Recently, I had the pleasure of dining with two friends at J. Marinara’s in Oro Valley. The restaurant’s tag line is “Where The Sauce Sells Itself.” I like “East Coast” Italian. I have fond memories of Italian dining in New York City and Baltimore, MD, so I was looking forward to writing this review.
It was a Monday and this establishment only serves from 11 AM to 3 PM on Mondays. We arrived around 1:30. All other days, they serve both lunch and dinner.
As soon as we parked, we could see they have a small patio in front, but saw no reason to take advantage of it since it only overlooked the parking lot and Oracle Road.
Casual East Coast Italian Dining
The interior, while pleasant enough, was nothing fancy. No white table clothes or related finery as one encounters at Vivace in St. Philip’s Plaza. However, I understand that dinners are slightly more formal with Italian-looking table clothes and more formally-dressed wait staff. Lunch is clearly informal. Given they have no Dress Code, it seems safe to say that J. Marinara’s is casual East Coast Italian dining.
Bret seated us and said he would be our server. In fact, Bret was the only server in the whole place. Two of us order iced tea. When it arrived after a few minutes, it looked like slightly tinted water … very weak tea, indeed. Bret apologized and, after several minutes, returned with real iced tea.
The lunch menu was interesting. We had a choice of several different pastas and, for a couple bucks more, we could add our choice of meatballs, chicken, sausage, or shrimp.
Kathy ordered the Butternut Squash Ravioli. Jeff ordered the Angel Hair Pomodoro. And I ordered both the Sicilian Rustico AND the Lasagna dinners.Read More