as they dont make it in Italy .

  13. kj says...

    food is just fair/

  14. Rong says...

    Had pizza there and it was absolute garbage.

  15. Tom Stetson says...

    Pizza is not good.

  16. Gene R. says...

    Great looking place.
    Food is mediocre.


    Ate there a few days ago.
    Super looking restaurant.
    Food is fair.

  18. HW says...

    Ate there Friday night and loved the pizza and meatball sub. Line waiting to get in at 6pm.

  19. TED says...

    You were way too rough on them.
    Food is ok and it’s a very good looking joint.

    • KSR says...

      I agree, Jeff you got to give it another shot.

  20. JoyceEatsBagels says...

    Good pizza.
    Try them again.

  21. Lou F says...

    Food is just average.
    Service sucks.
    Don’t waste your time or money there.

  22. Lou G says...

    Absolute garbage.
    Ate there last night and the food tasted like it was from Publix’s frozen food cabinets.

  23. With all the good Italian joints in Boca Raton, why anyone would voluntarily eat at Mario’s is beyond me.
    Simply put, the food isn’t very good.
    It is overpriced.
    The service is Denny’s quality.

  24. Gary Rosen says...

    Jeff, last night my wife and I were guests at a birthday party which was partially catered by Mario’s. There were 80 guests.
    The food provided was salads, meatballs, lasagna, chicken parm, sausage & pepper, salmon, eggplant parmigiana, garlic rolls.

    The food was good, but nothing to dance a jig over.

  25. Arlene Grossman says...

    Don’t waste your money here.

    This is an Italian restaurant like I’m the Vice President of the United Sates.

    Imagine if Cheesecake Factory told you it was an Italian joint. Or if Fridays did the same. Or Duffy’s did the same.

  26. Anna Santacroce says...

    Gorgeous decor. Great location. Mediocre food. Mediocre service. Overpriced menu.

    There are so many good Italian restaurants in South Florida, that it absolutely amazes me that people would actually pick Mario’s to spend their money at.

  27. Jill Sachs says...

    Last night, My husband and I ate there for the first time.
    Great looking restaurant.
    Jammed, with a noise level that we couldn’t hear ourlselves talk.
    Lousy bread on table. Hard to describe the bread, but it was horrendous.
    Our 2 house salads were fair.
    His veal parm was fair.
    My chicken parm was lousy.
    The pasta sides with marinara sauce were bland,
    Service was terrible, after taking our order we never saw the waitress again.
    Pricier than local mom & pop joints.
    We won’t be running back.

  28. GINA says...

    I have eaten in Mario’s exactly twice.

    Don’t recall the exact first time, but it was shortly after it first opened. The second time was last night when I ate there with a group of coworkers.

    Both times, some of the worst Italian food that I have ever eaten.

    About last night’s meal, all I can say is, stay away.

    The food tastes like something that you would find in an elementary school at lunch time. Disgusting.

  29. Jim Kimmel says...

    Food stinks.
    Service stinks.
    Great looking decor.
    Great location.

  30. Sid Leonard says...

    Here’s the story.

    My wife and I have lived in Boca Raton for 33 years. I am 73 and my wife is 72. We were both born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Just prior to our move to Boca Raton, we lived in Manhattan for 11 years.

    We have eaten in Italian restaurants all over Florida. Are we food critics, nope! But we do know what we like, what we don’t like.

    Last night we ate at Mario’s. When we first moved to Boca Raton, Mario’s literally owned Boca Raton. Great garlic rolls and really good no frills moms & pop Italian stuff.

    When the current location opened, we gave it a try and felt that it wasn’t very good. The food reminded us of Italian food you buy in the frozen food department of a local supermarket and heated up.

    Last night, our visiting friends from NYC invited us to eat dinner at Mario’s. They said, that it was the only reservation they could get. My wife and I agreed, figuring that just maybe, the food had improved in the 12 years since our first and only visit.

    Anyway, boy were we wrong. The food and service were HORRENDOUS!

    Our party of 4 ordered, 2 side salads, 1 veal chop parmigiana, 1 salmon barbaresco, 1 chicken parmigiana, 1 snapper oreganatta. Pasta sides came with some of the entrees.

    The salmon came out cold. Not warm, COLD! The chicken parm had a small drop of sauce and a piece of cheese barely melted. The veal chop had an over breaded coating that totally covered up any tasting of the meat. The chop also had a drop of sauce and a barely melted cheese slice on top. The pasta sides, had very littl;e sauce and were tasteless. In addition the pasta sides were COLD! As for service, we saw the waitress one time when we placed the ordere and that was it until the check came. We had to chase down other employees to get help. As for those delicious garlic rolls that I first mentioned, they weren’t there. Instead some bread that looked liked rolled white bread and a side of butter! BUTTER!

    Before tip, the bill was $167.73.

    This restaurant is a JOKE!

  31. Jane Santoro says...

    Some of the worse Italian food my husband I have ever eaten.
    The joint was recommended by the front desk at the Marriott we were staying at in Boca.
    The best way to describe the food would be Friday’s quality and taste.
    This really isn’t an Italian restaurant, but rather a Fridays or Cheesecake Factory pretending to be a real Italian restaurant.

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