Great food, wonderful service.
Great food, wonderful service. Will surely return and bring friends.
4/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
Wonderful restaurant for Cuban
Wonderful restaurant for Cuban and Spanish food in Ft. Lauderdale. The snapper was the best that we have ever eaten.The appetizer for four was delicious as well. Nondescript outside but perfect inside.
4/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
Excellent service and a big
Excellent service and a big fan of the lechon and chocolate cake!
4/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
Fantastic food and a great
Fantastic food and a great atmosphere. The owner greeted us and remembered my mother who has been there a handful of times before. He promptly sat us and we were asked for drinks quickly. We ordered a pitcher of the white sangria and a sampler appetizer which came out very timely. Our main courses were ordered with great input and suggestions from our waiter. The dinner was amazing and I still cannot get over the quality. That moment of food amazingness...ya that's this place. The owner sent over another pitcher of sangria on the house and by the time we had dessert I had enough to not eat for a week. Overall I really enjoyed the place and will return during my next visit to the area in a month.
4/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
Outstanding Service, Great Food
We had such a great dinner! The service was outstanding as every server took care of us. Mario, the owner, came over and introduced himself and helped wait on us. We were never short on water or wine. The food was delicious! The empanadas were perfect. We enjoyed everything we ate! If we lived in Fort Lauderdale this would be a regular spot for us! The only place I would go to eat Cuban food in this town.
4/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
Best Cuban & Spanish food
This is a great restaurant that we found several months ago - we had driven by it numerous times. Then a friend gave us a gift certificate and we went! WOW - what a terrific restaurant with gracious staff and a wonderful owner! We will be back soon!
5/3/2013 4:00:00 PM
My wife and I went for dinner to celebrate our 1st anniversary... We couldn't have picked a better place... From the moment you enter they make you feel very special... Mario greeted us and made us feel like we're part of his family... He even gave us a bottle of wine which was so generous and a great souvenir to remember our special day... Every item we had on the menu was fantastic !... In fact, I wish I would've had more items but I was too full... It has been one of the best dinners we've ever had and I am definitely coming back next time I visit Ft. Lauderdale...
5/5/2013 4:00:00 PM
Worth every penny
My wife and I went there for my birthday and the meal was about $200 including apps, wine , steaks , cocktails and dessert. There is not one thing I would do differently, what they do , they do well and it was a lovely meal
5/6/2013 4:00:00 PM
Best dinner ever
The food and service here was outstanding. The owner, Mario, was on hand and extremely accommodating
5/9/2013 4:00:00 PM
Outstanding Cuban Food
After a search through tripadvisor, I came upon Catalina Restaurant. I read the reviews and decided to give it a try. I am so glad that I did. This restaurant is excellent. The location is easy to find and parking is abundant. The decor is not what I expected for a Cuban restaurant. It reminded me more of an Italian restaurant. We were seated and ordered mojitos. It was, by far, the best mojito I've ever had. We then ordered our meals, chicken and shrimp in garlic sauce and Mario's beef. The food was absolutely fantastic. Everything we had from appetizer, salad, entree, black beans and plantains. Mario and his staff were very friendly. I recommend this restaurant to anyone wanting to eat one of the best meals of their life.
5/9/2013 4:00:00 PM
The decor is lovely. The ambiance is relaxing. Music is soft enough to carry on conversation. Great food. Great white sangria. But the BEST of all is the amazing, sincere, friendly, professional service. Everyone is so genuinely nice that we always leave here feeling really happy.
5/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
A Cuban Gem
I have never written one of these reviews, but I had to share that we had a wonder dining experience at Catalina. Mario met us at the door and welcomed us. The wait staff was very attentive, friendly, and helpful. The restaurant has a very elegant feel and was a pleasure to dine in. The food was wonderful! We don’t live in the area, but if we did Catalina would be a favorite!
5/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
Where else can you be greeted by the owner and have fantastic cuisine? Catalina is likely the best place I have been in recent history. The waiters know the entire menu and can make recommendations for any palate. The food speaks for itself, I can't begin to say how awesome it is.
5/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
Surprised my wife with a getaway to the Ft Lauderdale area, and was looking to top off our second night with an off-the-beaten track restaurant find. Found Mario's Catalina Restaurant searching for Cuban food options, and thought it would be a great choice for our first visit to the area. I love being right! We walked in, were greeted warmly, and instantly felt comfortable. The restaurant is small and intimate, but not crowded. The lighting is good without being either too bright, or too dark, and a small candle provides a nice bit of old World ambiance. The menu has a mix of items, and just enough choices to satisfy whatever you crave without overwhelming you with decision-making. The wine list is well chosen. Thank you, Mario, loved it!
