Step into Mario’s Catalina Restaurant and you instantly feel the hustle of the city fade. Soothing colors, soft lighting, crisp linens and fragrant aromas all conspire to transport you to a more tranquil setting.
While Catalina’s ambiance is undeniably appealing, dining out really is all about the food! That’s why co-owner and chef, Mario Flores, went to great lengths to create a menu of Spanish and Cuban dishes that complement each other.
The result: authentic Latin food masterfully prepared. Add to that attentive service and a chilled glass of simply the best Sangria in town, and you’re well on your way to a memorable experience!
We went there for Father’s Day. I didn’t like it. This place is extremely overpriced for a cuban restaurant. It smelled horrible because of some scented candles they had at the main entrance. It is very dingy, dark, not classy as they claimed to be. There is not enough space to move around. Bathrooms were dirty. I even saw a mop in the bar. Servers were arguing over our table. It took forever to get our food. One server came out of the blue and wanted to take a picture of our family to post on their facebook page without even asking us first. We had minors on the table and I thought that was very rude. The only positive is that Mario seemed very nice and the food tasted ok, not great. Appetizers were very greasy, some even inedible.
Excellent food and service! I would definitely come back soon.
It was our 38th anniversary of our marriage. We had a wonderful time and I will highly recommend the restaurant to any one who enjoys good Cuban food.
Absolutely wonderful experience here! We were greeted the moment we walked in and continuously checked on by the wait staff as well as the owner. I have never felt more welcome at a restaurant. My boyfriend was also treated to complimentary mojitos. We will definitely be returning as a couple and with friends!
I’ve been telling everyone in Ft. Lauderdale about my amazing experience at Mario’s. Mario himself met my party at the door and from the time we were seated until the time we left, we were treated like family (in a good way 😊)
The food was excellent! We ordered a Catalina platter for the our party of 5 and it was more than filling for us all. I barely had enough room for my entree.
The next time I’m in town, Mario’s will be my first stop!
Catalina outdoes itself each time we dine there. The old-world atmosphere is quite comfortable, the service is sharp and friendly, and Mario is ever generous. That brings me to the impeccable food and stellar sangria...consistently mouthwatering. We will go back again and again, hope to see you there.
Very good restaurant. The Owner is very friendly and treats customers like family. Highly recommend this place for you and family.
Beyond amazing!!!! A must go to! Food and appetizers were delicious I have lived in florida my whole life and have never had such amazing Cuban food before. We came to the conclusion that we wont have cuban food anywhere else! The mojitos and sangria were actually also the best we've ever had seriously this place is just perfect. The place is beautiful and the staff is so attentive and nice. They work as a team and you can certainly tell. Love, love, love so happy that we found this restaurant
We haven't been to Mario's Catalina in years since we live in Delray Beach but we were going to the Broward Performing Arts Center and decided to try it again.
Mario is very charming and is constantly circulating the dining room.
I almost had a heart attack when I opened the menu and saw the prices. I usually order Lechon Asado, roast pork, most Cuban restaurants , it is $13 to $15 but here, it was $ 29.99. Mario gave us complementary mariquitas, fried plantain chips and a house salad. Whopee!!
The Lechon Asado 1 mile south at Padrinos' is half the price and better.
My wife ordered the Chicken and Shrimp in Garlic Sauce @ $36.99. Outrageous
Both were served with white rice, black beans and plantain.
Everything about this restaurant was perfection. The service, the way how even the waiters that weren't serving us, served us. The way it was decorated to a homey yet beautiful and formal way. The way the owner Mario spoke to us like we were family and hoped we returned before our visit ended. The food was more than spectacular. I felt like I had to savor it when it was in my mouth because it was so delicious. I am not a big fan of onions, but when there were white and green onions on top of my skirt steak, I loved every crunch I took. I will now return as a customer for life.
Restaurant was lovely but extremely overpriced. The
Octopus Special appetizer was $29.95 and had the smallest portion I’ve ever seen. Supposedly it was for two people. It was hardly enough for one person.
My skirt steak came out too well done and the second time it was too rare. The people were friendly
Too expensive for what you got
Mario and his team offer a spectacular culinary experience! We will never forget it and will be back!
As usual, it was an exceptional experience. My only complaint is that the menu never changes although there's plenty of choices
The food, service, drinks and hospitality are off the charts!! My favorite restaurant
Mario is the best. When we are in town this is our go to place. We invited two friends that live on Federal and enjoyed the night. Great time good food, friends and friendly service.
