Restaurant Review: Maggiano’s Little Italy

Alaina Galasso, Editor-In-Chief

As an Italian, I am often searching for restaurants that come as close to the heavenly tastes of Italy as possible. When I was in Italy, I spent each day devouring fresh meats and cheeses, thin crusted pizza and perfectly blended, piping hot pasta in various forms. There are very few places that are able to accurately replicate these tastes, but one comes extremely close. Maggiano’s Little Italy is the perfect blend of Italian dining in an American setting.

I eat dinner at Maggiano’s sparingly , but each time I do it never fails to impress me. My most recent experience with Maggiano’s, on Valentine’s Day, really solidified my faith in this restaurant. Even though I had a reservation for this incredibly busy day, I arrived early and was still seated immediately. The first thing you notice about Maggiano’s is the incredible environment. The building itself is simple with elegant decorations placed here and there. Attending this restaurant give you a chance to dress up, but also not feel pressured to do so. Additionally, from the front desk crew to my spunky waiter, Maggiano’s staff is always super friendly and efficient in their work. I rarely feel uncared for by any staff member in the restaurant, like I did in Italy, and this aspect adds to the American-Italian experience just that much more.

The food at Maggiano’s doesn’t entirely match up to true Italian cuisine, but it blends American and Italian styles in a remarkable way. The menu has very simple options with a lot of carbs and meats. Due to the limited menu, Maggiano’s definitely isn’t a place to eat every day, but every once in awhile it is definitely a nice treat. Anything you ordered is almost always guaranteed to be cooked to perfection. In fact, if you don’t think so, the staff will not hesitate to pay for your meal. When I last dined there I received the crispy zucchini fritte appetizer for free because the chef did not think it was “up to par,” but I strongly disagreed. I couldn’t find anything wrong with it, and in fact thought the dish was a perfect mix of healthy and unhealthy, with its breaded vegetable fried with a delicious tangy sauce on the side. That day I also bought one of the chef’s specials, a plate that included small cuts of steak, potatoes, asparagus and mushroom ravioli covered in a cheesy sauce. I literally could not stop eating. The tastes on the plate were all so vastly different that I couldn’t, and didn’t want to, stop trying and combining all of them. Each part of the dish was cooked in an interesting way that nowhere else has ever tried before and it definitely worked.

Whether you get a more complicated meal like I did or a more simple one, like their ziti  or lasagna, you will most likely enjoy the food Maggiano’s provides. Their prices are reasonable and they have great deals all the time, such as ordering an item off the menu that gives you two plates, one that you can take home and the other to eat at the restaurant. All around, Maggiano’s is a very nicely set up and organized restaurant that can guarantee you delectable food every time. As a fellow Italian, I would definitely recommend it to those of you who want a small taste of Italy right here at home.