Maggiano’s Litty Italy

Written by on October 29, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Bellevue
How I heard of this place: I found a coupon for Maggiano’s in my Entertainment Book about two years ago, and decided to use it for dinner with a good friend, ending up with enough left-overs to feed two families for dinner, too!
Type of cuisine: While their website touts “authentic” Italian food, the food is more reminiscent of an Italian-inspired cuisine, similar to that of Olive Garden. Large quantities of food are served to parties dining at the restaurant, making it an ideal place for a family style dining experience.
Ambiance: The space is large and crowded. Packed with people, the sounds of a bustling restaurant and the close proximity of seating (tables/chairs covered in red and white picnic-style tablecloths, topped with white linen runners), the space is ideal for family dining. Children can be children without disturbing neighboring patrons. Conversations can be excitable and dynamic without fear of offense or worry that others may be listening in on your conversation. The dimly lit, mood lighting, makes is a great place to enjoy a romantic evening amidst hundreds of other diners; if you and your sweetie are at a lack for words, no need to fear the silence, because there really isn’t any. Decor is dark and wooden, reminiscent of an old mafia-esque setting. Tall ceilings make the bar and dining areas appear larger and the red, velvet curtains along the windows and walls more prominent. A great space for large parties (parties of 10 or more are held to the minimum-orders of a family style menu) or smaller family get-togethers.
What I ordered: Being subject to the family style menu, the sixteen of us dining at Maggiano’s in celebration of a birthday, opted for the least expensive of the meals ($20.50) including our choice of two salads, two appetizers and two pastas, served with Vera’s lemon cookies. Of the nineteen appetizer options, our group selected the Mozzarella Marinara and Barb’s Spinach & Artichoke al Forno. From the five salad options, our table enjoyed the spinach and the Caesar salads. Our pasta selections, twenty-four in total from which to select, were the four-cheese ravioli and the chicken & spinach manicotti. The evening meal was ended with light and lemony cookies served in the shape of a flower or wheel as the crescent shaped treats were presented on plates around the banquet table. Each item on the menu is unlimited and can be enjoyed for hours before the next course is served!
What I loved: The staff and service were exemplary. Our table was taken care of without hitch or complaint. Of the items sampled, the bacon and toasted pine nuts made the spinach salad a taste worth returning for. The appetizers and salads were delicious and complemented each other well – from fried to light, creamy to flavorful. The pastas are abundantly rich without any restraint being placed on the amount of cream and cheese in each. The lemon cookies, light and bright, brought a perfect sample of sweet and tart to round out the meal without being too big or rich.
Why I loved it: The space is great for a large party, a girls night out for a birthday celebration, or a family meal enjoyed without hassle or pretense.
Cost: High ($20.50-$37.50 for family-style fixed menus)

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