I generally make it a rule to avoid restaurants located in strip malls since they tend to be chains, however, every now and then, a restaurant worth trying comes along. Marsala’s Pizza of Estero is such a restaurant.
Located across from the Mirimar outlets just next to a Publix supermarket is a generic looking efface with plain writing across a small awning. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed by the outside of the building. The inside wasn’t much different. It too was somewhat plain but the one thing it did radiate was a New York vibe with brick walls and pictures reminiscent of old mob movies.
The menu had quite a few options, even though the name says it’s a pizza place. It was filled with pasta options, chicken dishes and seafood specialties. I ordered the Pasta Bolognese mainly because if you can make a good meat sauce, you can call yourself an Italian restaurant.
One nice option that they give you is your choice of pasta; if you love penne then you can have it with your Alfredo. If linguine is more your thing, then by all means put it with the Shrimp Scampi. I chose spaghetti to go with my Bolognese. I’m a bit of a traditionalist. The pasta was nicely cooked, though I could tell it wasn’t made in house but I won’t take that away from them since they’re technically a pizza joint. The sauce was definitely meaty and had both a sweetness and a touch of acid.
My husband ordered the pizza since it’s what they’re known for and I can tell why. It was filled with toppings and plenty of cheese. It wasn’t drowning in sauce which I appreciated and was steaming hot. The crust was delicious and reminded me of Brooklyn style pizza; both crunchy and chewy. It had nice flavor and is something we would order again.
Our aunt ordered the Shrimp Alfredo which looked really good. The shrimp were a good size and once again the plate wasn’t swimming in sauce – you’d be surprised how many restaurants drown their dishes in sauce, ruining the meal. While she said the shrimp were tasty, she lamented that the sauce was a bit bland. Having a good Alfredo sauce is not easy.
I’ll admit I was hesitant to order dessert but I’m glad I did. Of course, I chose the Tiramisu – it’s like a rule that I have to order one at any Italian place – and it was yummy! The mousse had a lot of flavor and the lady fingers were not dry at all. It was on par with the Tiramisu I had at DeRomo’s and I know that was homemade.
So lesson learned. Do not judge a restaurant by the outside or the décor. I’ll admit I was slightly judgmental of Marsala’s Pizza but once the food came, it was another story. Is it out of this world amazing food? No. But it is delicious and well priced for both flavor and portions, so if you’re in the mood for no frills pizza or pasta, give Marsalas Pizza of Estero a chance!
20321 Grande Oak Shoppes Blvd, Estero, FL 33928
Phone: (239) 948-8443