I had intended to try Maggiano’s before, but I’ve found it difficult to get reservations on short notice. It’s at the Streets of Southpoint, next to Firebird’s and Champs, so I was hoping it’d be the kind of place you could just drop by after a day of shopping. I guess we were lucky last Sunday, and were able to call ahead for a reservation only an hour later.
The interior was very cozy, with dark wood, framed pictures, dim lighting (hence the poor photos), and it reminded me of a Godfather-esque type atmosphere. We were seated at a nice little booth at the back of the restaurant. The restaurant was pretty packed for being 5:30pm on a Sunday.
My husband ordered the chicken and potato soup for an appetizer. They do provide free bread and olive oil to each table as well. I liked the bread, a good solid crust with very soft starchy goodness inside. I tried a bit of the soup, it was also delicious. The soup had a very strong garlic flavor, and the chicken was moist white meat. It was decently priced at $2.50 a bowl.
For entrees, my son ordered the ravioli off the kid’s menu, I ordered the beef tenderloin medallions (medium), my mother ordered the grilled salmon lemon & herb, and my husband ordered the veal parmesan. The kid’s ravioli came with a small drink (he got orange juice) and a small bowl of ice cream. He usually doesn’t eat food in restaurants besides pancakes, so I was really impressed that he ate all but 1 of the raviolis. He ran out of room for the ice cream, eating only a few bites before giving up. Plain vanilla ice cream without any chocolate sauce or sprinkles is pretty boring though. For $5.95 though it wasn’t bad.
My husband’s veal parmesan was good. He’s had it before at other Italian restaurants, and it was up to his expectations. Served on 2 plates though, even he had enough left over for lunch tomorrow.
I loved the beef tenderloin medallions, but they didn’t seem evenly cooked. I had ordered them medium, but it seemed one was medium, one was medium rare, and one was rare. I’d rather have my beef undercooked than overcooked though, so I ate them without complaining. The mashed potatoes they were served with were very garlicky but I liked them that way, and the mushrooms that came with the beef were perfectly cooked. There was a ton of fried onions on top, but they weren’t French’s fried onions, they were real, fresh-made fried onions. I think there were probably too much, but they were so good.
My mother liked her salmon well enough, and she was able to finish it. It was the side dish that confused her. It was a few long-stemmed broccoli pieces in butter, with about 20 cloves of garlic. She ate one of the garlic cloves and wasn’t sure what to do with the rest. I thought perhaps the garlic butter was just to be poured over the salmon, and the garlic was for flavor, not for eating.
For dessert my husband ordered a tiramisu. It was so big enough, we cut it into 3 pieces and shared it. I can’t imagine one person finishing a dessert that big. It was really good though. I’ve made a lot of tiramisu, and it comes close to mine. They could have used more coffee liquor though.
The veal parmesan was $24.50, the beef medallions were $22.95, the salmon was $18.50, and the tiramisu was $7.50. At many restaurants the entrees might be considered overpriced, but I thought that given the quality of the dishes, it was worth it. I was really impressed with the tiramisu too, such a large piece at such a reasonable price. I can see now why the restaurant is consistently booked. Even though it is a chain restaurant, I think they do a really good job on the food, the atmosphere is very warm and inviting, and all the servers and staff were very friendly.