Bar and Bistro at Marek’s is Merely Okay

Bar & Bistro @ Marek's Terrace, Marco Island, FL

Bar & Bistro @ Marek’s Terrace, Marco Island, FL

Far from the best food on Marco Island, the Bar and Bistro at Marek’s does deliver a nice atmosphere, especially if you can sit outside.  The veranda is lovely, as is the terrace, and the live music featured on Tuesday and Friday evenings is perfect.  Service was cordial, but inconsistent at best.  The bartender was very pleasant but had no information about what bottled wines were dry versus sweet, for example.  Thankfully, Penny, one of the owners, I think, loves wine and could help.

Several menu offerings looked enticing.  My husband chose the Asian Crispy Shredded Beef.  Portions are very European, which is fine with us.  But he found the taste just “okay,” nothing special.  (He wished he’d ordered something else.)  I had the Crab Stuffed Jumbo Shrimps.  The bacon was crisped nicely, and the stuffing on these three beautiful shrimp wasn’t overly breaded.  That said, the overall taste was not special.  For the price, the value was good.  Both entrees came with rice and stir-fried vegetables, were nothing to write home about, but the little side salad was nice.

Bar & Bistro @ Marek's Crab Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp

Bar & Bistro @ Marek’s Crab Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp

My husband wanted a cappuccino with dessert, but the machine was giving them trouble.  We did share a slice of Key Lime Pie, which was zesty and pleasantly not overly sweet.

For bistro fare, the prices are exceptionally reasonable.  For foodies, the food may be a bit mundane.  For everyone, the atmosphere is welcoming and casual.  Will we go again?  Probably, but we are more apt to choose the original and adjoining Marek’s Collier House Restaurant.  Or we may simply order appetizers and a salad to enjoy with cocktails and the live music.  (Management could benefit by switching out the outdoor light bulbs to the warm variety they use by the driveway entrance.  The cool, white-hot bulbs on the terrace cast an almost florescent -like, cafeteria-glow over the tables.  It’s the only terrace improvement I suggest.)

Maybe our expectations for the food at Bar and Bistro at Marek’s were too high, as a couple of folks had told us this was their favorite restaurant on Marco Island.  (Maybe they should get out more.  Or perhaps this is simply the handy restaurant to where they were staying.)

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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