Saturday, November 7, 2009

Marcello's Marsala

Yesterday was our 26th wedding anniversary. I’m not sure why special events are celebrated by going out to eat in a nice restaurant, but as you may have guessed by now, that sort of thing is dear to my heart. Our minor celebrations, such as having a good day, knowing a tidbit worth sharing, having a fat wallet, getting letter in the mail, are handled quite nicely by dining at the Schezwan House Restaurant in Marysville. But for a wedding anniversary, we went a step up and drove over to Marcello’s Italian Restaurant in Yuba City.

I think we would have gone there anyway, but coincidentally the food section in the Appeal-Democrat featured Marcello’s and their signature item, Marsala Chicken. We have eaten there several times, but I’d never had the Marsala Chicken.

I always like to try different things, but it is hard to remember what I have had before in a restaurant. At Schezwan House, I will decide that I must start at the top of the menu and work my way down, making a check mark by each and then making sure I pick up the same menu next time. But when I see the Basil Chicken, I get weak and just order that because I know it is so good. All I remember when I pick up a Marcello’s menu is that last time I had something with red sauce and it was very good.

Marsala Chicken does not have red sauce. It has a creamy brown sauce with lots of sliced mushrooms in it. My husband ordered filet mignon and scampi, the special for Thursdays and I chose the Marsala Chicken.

Marcello’s is a roomy, attractive, comfortable place that brings up feelings of Italy and the Mediterranean, with its décor and Italian music playing in the background. Bottles of wine are stacked in niches and on the long sideboard. We order Chianti. We ask the waiter to light our candle so we can gaze romantically at each other over the red glowing glass. After delicious garlic bread and salad our orders arrived in good time.

My chicken was very, very good. Flattened chicken breast, seasoned and tender, smothered in savory sauce that had beautiful tangy notes, with the meaty flavor of mushrooms sautéed in butter. I couldn’t bear to have any of the sauce go away with the plate, so I spent the last 5 minutes mopping it up with the last of the extra bread the attentive waiter had brought. Oh we were stuffed! No thought of dessert.

The owner stopped by our table and asked how we had enjoyed our dinner. After enthusiastic regards to the chef, I batted my eyes at my husband, tilted my head and coyly remarked, “It’s our anniversary.”

“Ah, perhaps you will like a nice anniversary dessert as a compliment from us.” Well! I’m never so full that I wouldn’t enjoy a nice complimentary anniversary dessert!

He brought out a chocolate mousse, topped with whipped cream and fresh raspberries, drizzled with Grand Marnier and topped with a lit candle. Oh Heaven! I managed to poke a few mouthfuls down my very full husband’s throat and handled the rest of it myself.

We waddled out to the truck, moaning happily. I know what’s going to be on next week’s shopping list. I’ll definitely be trying this at home!


  1. *swoon*
    Sounds marvelous! Mushrooms :+) Gotta love that complementary dessert! I went there once with Stephanie, and I liked it very much. I tried to take Lorlor once, but she just wanted Little Cesars....

  2. At the food coop yesterday, I got a little bag of herbs de provence, so next time, the beef burgundy will be correct!

    I'm assuming Marsala wine will be at Winco.