Maggiano’s Little Italy
5333 Wisconsin Avenue
Reservations: a must on weekends
Attire: casual but neat
There is nothing small about Maggiano’s Little Italy. This family-style Italian restaurant, located on Wisconsin Avenue next to the Cheesecake Factory, serves up some of the biggest and best authentic Italian meals in D.C. The large dining room is crowded and noisy, making it a perfect place for large parties and special occasions.
The Italian aura gives diners a feel that gangsters are sitting in the corners of the restaurant. The generous portions make you feel like you are eating Sunday dinner prepared by your Italian grandmother.
Diners have two ordering options: a la carte or family style. Ordering a la carte gives diners a few more options than if they were to order family style, including the option of half-size portions. All of the family style plates come from the a la carte menu and have enough food to feed a small army, with free seconds. The family style is a flat rate of $21.95 a person and the table chooses two appetizers, two salads, two pastas, two entrees and two desserts, with free refills upon request.
Fresh appetizers like calamari fritte, stuffed mushrooms and bruschetta prep your palate for delicious and light salads. Speedy service has the pastas and entrees on the table before you can put your fork down on the empty salad plate. Tantalizing desserts indulge your taste buds in sweet bliss.
The four cheese raviolis are a must if you love great Italian cuisine. The homemade gnocci with tomato vodka sauce and the oven-baked fusilli with chicken and smoked mozzarella are also pleasing. In addition to creative dishes like chicken saltimbocca with prosciutto and provolone, there are the traditional chicken and eggplant parmigianas. Seafood, veal and steaks and chops are other options on the menu, making something available for every type of eater.
The large portions are very filling, but make sure to leave room for dessert. The warm apple crostada topped with caramel is always a favorite. Homemade spumoni, tiramisu, profiteroles and Nonna’s pound cake are equally delicious, topping off the perfect Italian meal.
To view the complete menu, visit www.Maggioanos.com. Grab your gumba or paizon and head to Maggiano’s for the real Italian deal.