I love the idea of a neighborhood restaurant. In my experience, they fall into a small number of categories. There are
1, Neighborhood places you would leave another continent to try.
2, Suitable spots that are okay for the locality, but don’t travel.
3, Needs and is capable of improvement.
4, No hope.
Mario’s Ristorante in Southbridge is in the second category. The owners are not young and from what I hear are not planning on passing the torch to a younger generation. I am guessing they just wish to keep doing what they’ve always done and will do it until they can’t.
It was a Saturday about 7:00 p.m. when we arrived, Robin, Bríd and myself. There was a fair number of diners, but not capacity. We were quickly seated and when the waitress appeared, ordered a bottle of red and started to peruse the menu. She would return in a reasonable time and we ordered.
My Pasta Putanara was flavorful and more than satisfying. A combination of garlic, capers and anchovies in marinara that had some zing. It was served over spaghettini
Robin ordered Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, the classic made with cheese and cream. She was not at all displeased.
You can’t please everybody. Bríd had ordered Pasta Primavera and had a few complaints. Some of the vegetables were fresh, but some were frozen. The sundried tomatoes were out of a can, but should have been cut up. The huge size made them take too long to chew and the needed chew time made what would have been not unpleasant tartness problematic.
The desserts were fine. They are not made in house but come from a bakery on Federal Hill in Providence.
So only one of us expressed dissatisfaction. If you are in the Southbridge region, it is worth a visit. They are open Wednesday through Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to about 9:00 p.m. Mario’s is located at 52 Central Street and their phone number is 508-764-8009.