5/24/2013 4:00:00 PM
The restaurant was wonderful
The restaurant was wonderful in all aspects of enjoying a dining experience however the service needs improvement. The owner made up for the lack of service from our waiter by overseeing our table and giving us a drink on the house and a dessert. of course that is not a substitute for service but a nice gesture never the less. We will return in the near future .
5/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
2 nd time there and very impressed.
This is my second review for this wonderful dining establishment. The first time the service lacked. The only thing I can say this time is the service was beyond my expectations. The food, ambience and service are second to none. Mario, the owner, was most attentive to our needs and the server, Luis , was exceptional. Andrea was always around making sure that we were filled with water and if we needed anything at all she was not far from view. This time my wife and I brought some friends and they loved the experience from beginning to end. Do not, I repeat, do not miss dining at Mario's Catalina Restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. If you are there on vacation you must go. I promise that you will never enjoy anything better. Trust me.
6/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
This is the best Cuban Restaurant
This is the best Cuban Restaurant in the entire area. Mario is a great host as well. You and your guests will not be disappointed.
6/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
Place is a little odd and disjointed but it is worth waiting for the food since it is well worth it
6/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Unique Cuban Style Upscale Dining
Our second visit to Catalina was as enjoyable as the first. Our dining experience began with a warm greeting from the owner, as though he was inviting you into his home. The wait staff was friendly and very attentive despite the fact that it was very busy . Our food was excellent. The unique preparation of traditional Cuban dishes was wonderful and the presentations elegant. We'll be back!
6/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Do not Judge a book by its cover.
From the outside the Catalina looks like a hole in the wall restaurant but once you step into the outside seating you can tell its not. Service was great our waiter was very friendly and chit chatted with us. He also made one of the best mojitos I ever had. Food was Cuban with Spanish influence. They had all the staples but turned up a notch. Everything was quite good.
7/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Mario's Catalina is an EXQUISTE restaurant for MANY reasons. The artwork adorning the walls, coupled with the elegant chandeliers,-- create an atmosphere of priviledge and serenity. The food is exceptional. All their various entrees are prepared with flavorful, yet subtle sauces. The service given by their wait staff is done with graciousness and style. The owner/host, Mario, makes each of his patrons feel welcomed and pampered. Dining at Mario's Catalina appeals to all the senses, and is truly a DINING EXTRAVAGANZA!!
7/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Friendly staff, good food
We had an overall good experience. My Palomilla Steak was flavorful but tough,not sure the Grouper was really grouper. Garlic Chicken and Melanese steak must have been good because our friends emptied their plates.All was served with black beans (kinda soupy) and rice. We received a complimentary appetizer of plantains which was very good. The Sangria was delicious but expensive $60 a carafe. That is about $10 a glass which is normally a glass of wine price. Upon leaving we received a complimentary serving of Pulled Pork to take home and try. The owner Mario and the wait staff were excellent. They knew their menu items and answered all questions professionally and with a smile. I would probably go there again but would order differently.
7/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Authentic Cuban spot
One does not need to travel all the way to Miami to get authentic Cuban cuisine. We made reservations based upon the reviews on Open Table. Turns out all those reviews were spot on! We were greeted by Mario and from there we were totally taken care of. Entrees were plentiful and very, very good. Definitely recommend to others for most any occassion.
7/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Best Cuban food in South Florida
The food was amazing the location was great the ambience was very energetic and lively. service really needed more waiters was a little bit slow but impeccable polite professional. food came within a reasonable time. drinks were delicious and plentiful. desserts were delicious. We recommend the sampler platter but it's not for four people more like 6-8 people. The vaca frita & churrasco were succulent and tasty. The big thing for me is the black beans, which is a huge thing for me, were very flavorful! Go! Won't regret it! Try the sangria, especially the white (very refreshing).
