page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102
page 103
page 104
page 105
page 106
page 107
page 108
page 109
page 110
page 111
page 112
page 113
page 114
page 115
page 116
page 117
page 118
page 119
page 120
page 121
page 122
page 123
page 124
page 125
page 126
page 127
page 128
page 129
page 130
page 131
page 132
page 133
page 134
page 135
page 136
page 137
page 138

They say that before you eat a meal you taste it with your eyes. Well, when I had the pleasure of dining at one of Marco's fi nest restaurants, Sale e Pepe, recently I realized that not only is this true, but it can be taken even further... the decor and ambience of a restaurant can also have an affect upon your enjoyment of a meal before you even sit down at your table. At Sale e Pepe this is entirely a good thing. The restaurant is located on the Gulf side of the Marco Beach Ocean Resort on Collier Blvd. The building was constructed in 2002 but the cobblestone rear courtyard, where you leave your car for valet parking, with its tinkling fountains, stone statues and arched stone walkway, gives you the feeling you could be entering an ancient Tuscan villa rather than a modern building. A stone staircase leads you into a sumptuous, dramatically lit bar area which, with its long gleaming bar, backed by a huge Toulouse Lautrec style mural, could fi t well in a New York gentleman's club. The main restaurant, with its intricately carved, buttery stone walls, mosaic marble fl oors and tables dressed with starched white tablecloths, spar-kling stemwear and adorned with single red roses, can only be described as simply elegant. It is incredibly beautiful. Divided into several separate dining areas, each room offers stunning views of Marco's picture- perfect white sand beach. They can only be surpassed by the vista from the expansive terrace, where you can enjoy cooling sea breezes while watching the sun sink into the deep blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. An impossibly romantic scene which is especially inviting with a two for one happy hour daily between 4: 30- 6pm! With such an amazing setting, expectations for the food are set very high and, if our meal is anything to judge by, those expectations are easily reached and even surpassed by the young Executive Chef, Alberto Varetto. He was born in Italy and began his culinary apprenticeship at the age of 12. He achieves a truly authentic Italian style by importing all the fundamental ingredients from Italy and making all his pastas, sauces and bread fresh daily. When we dined there, my appetizer of roasted sea scallops, served with sweet onion confi t and lobster sauce, was tender and succulent and my husband's beef tenderloin carpaccio, served with baby arugula, lemon vinaigrette and shaved parmesan cheese, was " just delicious".

Photographs feature: Baked portobello mushroom cap topped with goat cheese and chives Roasted veal loin and heart of celery topped with tuna sauce and capers Homemade fettuccine sautéed with daily selection of seafood and sautéed calamari Lemon tart served with wild cherry sorbet Incredibly tasty but very light, the antipasti left our mouths watering for what was to come - in my case a delightful marinated farm raised chicken breast on Porcini mushrooms, sautéed with braised onions and served with Marsala wine sauce. My husband ordered a seared fi let of yellow fi n tuna, served with sweet onions and whole grain mustard sauce, and pronounced it " perfectly cooked". The portions were just right and the presentation was, like the decor, simply elegant. My swirl of mashed potatoes, for example, was topped by a sprig of fresh rosemary which was impaled on a single clove of peeled garlic and their fl avors gently permeated throughout the whole dish. ( An easily executed idea I'm certainly going to make my own!) The service was also impeccable - responsive, unobtrusive and friendly. My husband took our delightful waitress's recommendation to try the choco-late chip gelato topped with cocoa powder and hazelnut for dessert. He said it was " delectable" and the tart fl avor of the wild cherry sorbet which accompanied my torta di limone cut the sweetness of the meringue- topped tart perfectly. Together with a rich and fl avorful cup of coffee, it rounded off a memorable meal. Before we even sat down at our table we knew there was something quite exceptional in store but, before we tried the food, we didn't appreciate that it would be quite simply spectacular. Sale e Pepe is located at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort, 480 South Collier Blvd. Attire is Resort Casual. Visit www. sale- e- pepe. com or call 239- 393- 1600 for information on opening hours and reservations.