By Lawrence Karol
Mario Del Guidice, the founder of Mario's Italian Cafés, started his career in Brooklyn and Queens, New York, back in 1961. But after vacationing in Palm Springs, he moved his family here in 1972 and for the past 41 years he and his family — now three generations strong — have been delighting residents with the old-world family recipes prepared at Mario’s seven award-winning locations. The café’s dishes range from veal to seafood, chicken, steak, and pasta — everyone loves Mama’s eggplant parmesan. All of the restaurant’s sauces are made fresh daily, as is their fantastic homemade sausage and meatballs. And who can resist hand-tossed, brick oven, New York-style pizza? There’s also a huge array of tempting appetizers and salads.
Mario has gone all out creating his newest location on Highway 111 in the heart of Palm Desert. The walls in the main dining room feature stunning hand-painted murals of the Amalfi coast where Mario’s great-grandfather was born. In the Venetian room off to your left, you’ll be captivated by another beautiful mural that offers a 360-degree view of the romantic city of Venice. The restaurant has been cleverly designed with windows built into the wall separating the two spaces so as you dine in either room, you have the feeling of being transported to one charming Italian city while also being able to catch a glimpse of another.
There are exciting things in store for the Venetian room. Mario plans to do exhibition cooking one night a week at his lucky 21 pasta bar. Get ready to have some fun as Mario and his family create 21 diff erent dishes right in front of your eyes. Taste one or taste them all. A reservation for this will be a must!
Mario and his family not only love what they do, they’re also a big part of the community and are involved with fundraisers for 11 local high schools, the American Red Cross, and Desert Arc. Mario’s truly is your neighborhood Italian café — a full-value Italian restaurant with pizzahouse prices and dinner-house quality.
Open daily, Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
• 425 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, CA — 760-322-6636
• 73155 Highway 111, Palm Desert, CA — 760-341-1130
• 42104 Washington Street, Burmuda Dunes, CA — 760-772-6100
• 78152 Varner Road, Sun City, Palm Desert, CA — 760-345-8900
• 49906 Jefferson Street, La Quinta, CA — 760-777-4055
• 81939 Highway 111, Indio, CA — 760-775-2888
• 83103 Avenue 48, Coachella, CA — 760-863-1611
Beginning Oct. 10th, Reoccurring Thursday Night Event at Mario’s Italian Café’s Lucky 21 Pasta Bar
Exhibition Cooking: 21 dishes – eat one, eat them all...
Cost: $15.95 Per Person
Reservations are recommended.
Plus the largest glass of wine in the Valley, only $5.