Cafe de Marco

Cafe de Marco, Marco Island, FL

Where do I begin? I guess with the article in the newspaper that Peg read to me extolling this restaurant’s many virtues and awards. Ted said, “maybe they wrote it themselves.” We should have listened.

The place, billed as a bistro, had the decor of glitzy, aging grand dame. Pink walls, swags at the windows, and fake, sparkly flowers above the lighting fixtures. I couldn’t figure out whether it was left over from Christmas.

The menu was primarily fish and seafood and the prices were in the $20-$25 per entree range. We ordered a bottle of wine and oysters Rockefeller to start. Other people had a basket of bread. Not us. When we finally asked the waitress to bring some bread, she feigned surprise at the oversight. In the oysters Rockefeller the bacon was tasty, the oyster almost non-existent and I think I was lucky enough to get a piece of shell (or maybe it was a pearl.) Next came a salad with lots of dressing.

For our main courses, John ordered the sea bass special and I ordered prawns and scallops. There was some confusion at first because I called them shrimp. duh. I guess if I were a waitress I’d know that shrimp and prawns are about the same thing. Both of us stressed that we wanted the fish and seafood cooked rare. Then we had a long wait. We drank most of our wine. Ate the three little rolls. (No more bread was ever offered.) Looked at the decor. Finally the order came.

John’s fish was cooked perfectly. I had scallop hockey pucks and dried out shrimp. So we sent mine back. We order more wine because we’ve gone through the bottle during the long wait. The waitress seems surprised. More people from the restaurant come to our table because we’ve complained. We explain that the dish was ordered cooked rare. We are told that most people like it cooked through. We explain that that is the reason we specified “rare.” I change my order to the sea bass. A new dish comes almost immediately. It was someone else’s. I feel sorry for the person who is not getting his dinner. The fish is good. The green beans are very crunchy. They really needed more cooking. It seems strange that they think that their clientele would like overcooked seafood and undercooked green beans.

To cap the whole experience off, the waitress makes a snide comment about the additional wine. And so, we celebrated our last night in Marco Island (or tried to.)

Mary’s rating – D- (this was only saved from an F by getting a piece of adequately prepared fish fairly quickly)
John’s rating – B- for his dinner and F for the whole experience.

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