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Dining Reviews: St. Martin/St. Maarten
Mario's Bistro 05/29/02
Reviewers Rating: Good
Given the virtual unanimity of other (positive) reviews of Mario's, I think we must have hit it on a slightly off night. Our table was right on the water, and the setting couldn't have been more wonderful. Service was good, but not terribly warm or friendly (as compared, for example, to L'Auberge Gourmande or Chanteclaire). At times the staff was almost robotically over-attentive, for example when our wine glasses were repeatedly refilled after each and every sip...somewhat comical. The mussels in tomato sauce and seared tuna appetizers were both excellent, but unfortunately were the highlight of the meal. My girlfriend's shrimp Pad Thai was good, but lacked any sharp differentiated flavor and was definitely not exceptional. My roasted duck (the house specialty) was, unfortunately, terrible -- dry, tough and charred. Had I been hungrier and not so tired from a full day on the water I would have sent it back. Still, given all the other positive reviews, some exceptional appetizers and a wonderful location, we will give Mario's anoter try next time...

John K

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