Sunday, April 5, 2009

Maggiano's Little Italy

Ella and I went to Maggiano's Little Italy today for lunch. It was her second time there and my first time there. She had told me about the gluten free pasta, so I was game!

For an appetizer, we split the Tomato Caprese.

We both found it light, fresh and very refreshing.

For Ella's main course, she ate the Chicken & Spinach Manicotti (not gluten free), and she found it to be very good. I ordered the Chicken Pesto Linguine with Gluten-Free pasta ( comes with pine nuts in case anyone has a nut allergy)
Maggiano's provided many firsts first for me. It was the first time I ever sent a dish back. I always thought of that as something that was unthinkable and just not my style, however, my sister explained to me that I shouldn't force myself to eat something I don't like...and she was right. I took two bites of the chicken pesto and I was done. I called the really nice server and I asked to change my order and she obliged. She called the chef over because I had some gluten free questions.

The other first was that I have never met such a knowledgeable chef at a restaurant regarding cross contamination and gluten free cooking. I was told about the separate kitchen for gluten free cooking, meaning NO CROSS CONTAMINATION! I was told that I was not limited to the gluten free pasta. For instance, I could eat the salmon with the sauce. I asked about the sauce having four and he explained the process of cooking as well as how he thickened it without flour. He even told me about a Celiac Support Group that frequented the restaurant. I felt confident that I would not be getting sick after my visit at Maggiano's.

I ate the Shrimp & Angle Hair al' Arrabbiata (gluten free pasta).

It was much better than the pesto dish I sent back. However, I found the diavolo sauce to be a bit runny, you can tell in the photo that is almost soup like. I think that if the sauce was not as runny, the dish would have been perfect.

My favorite thing that I ate there was the Tomato Caprese. I recommend trying out Maggiano's Little Italy for yourself but speak to the chef first because he can talk you through the menu and tell you what he can do for you. He was super knowledgeable and I don't think he will steer you wrong. Actually, everyone there is really nice!


Anonymous said...

I heard that dish was soupy too.

Traci said...

I've eaten there and I don't like the corn pasta they used. I'm a rice pasta fan :)

Endless Possibilities said...

Maybe that is also what is wrong with it. Plus, they should say somewhere that their pasta is corn based because I know someone that is gf with a corn allergy! Rice based is way better! Thanks for that tidbit!

Endless Possibilities said...

Hey, Traci, we went to school together!

Anonymous said...

I went to Maggianos in Vegas earlier this week after reading your blog. Sorry to say my experience was DISASTROUS!!! Host said they would get the Chef to talk to me...told the server I needed to eat GF so he said "I can get you fettucini alfredo", smiled and waited. So I asked if there were other options - he went to get the Chef. Brought back some manager-type who said "it's been a while since I dealt with this, what do you want - how about rigatoni, I *think* it's gluten free. So I asked if they have a specific menu listing GF items and he said "no we can make anything you want." Look, I've worked in the hotel & catering business for 25 years so I KNOW that sauces etc. are premade so some items may or may not be GF. But after I pointed out an item I was interested in, he said "I'll go talk to the Chef." and left - never asked if I wanted a salad and never took my friends order. Server FINALLY came over again and said "so you're all set here?" We indicated that no one took our full order and we were under the impression that this manager dude was coming back. So, finally I selected the salmon which seemed okay. The food was TERRIBLE when it finally arrived - my friends pasta inedible, salmon overcooked & served with watery spinach. The service was also some of the worst I've seen - guy brings out 3 sodas in one hand and 2 bowls of salad in the other and expects the guests to grab the items from him. My recommendation - AVOID this restaurant!!! If you put GF on your menu, you had better be able to back it up and these guys don't!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey who knows where I can find there GF menu?

Impressions Of My Life At The Moment said...

I dont know where a menu could be found online, I tried finding their FB page even and that proved tricky..I dont think they have one. Maybe the menu changes from location to location. Can you call ahead?