Both the menu and premises are modeled after old-fashioned Little Italy-style restaurants, incorporating tiled floors, checkered tablecloths, and homey pasta dishes into a comfortable modern establishment.
On the restaurant's opening day, we were invited to witness the braided pasta "ribbon"-cutting ceremony before indulging in a complimentary multi-course family-style meal.
While the menu offers tons of lovely a la carte dishes, family-style is really the way to go at Maggiano's. There are three price ranges, for Light, Classic, and Chef's Choice menus. We had a combination of all three types of dishes in our tasting, but the format was Classic (three appetizers, four main courses, two desserts).
Even better were the Zucchini Fritte, strips of zucchini breaded in panko and fried just long enough to brown the coating but not make the squash mushy. They came with a lemon aioli dipping sauce. Hard to beat fried food + mayonnaise.
Then there were massive platters of lasagna. Assembled to order, this dish tasted a lot like the homemade lasagna I made last Christmas. The filling had both beef and Italian sausage layered with pasta sheets and ricotta cheese and lots of flavorful sauce.
The last of our four entrees was a lightened version of chicken Parmesan. Rather than being deep-fried, the breaded chicken cutlets were baked before being topped with provolone cheese and marinara sauce. I always thought chicken parm should be pan-fried, not deep-fried, but I did enjoy the baked version. The sauce was flavorful, and there was plenty enough cheese to keep this dish out of boring "diet" hell.
Stuffed to the gills, we left Maggiano's pretty happy. Nice to know that there's one in the area. Now they just need to put one in Towson or Hunt Valley.
Posted on Minxeats.com.