SINCE this quaint little Italian opened - first under the name Capuleti e Montecchi and then rebranded as Mario House, I have always been amazed how rarely it is packed to the rafters.

In the last three years I have visited the Dalton Road ristorante probably more times than any other Barrow restaurant - and not just because Italian is my favourite food.

Mario House is the sort of restaurant you might instinctively refer to as a town's 'best kept secret' but to describe it as such is frustratingly unfair because it has every right to be Barrow's busiest restaurant.

One night after a busy day at work my colleagues Eleanor, Matt and I - accompanied by the obligatory Abigail, walked round the corner for tea.

Keen to satisfy our hunger, and with our tastebuds tingling at the scent of spice, we went straight for mains.

Matt opted for Penne I'l Inferno Rustica, in a tomato sauce with sausages, chilli and garlic, which 'had plenty of kick' (£7.80) while Eleanor couldn't resist her favourite Chicken and Mushroom Al Forno Penne (£8.20) which would make even a vegan's mouth water.

On the topic of cheese, it's my downfall, and the pizzas at Mario House are simply crammed with the most amazing creamy, stretchy, moreish mozzarella going.

I went for the Quatro Stagioni with pepperoni, ham, mushrooms and olives (£8.70). You know that feeling you get when you know you're full but just have to carry on eating? That.

No doubt inheriting her love of cheese from her mother, Abigail went for Penne Carbonara which, at £4.50, I suppose is a tad more expensive than children's dishes elsewhere but she had plenty of help finishing her tea.

I simply can't fault Mario House.

It's no surprise to discover the chef Mario spent 12 years training in Naples before running three top restaurants in the Italian city. He clearly knows his stuff.

It's also no wonder it's one of Barrow Eats' most popular takeaways so while every table might not be taken every night it proves that plenty of others agree with me.


Food 5

Service 5

Atmosphere 4

Value 5


Authentic Italian food

Town centre location


Doesn't take cards