We had the Catalina sampler and fish with shrimp topping. Service was exceptional and food was amazing!
Amazing food. Never experienced a more grateful owner and staff! If I lived in the area I’d eat here all the time!
Found this gem by accident. We were in town for a meeting and the wife wanted Cuban food. Catalina was a lucky choice. We arrived on a quiet night and had personalized service. Met all the staff and had an excellent meal. All very friendly and great food. Other people arriving were treated the same way, everyone was a long time customer.
Very, very slow service. Arrived punctually for reservation / party of 6. Were sat late. Sloow service and slow time food coming out of kitchen, to the point owner went to kitchen to speed things up. Finally paid and left two and half hours later. Partly illegible (except for total) bill scribbled on order pad paper slip. WORST part ... on getting up from table hounded with tacky pitch by server, AND later by owner, for some $300 meal package with Lord knows what savings. So one drops close to $500 for some pleasant time with out of town friends and relatives and STILL have to listen to some sales pitch? NO, thank you!
Dining at Catalina was more than a dinner, it was eating a home cooked meal with family. My husband and I truly believe that this was the best food, atmosphere, and customer service. Mario (owner) and all of the staff welcomed us with open arms. We have already recommended to friends and we will return!
Our party of six was treated like royalty, and we enjoyed everything we ate and drank.
Mario Maitre D and master maestro!
There are fewer better restaurateurs than Mario. Not only are you always welcomed but the staff is in top form. The food is excellent and our visiting or local family is always very excited to dine here. Multiple Mojitos, house salad and plantain crisps gratis, excellent fish, oxtail special, and skirt steak churriascuro. A meal ended with Quatre Leche cake. Mario and staff always at our side. Ah marvelous.
Absolutely fabulous. Marco jet us at the door. Food was the best. Had empanadas-outside crust was light and crisp. Inside filling was delicious. Had the snapper -melted in your mouth and the Argentinian steak which cut like butter cooked perfectly. The quatro leches dessert was an absolute hit. Would definitely recommend
Authentic and delicious...absolutely delightful...
The Argentine steak house special was great and the chimichurri sauce, plantain chips, roasted pork Marsa with roasted soft plantains, and four milk cake were fab. The elegant interior is covered with art work and great service.
Great food and service! Love Mario!
Food was excellent. Service was fantastic. Very friendly attentive staff.
Huge eat food and service. Glad Mario is back and healthy. Must visit if your in Fort Lauderdale. Great experience.
I like this restaurant very much, the food and service. However they still give a handwritten receipt that is illegible and hard to understand. There is no reason why in this day and age they can not give a print out receipt.
Great restaurant. We ate at Mario's several years ago and, when in Ft. Lauderdale this spring for a long weekend, ate there two of three nights in town. If you order the paella (not on the menu) it is magnificent but really a meal for two. Red sangria is the best on the planet. (Beware of Mario's second carafe.)
Mario was very welcoming. Octopus app was probably the best I've had. Overall the food is pricey for Cuban though portions are large. We had a fun time.
From arrival to departure...we were overwhelmed by the sense of pride and quality of food.
We just love Catalina. Mario and the entire staff is fabulous. The food is wonderful and so delicious.....thank you!
Excellent service, delicious meal, pleasant ambiance and personalized attention from owner Mario.
Lovely setting for dining, and the food lives up to it. The wait staff is solicitous, and Mario, the owner is extremely friendly to his clientele. I would have rated Catalina “5” in all categories, but on our last visit we brought a party of 12 and asked for a private room. We were seated in the “side room”, which was much too small for 12 people and we were uncomfortably squeezed. The semi-outdoor back room would have been a much better option. Also, we had difficulty with the check - some of our party had purchased gift certificates and wanted to use them. Instead of splitting the bill and then deducting the value of the gift certificates from the checks of the appropriate diners, the sum of the gift certificates was deducted from the total bill and each of the six couples got a check for the same amount. Therefore, the people with the prepaid certificates didn’t benefit from their value and ended up overpaying by double. It took so long to get the checks that we would have been late for the theater had we asked for correction. Don’t let this put you off - Catalina is a great choice, just make sure your seating arrangement is comfy and your bill is well-managed.
The food and service were wonderful, best I’ve ever had in Florida. Prices were a bit high for Cuban food. But would go back again and would recommend to all.
Great food,wonderful service Ambiance is fantastic.Will definitely go there again
Catalina is fantastic. One of the best dinners we've ever had. Highly recommend!