Thursday, November 3, 2011

Maggiano's is fancy and friendly

I don't know why but I think of baseball whenever we go to Maggiano's.  Whatever the reason they've knocked it out of the park with their service and their food.  I've seen people give Maggiano's bad reviews and sure I'll love them until I have a bad experience but so far they've done everything right and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

We always order wine with our dinner at Maggiano's.  I can't say they have an exceptional wine list and really I can't say they don't either.  One of Steph's favorite wines we "discovered" at Maggiano's was Villa Antinori Toscana.  It's a super Tuscan blend that goes well with everything Italian.  At least everything we order.  Perhaps they do have a better than usual wine list.  I just never thought about it until now.  It was certainly wonderful with the pepperoni flat bread appetizer we ordered with it.  Nothing wrong with starting out a great dinner with a bold wine and spicy antipasti.  They also bring out bread which is nice and fresh.  We have to make our own dip of olive oil and black pepper but it's on the table ready for your enjoyment.

I had a salad with my meal.  I don't remember if it came with the entree or was extra.  I do remember I liked the tangy and flavorful Italian dressing.  Steph even tried a few bites.

I ordered the Linguine de Mare for my main course.  It came out in a huge bowl filled with linguini and a nice red sauce.  There was seafood everywhere I looked, they certainly didn't skimp, as I surveyed this incredible bounty sitting before me.  Lobster, shrimp, mussels and clams greeted each bite as I dug in.  I like all the little shells piling up on the side dish as I eat. Call me simple but that just makes me happy to see them sitting there after I eat that little morsel of goodness from each shell.  Let's not forget the lobster and shrimp as there is plenty of that as well.  The lobster was cooked perfectly and had that sweet taste that went well with the spicy tomato broth and the shrimp were tender and delicious as well.  Overall this is a top ten entree for me and Maggiano's didn't let me down.

Steph ordered from the take home menu.  You order one to eat now and they give you another to take home.  That's their thing to make a little good will.  I'm sure they want you to take it to work and fill your cube with those wonderful aromas.  Then a coworker will ask what you are eating and then, well, everyone gets their money's worth of advertising.  I can't say word of mouth isn't the best and they certainly have to bring it to make it all work.  OK, I've wandered over to the advertising department, let's get back to the food.  Steph had the Four Cheese Ravioli for her entree and loved it.  The plate was large and full of these big cheese ravioli in a rich cream sauce.  I can't say this is Steph's top ten but if you put a plate of pasta in a cream sauce and cover it in cheese she'll eat all of it.  Every time.  She's going to turn into a big plate of cheese if she's not careful.  Again, nothing wrong with that.

We had a slice of New York cheesecake for dessert with an espresso.  The cake was rich and dense as you would expect of a New York style.  The espresso was strong and balanced the sweetness of the cake well.

Here's one thing to remember.  If you are expecting to have a nice quiet, dare I say romantic, meal at Maggiano's I'd suggest going a little later.  We've gone at 7pm and you might get seated by the large loud tables of birthday revelers or just the people that get a little too loud after a few drinks.  Just go after 8pm and they'll be leaving and leaving you alone for a nice quiet evening.  Don't forget about that wine list!


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