Maggiano’s Valentine’s Day Menu for two: Win gift cards!

by Sami

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A rare night alone to celebrate Valentine's Day at Maggianos

If you watched me on Talk of the Town earlier this month, you already know that one of my frugal date tips is to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a day other than Valentine’s Day! That’s why I was so excited when I learned that Maggiano’s Little Italy was offering a special Valentine’s Day Menu for two…but for an entire week!

That’s right, from now until February 16, you can take advantage of the special Maggiano’s Valentine’s Menu for two for only $79 and to top it all off, two lucky readers will each win a $25 gift card in time for Valentine’s Day!

Ricky and I got to celebrate an early Valentine’s Day last night at the Maggianos on West End in Nashville and sample this special menu. My uber-organized, detail-oriented husband love the fact that within ten minutes we had already been greeted, seated, welcomed by our server (Marcos), and received drinks, bread AND lemons/limes. (Believe me, this has not happened to us much lately!)


I've never seen such a pretty plate of lemons & limes!

This may not seem like much to many of you, but Marcos even added the cherry for a pop of color! Gotta love the attention to detail. What impressed me even more was that as he refilled our water, he also restocked our citrus. One of my biggest restaurant pet peeves is when servers bring you one lemon for the entire meal (if you refill my water, doesn’t it make sense to refill my lemon stock too???) Marcos was not only gracious, but his attentiveness in areas like this made our meal even more enjoyable.

Ok, enough about my drinking idiosyncrasies and on to the food!

Take a look at the special Valentine’s Day menu for two:
maggianos-valentines-menuTrying to choose an appetizer between the two of us was a bit challenging. Ricky is not a fan of mushrooms and I’m not a fan of zucchini, but we’d already tried their delicious Bruschetta, so we wanted to dive into something new. When I asked Marcos about the Crispy Zucchini, he confessed that he never liked zucchini until he tried this dish. He proceeded to describe in detail the process of how the chef combined both panko and their house made breadcrumbs to coat the thin planks of zucchini to make it both flavorful and extra crispy. That was enough for me.

They did not disappoint. The Crispy Zucchini was utterly delightful. I even dipped it into the lemon aioli (and I am not normally a fan of side sauces like this), but it provided the perfect cool, crisp and smooth undertone to the hot, crunchy appetizer.

I also just had to try the stuffed mushrooms – what a clever mixture of spinach, cheese, gratin bread crumbs and garlic butter! My only wish was that the Maggiano’s Valentine’s Day Menu offered an appetizer sampler of all three appetizer options so we could have indulged in each of them!


The Maggianos Salad with what was left of our Crispy Zucchini in the background!

For the next course, each guest had the option of choosing one salad; this was perhaps the most difficult decision of the night. I could literally make a meal out of any of their salads; the ingredients always taste so fresh and you just cannot beat their homemade dressings!

I eventually landed on the classic Maggiano’s salad and I ‘encouraged’ my husband to order the spinach salad. (We also had the option of choosing their Italian tossed, Caesar of Chopped salads as well). I wish I could describe bite by bite the flavor intricacies I experienced, but I bottom line just inhaled it. There’s something about the combination of house dressing, crispy pancetta, red onion & blue cheese that intoxicated me last night. I barely had time to reach my fork over into Ricky’s salad 😉

For our main course, there were three options: the Lobster Ravioli, Beef Medallions or Chicken Francese.

I had heard such great things about the Lobster Ravioli and since they brought it back just for this special, that’s what I opted for. My hunk of a husband of course decided on the Beef Medallions with crispy onion strings that came in a delightfully creamy balsamic reduction and served alongside garlic mashed potatoes. The medallions typically also come with mushrooms, but since I already mentioned his aversion to funghi, he opted for asparagus instead (my fork did make it over on to that plate!)