7/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
The service at this restaurant was out of this world everyone was so nice and welcoming , they went above and beyond to make my nephews 16th birthday celebration a night he will never forget, he left feeling like a King. Our wait staff and the owner Mario was so kind and attentive. Thank you so much Mario for all your efforts in making our celebration awesome. We will definitely be coming back , great food, great staff and great atmosphere. I would recommend the Mario's Favorite
Includes: Red Snapper filet breaded in green plantains with lobster sauce & jumbo shrimp and that watermelon mojito omg, is to die for, my mouth is watering just thinking of the food, I can't wait to go back
7/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Awesome food and service
We just found this gem 3 weeks ago and have already visited four times. The ambiance is beautiful and reminds me of very nice european restaurants. Service is outstanding and the owner/chef makes all efforts so that your experience is memorable. Most of all the food is delicious, just give it a try, you will love it.
7/25/2013 5:00:00 PM
The restaurant is has soft lighting and a cannel in every table. The service is always attentive and the food is delicious.
8/2/2013 5:00:00 PM
Mario creates a MASTERPIECE
We have been to this restaurant on several occasions. Each time was EXCEPTIONAL. And, each time, Mario, the owner, greeted us warmly, and checked that we were enjoying our dinner a few times. The food is EXQUISITE. We love their lobster bisque and their salad as a STARTER. The main course entrees are VARIED. We love their Grouper with a subtle, but delicious sauce. Their Pork Asado is magnificent. The Shrimps Ajillo are heavenly. Mario often gives his guests free desserts or sangria. And, on several occasions the bill was alot LOWER than we expected. We also have used a charitydine discount dining voucher--which makes this restaurant very affordable--especially for GOURMET LATIN cuisine.This restaurant is among the VERY BEST!
8/3/2013 5:00:00 PM
This restaurant was nothing less but spectacular. The ambiance and atmosphere is fantastic and gives a warm, but yet cinematic feeling, like as if you are entering a movie. The owner, Mario, greets as you come in the restaurant and he gives his warm welcomes. Our waiter was great, and explained the specials and food favorites on the menu with such ease and descriptive words. Quite impressive. The group that was with me to celebrate for my birthday enjoyed the service, the food, and the night. Food was amazing, and is by far one of the best places for Cuban cuisine in South Florida. I definitely would recommend.
8/7/2013 5:00:00 PM
Lots of flavor!
Great food, good service but a bit expensive. Mojitos are very good
8/20/2013 5:00:00 PM
Lots of food - especially carne
If you like meat; lots of meat, this is your place. Fish options are limited. If you are a vegetarian....well, they will customize something for you. The service is excellent. Overall its a fun place to go.
8/26/2013 5:00:00 PM
Mario's Cuban Spanish dining room
The moment you walk into the door Mario is greeting & escorting through his Cuban and Spanish restaurants. This attention does not waver. Each appetizer or entree was presented by our superb waiter and Mario is quick to observe and solicit comments. The skirt steak Cuban style with its chimchurrie sauce was ideally cooked and flavorful; the specials of the day-- mixed pulled pork and beef with plantains snapper, jumbo shrimp, and rice and black beans were, tasty and ample enough for a second meal (paked for home carry). All was accompanied by a fine Spanish wine, wonderfully paired with our choices. The ":quatro leche" dessert is "to die for". The added treat of dining coupons for the next time is an added inducement to return.
9/11/2013 5:00:00 PM
Catalina is ALWAYS OUTSTANDING!
Mario's Catalina is an OUTSTANDING restaurant. Several dynamics create this EXCEPTIONAL experience. First, is the ELEGANT ambiance and décor, that Mario, creates. Then, the cuisine, is EXCELLENT. Whether you choose the lobster bisque or a salad to start, or just begin with one of their FABULOUS main courses, that are always served with plantains, black beans and rice, on beautiful China dishes--you will experience dining,-- at its BEST! The Sangria, at Mario's, is delicious, and a great accompaniment to your entrée. There are several wonderful options for dessert. I usually have the "sinfully" delicious Flan. This IS a restaurant with CONSISTENTLY GREAT SERVICE and CUISINE!!! It is my favorite restaurant, in ALL of So. Florida,
9/12/2013 5:00:00 PM
The best place ever
I can't say anything negative about this place, from the owner to the service, the ambience, food and drinks, it is just a perfect place to be!! I would recommend your place to everyone!
9/18/2013 5:00:00 PM
I was recently down in Ft. Lauderdale and if it wasn't for the large group I was traveling with I would of missed this gem. All aspects were amazing. The food was out of this world, the sangria was the best I have ever had, and the service was top notch! I wish this place was closer to home so that I could go whenever I wanted. If I ever travel back to the area, I will be sure to head back. Great job to the owner Mario! You have a great thing going!
