Where: 2204 Philadelphia Ave., Ocean City, (410) 289-9445
Hours: Dinner served 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Credit cards: Major credit cards accepted.
Mario's is an Italian oasis in the Ocean City sea of seafood restaurants. After a summer of crab and fish, I was ready to see some pasta on my plate.
I didn't want to go into immediate seafood withdrawal, so I decided to give the crab soup ($3.95) a try. It turned out to be a nice melange of shredded crab meat and mixed vegetables, and the kitchen wasn't heavy-handed with Old Bay seasoning.
On the other hand, my companion ordered minestrone soup ($3.25), which probably would have benefited from some more spice.
My friend decided to try the shrimp parmigiana ($14.95). The seven large butterfly shrimp were served in a pool of tangy tomato sauce covered in gooey cheese.
My chicken cacciatore with spaghetti ($10.95) is a good choice for those with a big appetite. The huge pieces of chicken were served in a mild tomato sauce with tender chunks of tomatoes, green peppers and onions.
For dessert, I really enjoyed the tartufo ($4.50), a dome of chocolate and vanilla ice cream with bits of nuts and cherries that was covered with a dark chocolate shell.
My companion's spumoni ($3) was a small portion of pistachio, chocolate and vanilla ice cream with nuts and cherries.
The restaurant's large dining room has a red color scheme and wood paneling. A number of families were there the night we visited, but the room dividers kept noise to a minimum, allowing us to enjoy a peaceful dinner.