Maggianos Beef Medallions served with garlic mashed potatoes, crispy onion strings and asparagus

My Lobster Ravioli appeared and I have to be completely honest – it wasn’t quite what I had envisioned. I was expected a creamy plate of lobster goodness, but as you can see, the plate before me had a different texture to it:


Maggianos Lobster Ravioli

Marcos checked back after I had taken a bite and could tell I wasn’t thrilled with my selection. It’s not that it was bad, I just imagined a creamier, alfredo-like sauce without the bread crumbs on top.

It was in that moment that I learned first hand what the Maggiano’s 100% satisfaction guarantee looked like (I don’t think that’s an official Maggiano’s term, but it’s obviously a part of their culture because that’s what happened!). Marcos immediately offered to bring me something different, so I opted for the Chicken Francese. Just as soon as he left the table, the sous-chef, Sergio, appeared. Not only did he apologize for my disappointment, but asked for feedback on how they could improve the dish. There’s something amazingly endearing about a restaurant that not only takes criticism well, but also pledges to make things right while asking for suggestions from the customer on how to make things better for future guests!


Maggianos Chicken Francese

I only had to wait a few minutes for my new dish to appear, which was nice so that my husband didn’t have to dine alone for very long! The Chicken Francese featured two chicken breasts, pounded thin, crusted in Parmesan and served with lemon butter, a cool arugula salad, and their show-stopping crispy potatoes (honestly, I could have eaten the potatoes alone all night if I hadn’t filled up so quickly on my Maggiano’s salad!)

I couldn’t have been happier! Eventually, I had to stop devouring my chicken and potatoes because I new a dessert course was still in my future…


Maggiano's Toasted Pound Cake dessert (trust me, it's as good as it looks!)

I was touched by the fact that if I ordered a slice of Boston Cream Pie, a dollar would be donated to the Make-A-Wish foundation. But I just couldn’t pass up the toasted pound cake served over chocolate with caramelized bananas and vanilla bean ice cream! I know! Just look at the crust on those bananas…I’m still dreaming about them…

With the special menu, each guest is then able to choose a special after dinner drink, but being as I’m not a fan of alcohol, we skipped that part (I know, I’m a cheap date!) – it also helped to bring the cost down of the special menu as well!

Now I realize that $79 may not seem like the most ‘frugal’ of date nights, but if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I’m all about saving where you can so you can spend were you want. Not only is the Maggiano’s Valentine’s Day menu a savings over ordering the individual items a la carte, but I also LOVE that they offer it for seven days so that not everyone is fighting over it on Valentine’s Day alone.

Maggiano’s provided me with gift cards to partake in this special menu and they’ve offered me two $25 gift cards to give away! The great part is that we can send the gift cards electronically, so you can still receive them in time to dine on Valentine’s Day if that’s what you choose to do.

So what are you waiting for? Here’s what you have to do to enter:
Leave a comment below with your craziest Valentine’s Day restaurant story.
Did you have to wait so long somewhere that you ended up ordering pizza? Did you dream of one thing, only to end up with another? Whatever it is, we want to hear it! It doesn’t have to be long, just enough to get it off your chest so you can move on to a new memory this year 🙂

For extra entries, do one or all of the following (leave separate comments letting me know you did each):

  1. Become a Fan on Facebook ( & SHARE the contest on your Facebook wall (
  2. Follow @TheSamiCone on Twitter & SHARE the contest on Twitter (
  3. Like Maggiano’s Little Italy official Facebook page and leave a comment there with which dish on the Valentine’s Menu you’re most looking forward to trying
  4. Follow @Maggianos on Twitter & RT the following
    I want to try the @Maggianos Valentine’s Day Menu for two thanks to @TheSamiCone

I’ll pick two winners at random from all entries received before Midnight CST on Sunday, January 13 (This is a quick contest so we can get you your gift in time for Valentine’s Day!).  Winners will be contacted by email and once confirmation is received, we will email you your $25 gift card. Good luck and come back next month for another Maggiano’s feature & giveaway!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Mary ( 2) & Poinilinda ( 20) – you’ve each won a $25 gift card from Maggiano’s Little Italy! Check your inbox for instructions on how to receive your prize.

