Marino’s food is the real deal, and so is Marino.
Marino’s Pizzeria in Littleton is exactly what locals hunt for: that nestled-in-the-neighborhood, mom-and-pop place that relies upon word-of-mouth to attract a following to its authentic Italian cuisine.
The “mom and pop” of Marino’s are he and his wife, Angela. Marino is the maestro cook and Angela delights in managing the operations of the restaurant. “I would not be here if it was not for her,” Marino says of his wife. “It’s my dream, she supports me.”
His passion for pizza started when he was just five. He watched in wonder while his grandparents had their own wood-burning oven built, and Marino’s dreams were ignited. “I loved it so much,” he says with a wide grin beneath his characteristic mustache. “I was watching my next-door neighbor build the ovens. I thought, ‘what can I get out of that thing?’” So he learned to construct his own ovens. “I build my ovens to fit around the pizza, not my pizza around my oven,” he says with the discrimination of a craftsman.
He “stole the simplicity of good food” from his grandmother, he says. “There’s no ranch dressing, no Alfredo in Marino’s food,” he laughs. “Probably the most important thing about my pizza is the flour—imported from Italy.”
Marino serves me a red wine called Terredora Aglianico to sip while I wait. He tells me it is made in a vineyard where he stomped grapes from the time he was a boy. “You cannot get that wine for that price anywhere else,” he says, noting his connections to the winery.
The first delight to emerge from Marino’s oven is an appetizer, brussels sprouts immersed in bacon pieces. Flaky and, oh, so satisfying.
He then delivers the Gnocchi (nyō-kee) with meatballs. The potato pasta is served with marinara sauce, zesty and light.
Marino’s favorite pizza on the menu is the Bella, a beauty made of spinach, roasted garlic, sausage and olive oil. Simple and simply amazing.
The finale is the Four Point Calzone, a gorgeous mixture of supple crust, Italian sausage and prosciutto, ricotta, mozzarella and shaved parmiggiano cheeses. If I had to choose a favorite, without question, this is it.
But no mattar what you choose on the menu, the authenticity and warmth of Marino’s will draw you in as a devotee to this fresh Italian cuisine.
Marino’s opens at 5 p.m. every day (except on Mondays—they’re closed). It’s best to call a day in advance for Friday or Saturday seating (303) 955-0373. You can also reserve a table online at MarinosPizzeria.us.