‘Watts for Dinner’: Italian Deli & Market – new location, new menu items, same quality

Will Watts

Our next dining destination is the newly expanded Italian Deli and Market, which has moved from its longtime home on Collier Boulevard to Park Avenue. That’s a winning move in the game of Monopoly and, in this case, real life as well.

We attended on the second day of their “soft opening.” Arriving around 4, we thought we’d have a little time before the crowd gathered. We were wrong.

The restaurant is offering a newly expanded menu, expanded indoor and outdoor dining and a bar for refreshments. Everything is new, nice and clean.

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You still have to order at the counter, at least at the time of our visit. Things got off to an appetizing start with the stuffed artichoke hearts ($12). The stuffing is Boursin cheese, flash fried and served with a lemon aioli. These were so good! I can’t wait to have them again.

We also enjoyed a couple of soups. I had the soup of the day, carrot ($7). My partner in dine had the fire roasted tomato basil. My soup was excellent. The other soup was good, but a bit like eating pizza sauce. It needed a little something more.  

For my main entrée, I had the eggplant parmesan ($15). You can also get this as a sandwich. It was absolutely amazing. So hearty! It came with a side of delectable fettuccini. The only complaint I had; it was served on a paper plate with plastic utensils. It was a little difficult to eat. I hope real dishes are coming. But either way, I’ll be back!

My partner in dine picked the Tuscan salmon over risotto ($15). While the salmon was great, the star of this show was the risotto. Fantastic! I tried it. I could eat my weight with this stuff. Best! Risotto! Ever!  

Stuffed beyond belief, but wanting more, we placed a to-go order that we’d partake of the following night.

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We ordered a Greek salad to share ($10) and a New York-style artichoke pizza ($22). The salad was good, and there was plenty for two. The pizza is white, with the namesake artichokes, roasted peppers, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil. 

The pizza was really good. Nice and thin. Perhaps a little more cheese would have been nice, but I ate it up all the same. And with what I assume was a new pizza oven, there were no blisters anywhere on the pie.

If this is what the Italian Deli can do on day two, I can’t wait to see what they do in the weeks to come. I’m happy to see this pizza grow, both physically and in every other way. Happy eating!

More:Hey Marco Island, looking for a place to eat?

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com.

If you go

Italian Deli and Market

  • 902 Park Ave, Marco Island
  • 239-394-9493
  • marcoislanditaliandeli.com