For today’s Restaurant Spotlight, we head along Lakeshore Road West into Clarkson village, where we’ll find a unassuming little building that houses one of Mississauga’s finest eateries.

The exterior of Marco Polo depicts a white, one-storey building, that looks rather like a house. It’s a cozy structure but one that hides a beautiful restaurant within. Upon entering Marco Polo, you’ll be taken aback by the incredibly modern architecture and colour scheme; brilliant white ceilings meet orange and black walls of panels. White leather booths and chairs of chestnut fill the space to create a surprisingly capricious restaurant.

The premises is a stunning display of architecture and interior design that comes together to create an impressive, casual and comfortable environment. Moreover, Marco Polo also boasts an extensive outdoor patio, which is particularly nice at night when the hanging lights illuminate your experience. And for your information, Marco Polo operates from 12-12 every day of the week.

So the restaurant is a fantastic building, but you likely came here to ascertain if the food is worth your time. Well let’s take a look at the menu!

Starters

Marco Polo doesn’t offer starters in the most conventional sense but they have a “shareables” section on the menu, which, while inherently being for two, they function as starters.

Marco Polo’s menu is that of an incredible diverse restaurant, that operates on both classy and casual levels. To clarify that, you can choose between Salmon Tartare (fresh salmon, spiced avocado crema, sesame seeds with Asian flare, served with house made corn-chips), and Chorizo Corn Dogs (cured and smoked Chorizo, bubble bath batter, deep fried, spicy aioli). Two vastly different dishes that offer completely different tastes to consumers.

Beyond those two options, you can grab Drunken Mussels (mussels served in rose or white wine), Wings Up! (crispy fried chicken wings tossed in a sauce of your choice), ‘Tator Tot’ Poutine (crispy tater tots, braised short rib, Quebec cheese curds and gravy), or my personal choice, Corn Bread. The corn bread served in Marco Polo is Portuguese and served in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and it is incredible. It may be full of starch but it’s a great starter nonetheless.

If you’re looking for something a little lighter, you can also grab yourself a selection of salads. A traditional Caesar Salad is on sale, although it a little more extensive than simple romaine and croutons, a Seasonal Salad, which comprises of spinach, cheddar cheese, grapes, sunflower seeds, all tossed in a watermelon vinegrette. Then there’s The Marco Polo Salad, a unique toss of arugula, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, and candid nuts, and lemon tarragon vinegrette. The house salad is an impressive array of colours and tastes, with the nuts being a perfect addition. Each salad can have chicken, steak, shrimp, or salmon added for an additional fee.

Main Course

Moving on to the main course, you’ll find yourself with an array of excellent foods that will cater to just about anyone’s needs. First up we have classic Bolognese, which consists of fettuccine, slow braised pork, beef and veal, tomato sauce, and shaved parmesan. Thai Coconut Pasta is a fantastic dish that utilises fresh seafood in the form of shrimp, calamari, mussels, salmon, and white fish, in Thai green coconut curry sauce. It’s a taste sensation that is perfect for someone who doesn’t necessarily want a heavy meat dish.

For the person that does want something meaty though, the 8 Hour Short Rib┬áis right up your alley. These braised short ribs are cooked in natural jus, served with mixed vegetables, gremolata, and roasted fingerling potatoes. And if ribs just aren’t your thing, then surely the Steak Frites will hit the spot! A beautiful 8 oz New York Striploin, cooked in natural jus, accompanied by truffle and parmesan frites. Just do yourself a favour and get the steak cooked medium rare.

If it’s a burger you’re after, Marco Polo also has you covered. From the traditional, yet amazing, The Burger Burger (chuck and brisket patty, topped with cheddar and jack cheese, iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato, bacon, and dill pickle mayo), to the not-so-traditional Under The Sea (a salmon and prawn burger, with house guacamole, chipotle coleslaw, and fresh tomatoes). My recommendation however has to be the Messy Chicken Sammie, which is a BBQ chicken breast that comes with bacon, roasted red pepper, sauteed mushrooms, smoked gouda, and chipotle aioli on a kaiser bun. Wow!

Marco Polo also offers taco’s, grilled flatbreads, and discovery platters for a group that wants to try a little bit of everything. It’s not the largest menu we’ve ever seen but what’s on there is highly impressive; cooked and presented in impeccable fashion.

Stay For The Fun

Marco Polo serves some amazing food but that’s not all it does. The restaurant also features live music every Friday and Saturday night, with artists from across the globe offering a great selection of classic rock, country, jazz, reggae, classical, blues, and more.

As if that weren’t enough, you can also pop-in on a Monday evening to partake in the always-entertaining karaoke night! The event typically attracts a good crowd and it’s always in good spirits and fun, with no heckling. Moreover, Wednesday nights feature free-to-play poker tournaments! Yes you can eat your meal and then join a Texas Hold ‘Em tourney from 8-11 PM.

Don’t just take our word for it though, I’ve compiled a couple of reviews of the restaurant from TripAdvisor, where Marco Polo holds a four and a half out of five score! Check them out:

Was a great place for a date night with my husband. Food was delicious, we had the Octo-Polo as an appetizer (cooked to perfection!), the Alfredo pasta and the Marco Polo flatbread. Live music started at 8pm and the band was a really great addition to a lovely evening.

– Karine V

Great selection and great food. We went on a Friday and the restaurant had a band playing. It offers a good selection of North American food with a Mediterranean twist. For starters, we had the Calamari (flash fried crispy calamari, glassed herbs, lemon caper aioli) and Oysters on the half shells followed by the Marco Polo Grilled Flatbread (prosciutto, triple cream brie, fresh pears, arugula, candied nuts and balsamic syrup). Strongly recommend this restaurant!

– Bob H

My son has been here 4 previous times and when I asked him for a suggestion for a special family dinner this was the only place he recommended. And it was GREAT!! Food was delicious. Drinks were plentiful and we all commented how relatively inexpensive both the wine and the beer was. Service was prompt. Home made cheesecake was literally the “icing on the cake” of a fabulous meal. We will be bringing our office there for Christmas party a hidden gem. Would highly recommend a visit !!

– OnTheRochs

Marco Polo is one of Mississauga’s more unique restaurants; it’s a stylish, modern eatery that offers something for everyone at very affordable prices. If you come searching for some nacho’s, a sloppy chicken burger, and a beer, you’re catered for. However, if you come for a fancy night out, you can grab The Marco Polo Salad and the Thai coconut pasta.

Marco Polo’s really is an upscale restaurant with a casual, relaxed environment that welcomes everyone. Come, enjoy the beautiful nautical interior or the fairy-lit patio, eat some great food, and stay for some incredible entertainment afterwards. Let’s make a night of it!