On Tuesday, September 29, some lucky members of the community got a sneak peak and taste of the newly renovated restaurant Ario, located in the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa.
The menu explains that the word “ario” is derived from the zodiac elements of fire and water, and describes the restaurant as a “primal dining experience.” At Ario, dry-aged meats and fresh local seafood are paired with seasonings and salts from around the world.
The meal was started with foie gras torchon and shrimp cocktail. The foie gras was house-made, served with blackberry and perfectly toasted brioche. The shrimp cocktail includedsome of the largest shrimp, which were presented with Meyer lemon, a citrus fruit not often seen on local menus. Some of the other appetizers include a wagyu beef tartare, sea scallops and a daily oyster selection.
Ario’s signature drink, the Japanese rose, with Chambord and real rose petals, was almost too pretty to drink.
Deciding on a main course is difficult, with 15 unique choices on the menu.
A popular selection among diners was the two-pound Maine lobster, poached in butter and served removed from its shell. Other seafood choices are the verlasso salmon, prawn makhani, black cod with miso and coconut curry, and grouper with artichoke in alobster saffron broth.
Even the side dishes are special. I asked for a green vegetable, expecting the usual broccoli, and was happily surprised with a delectable mixture of rappini and fennel. Other choices of sides are the creamed spinach, roasted root vegetables and fingerling potatoes.
Staying true to its primal theme, Ario offers diners the choice of eight different steaks and chops. Unique to the restaurant are its signature 35-day dry aged steaks. The aged NY strip comes in a large 14-ounce portion, enough to share or bring home for lunch the next day. Top your steak with foie gras butter, truffle butter, blue cheese or horseradish. If youwant more culinary decadence, you can even add seared foie gras, grilled lobsters or prawns.
Dessert should not be missed. Standing out is the apple caramel pannacotta, an Italian dish made from sweetened cream thickened with gelatin. Arios’ unique spin on the classic was a true work of art, accompanied by red glass-like sugar, shaved fennel, fresh apple, and a slightly salty crumble. Also enjoyable are the three mini chocolate cakes served with meringue, blackberry and a touch of salt.
Ario is open daily for dinner from 6-10 PM. The restaurant is located in the Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa, 400 S. Collier Boulevard, Marco Island. Reservations are recommended. For more information call 239-642-2695.