9/24/2013 5:00:00 PM
The food is excellent here. I had the combination platter which consisted of chicken chunks, lechon asado, and vaca frita. Hands down, the vaca frita was the best. The price point is a little high for Cuban food, but it is definitely well worth it. Also, when Mario, the owner is there, he usually throws in a few freebies which brings the price point down. It's a great little place and definitely worth a try if you haven't already.
10/5/2013 5:00:00 PM
I have been once before and
I have been once before and loved the experience, but this time it was a group of 15 VIPs I had staying at my hotel. I referred this restaurant bc they wanted Cuban food and they were going to one all the way in Miami. I convinced them to stay closer and go to Catalina's. next morning every single one of them were raging about it. It's was nothing but great comments about service, staff, food and ambience. It's def a hidden gem in ft laud.
10/7/2013 5:00:00 PM
This was a great find. Had lunch with the family and it was perfect. great service, food was outstanding.
10/11/2013 5:00:00 PM
One of the best!!!
Our experience was so good at this restaurant and we can't wait to go back. Authentic dishes cooked perfectly, fantastic sangria, delicious flan. A warm and beautiful atmosphere and an owner that is on top of everything to make sure things go smoothly. We think this is one of the best restaurants we have found on Open Table so far.
10/11/2013 5:00:00 PM
Home for a first time visitor
We were great by the owner like we were old friends. The food was over the top. Outstanding and knowledgeable staff. I hope am traveling in the area again so that I can enjoy fine dining experience.
10/22/2013 5:00:00 PM
Not to be missed
I am not in the habit of writing reviews, but not doing so for Mario and staff would be equivalent to failing to write a thank you note to a host after an extraordinary evening of dining and friendship. Travel to Fort Lauderdale would not be complete without a visit (or two or three) to Mario's Catalina Restaurant. Dining with Mario, Chino, Luis, Leslie and the other warm and friendly staff feels like a visit with your favorite relatives—a visit we would dearly regret if missed. The food is excellent and the service wonderfully attentive. You will be welcomed with open arms and sincere gratitude. Bonus: you will walk away with a not-to-be forgotten 'treasure' for your memory book!
10/28/2013 5:00:00 PM
The owner Mario is wonderful, he treats you like family when you come in the door. My GPS didn't work and he was very patient with me on the phone several times guiding us there. The food was 5 stars, it's an excellent experience.
11/5/2013 4:00:00 PM
Live very close to the establishment, but had no idea it was the place it is! Quite eclectic with a knowledgeable staff and good food. Would recommend.
11/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
Incredible cuisine and service in an eclectic setting with an even more eclectic proprietor!
11/14/2013 4:00:00 PM
Best Cuban/Spanish in South Florida
Mario's restaurant is simply the best. From the fantastic mojitos ( fresh and delicious) to every appetizer and entree. The flavors are a symphony in your mouth. Save room for dessert, if possible or just have another mojito to finish the night.
11/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
Always a treat!
I've been dining at Mario's Catalina for several years and they are consistently delicious! If you are in a hurry, this is not the place because you need time to enjoy the ambience and savor the food. Even though months pass between my visits, Mario always acknowledges people who have visited him before. This visit, our waiter talked me in to trying something different from my usual and the steak in Mario's Favorite melted in my mouth. My favorite appetizer is the fried yucca, but the sampler is perfect if you have a table of four and want to try a few things. Enjoy!
11/22/2013 4:00:00 PM
Cuban food is not traditionally my favorite, but this restaurant is so good that it's become our family's go-to spot for special occasions. The food is fresh and flavorful, service is the best around, and the owner is always on-site to insure that everything goes smoothly.
11/24/2013 4:00:00 PM
Our experience at Mario's
Our experience at Mario's Catalina was fantastic. Mario welcomes each patron like an old friend. Everything was impeccable from the food to the service. Highly reccomended!
11/27/2013 4:00:00 PM
Amazing. Food was great and
Amazing. Food was great and I have never had better service anywhere.
The restaurant itself had a wonderful cozy relaxing atmosphere and the empanadas were to die for.
thank you to everyone at Catalina for making our evening fun and memorable
11/27/2013 4:00:00 PM
Mario and his team create an outstanding Cuban eating experience! The food was out of this world and the mojitos are the best in Florida!
12/6/2013 4:00:00 PM