We were recommended Marechiaro not from our usual source but from a small, low-priced e-book guide to Bolzano. The author made some quite complimentary remarks about the food, stressing that although the restaurant’s name contains the word “pizza” - it was a world away from your average pizza-joint. He was absolutely correct. Saying that, the pizzas we saw being devoured looked absolutely wonderful, so it looks as if this place has the lot!
It is located, not in the old town but just over the river, in the new. Not difficult to find and only a 20 minute stroll from the main square. The establishment itself is as far removed from the usual pizzeria establishment as you could imagine. It’s very modern and slick, with an outdoor terrace, (wonderfully intimate), and a veritable legion of well-dressed wait-staff. All very, very Italian.
My wife wasn’t too hungry, so we shared a platter of steamed seafood to start. As soon as it arrived, we knew we had made a grave error - we should had ordered two! It was utterly delicious. For “primi” my wife had pasta “Scoglio” - so even more seafood. I ordered swordfish but what arrived was a plate of what appeared to be the restaurant’s take on pasta “alla Norma”. Now you would have expected me to point this out but it looked so good, I decided to press-on. Also, I quite often “forget” what I have ordered, so assumed that I had ordered my usual pasta and then, my fish course to follow.
I was half-way through the delicious pasta when a mortified member of staff approached and said, “Sorry, we gave you the wrong dish”. I told him that this was not a problem. Could he please apologise to the person whose pasta I had “stolen” and that I would have the swordfish to follow. I was quite hungry and that “Sicilian” pasta was quite delicious. Sadly this did not happen and I was left “fish-less” after my pasta.
I didn’t want to create any more of a fuss, so we moved on to dessert. My wife had the house Tiramisu and I had their special “XO” dessert - which was epic. Sadly, there was to be one final hiccup. We ordered two of the recommended wines to go with the desserts and despite the flowery and enticing descriptions on the menu - they were identical. I may not have the nose of a professional but I drink enough wine, (some would say too much!), to be able to spot two identical dessert wines. Again, I wasn’t going to allow this to spoil our evening, as they were both priced the same. This was a crying shame, as the wine recommended with the meal, (a Falanghina made for the restaurant’s D’Elia family), was simply excellent. So good in fact that we had two bottles!
So what to make of Ristorante Pizzeria Marechiaro? Well, were it not for the mistakes, I would have awarded it five stars. Sadly, it seems that our experience regarding service were mirrored by some other reviewers. If I were inclined to carping, (which I don't think I am, particularly), then I may have given it three. However the food was so very, very good and every restaurant can have a bad night - I would say that it thoroughly deserves its four. If/when we return to Bolzano, I will not be ruling it out.
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