Pasta, Italian

Serving excellent Italian food, like Grandma did

Growing up in an Italian family in which every Sunday was filled with one robust Italian dish after another, it was hard to find food that compared. 

Visits to Italian restaurants always ended with the same observation: “It wasn’t as good as Grandma’s.” 

But along came Marcellino Ristorante in Scottsdale. 

The key to perfect Italian food will always be having the ability to combine great ingredients with the patience needed to wait for perfection and a chef who can masterfully pull it all together. Chef Marcellino Verzino’s has created a menu packed with dishes that are beyond delicious. 

Chef Marcellino has created an establishment that is classic Italian: Wood accents and brick walls give Marcellino Ristorante a comfortable and classy atmosphere, and the wood-fired oven that peeks out of the kitchen makes it feel like home.

And as you watch Chef Marcellino greet his guests like each is a friend visiting from his home country, it just reinforced the familial feeling that Marcellino Ristorante exudes. 

The best way to experience Marcellino’s mastery of Italian cuisine is to experience one of his personalized Chef’s Tasting Dinners in which he flexes his culinary muscles and showcases his culinary creativity. 

If you cannot make a Tasting Dinner happen, don’t miss Marcellino’s homemade pastas. It doesn’t matter how much love Grandma poured into her pastas, it’s going to to tough for her to match Marcellino on the deliciousness scale.

Some can’t miss pasta dishes: 

Gnocchi Sorrentina ($24.95): These light potato pasta dumplings are served in hearty tomato sauce and dotted with melted mozzarella. You can also order this dish with a creamy gorgonzola sauce. Either way, you’re going to have tears in you eyes as these bursts of magnificent morsels hit your tongue. Gnocchi is tough to make perfect every time. Marcellino’s gnocchi goes beyond perfection and hits supreme. 

Paccatelli al Ragu di Salsiccia ($23.95): This short, toothsome pasta is served with hearty ragu of tomato, sausage and fresh herbs. This dish will leave mouth-watering memories that will last long after you forget your first love. 

If you get a chance to visit on a day when one of Marcellino’s pasta specials is tortelloni stuffed with truffled filet mignon, don’t miss it. Those who have had the fortune of consuming the dish agree that it’s so out of this world that it forever ruins them for other pasta dishes. 

Simply put, Chef Marcellino has created a dining experience that features wonderful atmosphere, spectacular service and, most importantly, incomparable food. Adding to the ambience on a recent visit was an incredible jazz band that added to the atmosphere while still allowing comfortable conversation at the table.

This all adds up to a perfect dining experience. As Grandma would agree: “Buona cena. È fantastico.” 

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About Michael Gossie

Michael Gossie is an award-winning journalist who has earned more than 50 awards for writing, editing and design. He studied economics at Elmira College in Elmira, N.Y., and put his entrepreneurial spirit to work in 2007, using a 200-year-old family recipe to launch an Italian sauce company. He is a competitive marathon runner, Ironman triathlete and is most proud of being the founding president of the Steuben Arc Foundation in Upstate New York, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities, including his sister.