Maggianos Monday: Destination Orlando! Maggianos Little Italy Review & Giveaway

by Sami

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It’s the first Monday of April, which means it’s Maggianos Monday again here at! I’m bringing you a special edition of Maggianos Monday this month (so special, I didn’t even know it myself when we planned our trip to Orlando! More on that later…)

One of the things I love most about Maggiano’s Little Italy is that even though the restaurant is a chain, each individual store makes you feel like a part of their family. So when we were in the Maggiano’s West End Nasvhille location last month sampling their Little Italy Favorites and mentioned we were heading to Orlando later in March, they said we HAD to go visit their former General Manager at their International Drive restaurant!

One of the most popular comments I’ve received from you all about Maggiano’s is that you LOVE their family style dining! SO since my mom was coming to stay with us in Orlando after the Disney Social Media Moms conference, I thought that would be the perfect time to sample Maggianos family style!

Of course we received the same exemplary, heart-felt service we’ve come to expect from Maggiano’s from the minute we arrived, including our server Marcus, our chef Alan and the General Manager Chris (formerly from Nashville, remember?!). There was also a kind gentleman filling water glasses around our area and before he even approached our table, his demeanor made me smile.

Now here comes the “special” part that I referred to earlier: As it turns out, this water boy was none other than the President of Maggiano’s, Steve Provost himself! (As it turns out, Steve was an “Undercover Boss” before it was a tv show or a catch phrase!). Steve stopped his glass-filling duties long enough to not only chat with me, but to take my entire family on a tour of their bustling kitchen! And there are no machines spitting out tickets in here folks. No sir. Just like everything Maggiano’s does, there is a human being overseeing every step of your meal, including the expediting (which made my head spin!).


Me with Maggiano's President Steve Provost

My favorite moment with Steve came when he told me, “Everybody deserves to feel special, whether it’s your birthday or after a soccer game.” It’s rare where you can find a restaurant where you’re equally comfortable celebrating a special occasion or just a family dinner out – Maggiano’s makes you feel welcome regardless!

I’ll share more about my conversation with Steve later, but let it suffice to say this the passion we witness in each Maggiano’s we visit is obviously a result of passion trickling down from the top of the company.

Now….on to the food!

I can see why you all are such fans of the family style option at Maggiano’s! Let me begin by giving you the lowdown on Maggianos Family Style:
*There are three family style options: Light, Classic & Chef’s Choice
*You must have four or more people to take advantage of family style
*Pricing differs for adults and kids (considered so ages 5-12)

We went for the classic option (supposedly the way most opt to eat), which allowed us to choose two appetizers, two salads, four main courses and two desserts…each with unlimited refills. (Read all about the difference between each family style option here).

Here is something you need to know before we go any further – although there were five of us age five and over at our table (two children included), this option was still A LOT of food for us. You already know another reason why we love Maggiano’s is for their value – they provide very generous portions for a very reasonable price. So just imagine ALL of that food for only 3 adults and two kiddos…much less taking advantage of the refill option! Though we did refill our Maggianos salad (I could seriously live off of that salad alone!!! Ok, maybe the salad and Vera’s Lemon Cookies, but that’s it!), we couldn’t even begin to finish the rest of the delicious dishes they brought us, much less ask for more.

That being said, the family style option is an INCREDIBLE VALUE when you take into account all you’re offered, even if you don’t ask for more servings. There is no way you’d be able to get a full, four course meal for that price anywhere else.  I think it would be so much fun to go there with a group of six to eight of us and really see how it is intended to work.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the individual dishes because we ate many of the classics you’ve heard me talk about before since it was my mom’s first experience at Maggiano’s. We did start out with the Sausage & Peppers and the Mussels in a delicious white wine sauce (with lots of garlic – my favorite!)…


Steamed Mussels

Of course, we couldn’t pass up the Maggianos Salad and Caesar salads…


Our salads with the Sausage & Peppers in the background

We opted for two pastas (including the lovely tomato vodka sauce and Mom’s Lasagna) as well as the Herb Roasted Chicken and Chicken Marsala, all of which hit the spot!


Our main course(s)

… and finished off our meal with a piece of chocolate cake bigger than my 5 year old’s head and an apple creation that surprised us all to be our favorite dish of the night!


Apple Crostada and Chocolate Zuccotto Cake

All in all, we couldn’t have been happier with our experience at Maggiano’s Orlando. Overall, it was so nice to be in such a tourist town, but be able to experience a feeling of “home” with great food to match. So wherever you’re traveling, I hope you’ll look for a Maggiano’s Restaurant near you!

Of course, to help you out, I’m once again so grateful to be able to give away two $25 gift cards to my fabulous readers! It’s easy to enter: just leave a comment letting me know if you’ve ever tried Maggianos Family Style Menu before. I’ve also got some more chances for you to win, just make sure to leave a separate comment below for each means of entry:

  1. Take a look at the different Family Style dining options on the Maggianos website and leave a comment with which option appeals to you most: Light, Classic or Chef’s Choice
  2. Become a Fan on Facebook ( & SHARE the contest on your Facebook wall (
  3. Follow @TheSamiCone on Twitter & SHARE the contest on Twitter (
  4. Like Maggiano’s Little Italy official Facebook page and leave a comment there with which Family Syle option you most want to try.
  5. Follow @Maggianos on Twitter & RT the following
    I want to win a @Maggianos gift card for my family (style) thanks to @TheSamiCone

I’ll pick two winners at random from all entries received before Midnight CST on Sunday, April 10. Winners will be contacted by email and will then have 48 hours to respond with their contact info.

Even if you don’t win, make sure to sign up for the Maggianos eClub and get $10 off your next meal!

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Katrina April 7, 2011 - 8:36 pm

I have tried them before but I have not tried the family style…would love to win!

Becki K April 6, 2011 - 1:49 pm

I have never tried Maggiano’s. Sounds yummy and I’d love to try their light menu!!

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