Recently, my family and I were hungry for something other than fast-food and found Mario's Italian Restaurant located in Bonne Terre, MO. Being from St. Louis and experienced connoisseurs of Italian food (such as places on the hill) we saw the sign, the place looked clean and manicured on the outside so we decided to go in and check the place out.
First, we were greeted by one of the staff and were overwhelmed by her politeness and hospitality when it came to seating and making sure we were all comfortable. The inside of the place was just as clean and well taken are of as the outside. My wife turned to me and commented on how nice the place was; the owners seem to really take pride in their establishment. Then it was time to order. I could not believe the menu.
Mario's had a plethora of dishes and such a vast array of Italian cuisine - honestly it was a tough choice to decide what I would have. The kids decided to make it simple and chose spaghetti and meatballs. My wife and I decided to have a salad and then share a pizza. When our food arrived I was astonished by the size of the portions as well as the attention to detail as it was prepared. The owner actually works his own restaurant and the staff was so courteous and polite. I would have to say hands down one of the top places I have ever eaten at in my life. It's great to see a family owned and ran business treating the customer as first class and serving authentic Italian food in the day and age of fast-food.
Fortunately, the kids could not even dent their servings of spaghetti and meatballs so I took the left-overs to the office for lunch the next day. As I observed the other patrons and what they were eating, I cannot wait to make the drive through Bonne Terre again to try other dishes. The portions are huge, the pizza was the best I have ever eaten and service was impeccable.
Sorry for such a diatribe, but Mario's deserves every single word of praise when it comes to a family Italian restaurant doing business the "right" way. Great people, Great food and Great atmosphere. Truly an excellent experience!