Welcome to Maggiano’s Mondays!
That’s right, it’s the first Monday of 2011 and the first of our new, monthly Maggiano’s Mondays are here at SamiCone.com. Not only will I be highlighting a new feature of our family’s favorite dining spot on the first Monday of every month, but I’ll also be giving away TWO $25 gift cards so you can try it for yourself!
Of course, because it’s the New Year, I wanted to focus this month on eating healthy.
What’s that you say? How can our family eat healthy at an Italian Restaurant? Let me show you…
Because of a funeral, we traveled down to South Florida for the New Year and decided to try the Maggiano’s in Boca Raton while we were down there. Located just across from Boca Towne Center Mall and boasting the same inviting atmosphere as our Nashville location, this restaurant also offered a lovely outdoor dining area to take in the Florida sunshine (if you’re into that sort of thing!) 😉
As it turns out, we couldn’t have asked for a better server because as an endurance athlete, Sergio knew just what to suggest when it came to ordering healthy at Maggiano’s. Of course, he was quick to share that because everything is “scratch-made in the kitchen with a separate section just to prepare gluten-free and allergy-free selections”, they could handle just about any request we threw their way. In fact, he even offered to have a chef come to our table to discuss special dietary needs (something that is done for anyone who requests it). We didn’t take him up on his offer at the time, but Chef Cesar did come out during our meal to check in with us as he did with many other tables in the dining room.
So… on to the food.
Not only does Maggiano’s offer wheat-free and gluten-free pasta options, but they can also tailor any dish you like to make it a healthier option. Sergio mentioned his favorite training meal to be their herb-marinated chicken over grilled asparagus. That intrigued me, as did their Grilled Salmon Lemon & Herb. But since I have a salmon allergy, I asked them to try the dish with chicken instead, substituting the side of sautéed spinach for asparagus. (I did however keep the crispy red potatoes that came with the dish…those sounded too good to pass up!)
For my kids I ordered their gluten-free fusilli pasta tossed in garlic & olive oil with a side salad. The pasta got a thumbs up (they never knew the difference!) and my four year old son especially liked the crispy pancetta on the salad.
When my Grilled Lemon & Herb Chicken arrived, it may not have been the most elegant plating, but it was packed with flavor. My only complaint was that I had requested extra garlic when I ordered the dish and didn’t see any; that was remedied quickly! I received a light white wine sauce on the side PACKED with garlic! What a treat.
As usual, the portions were so generous that I could only finish half of my meal and was happy to take the rest home for a delicious (and healthy!) treat for later. My husband and mother-in-law also ordered dishes from their famous Classic Pasta menu, so they too got dishes to take home with them.
When I asked Chef Cesar about his favorite (and most-requested) healthy menu options, his top 3 were:
1. Pasta Primavera
2. Grilled Chicken or Salmon
3. His Fresh Fish specials (which have to be great seeing as they’re only a few miles from the ocean!)
Did you make a resolution to eat healthier in 2011? Why not try Maggiano’s? I’m so excited that even as our family strives to continue on our healthy eating plan, we can still enjoy a healthy meal out together.
Would you like to sample Maggiano’s healthy menu selections or create one of your own? To enter to win one of the $25 gift cards, just leave a comment below with your personal healthy creation.
For extra entries, do one or both of the following (leave separate comments letting me know you did each):
- Become a Fan on Facebook (SamiCone.com) & SHARE the contest on your Facebook wall
- Follow @TheSamiCone on Twitter & SHARE the contest on Twitter
I’ll pick two winners at random from all entries received before Midnight CST on Sunday, January 9. Good luck and come back next month for another Maggiano’s Monday feature & giveaway!