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Shannon Wieneke February 22, 2011 - 10:04 am

My craziest valentines day story would be getting to a restaurant and waiting over 2 hours for us to then just turn around and walk out. We ended up renting movies and made some pasta… In the end it worked out.

Lisa @ Simplified Saving February 13, 2011 - 9:51 pm

I don’t think we’ve been out on Valentine’s Day since we’ve been married, so I don’t have a crazy story. Although tonight my hubby & I wanted to go out on a date and multiple restaurants had 1+ hour waits… We tend to go out the week before or after. Last year on Valentine’s Day, my hubby, our girls, and I were all in Orlando for the Disney Social Media Mom’s conference. My husband’s aunt and uncle live near Orlando and invited us over on Valentine’s Day for a wonderful home cooked meal. It was one of my favorite Valentine’s Days. It wasn’t crazy…but it was wonderful!

Jessica February 13, 2011 - 9:50 pm

I was so excited to go out with Douglas to dinner on Valentine’s Day! We were newly engaged and he took me to a very classy restuarant in Delray. We made reservations for 7:30pm. I made sure to start getting ready early so I wouldn’t make us late! He picked me up looking dashing as ever with a huge bouquet of flowers and off we went to wait to thought was going to be the most romantic evening ever! When we pulled into the parking lot, we noticed the surplus of cars and that valet was completely pack. I had to walk in gravel in my new stilettos, then only to heard the young high school girl hostess let us know that they were running behind and kept bumping us to seat over 1 1/2 later – a brib of bills didn’t even work. We finally are seated in the middle of the restaurant, which I hate, only not to have a waiter assigned to our table. After finding a manager to help, we are given a young waiter whom pushes to take our drinks and entrees at the sane time. Long story short, our food came out raw. I cried at the table, Douglas drove me home and the next day, we had food poisoning! Married for eight years now and I can say that we never went out on Vamentine’s Day again! Lol!

Cyndi February 13, 2011 - 9:15 pm

My craziest Valentine’s Day restaurant story took place in the Detroit airport. My then fiancé and I were forced to deal with a flight cancellation on the way to see family. We were given food vouchers and ended up eating at a coffee shop. Not what we expected, but we will never forget it.

Jimmy S. February 13, 2011 - 9:07 pm

My wife wanted to make our 1st Valentines day special, so she made my favorite meal- fried chicken. She took longer than she expected, so I had to wait outside on the porch…for 30mins. & it was freezing! It was worth the wait.

Lisa S. February 13, 2011 - 9:03 pm

The only restaurant Ive eaten in on Valentines day is Baskin Robbins. I went to get ice cream every year when I was single, and have carried on the tradition since marrying 6 yrs ago.

mary February 13, 2011 - 6:35 pm

fb fan of Maggiano’s!

mary February 13, 2011 - 6:34 pm

fb fan!

Kim February 13, 2011 - 6:14 pm

I commented on FB page! Driving 2 hrs to get to dinner there on Wednesday!! Can’t wait

Liz M. February 13, 2011 - 5:36 pm

I follow Maggiano’s on Twitter and I RT’d!!/FakeGradSchool/status/36930664272101376

Liz M. February 13, 2011 - 5:36 pm
Liz M. February 13, 2011 - 5:35 pm

I like you on Facebook and I shared (I tagged you so you should be able to see it!):

Liz M. February 13, 2011 - 5:34 pm

One year I tried to make dinner for a new boyfriend… everything was going well, until I accidentally took a Pyrex dish out of the oven and put it on the stove. A burner was on that shouldn’t have been on (electric stove, weird controls, on low so it wasn’t visibly red-hot or anything). Seconds later, there is glass and chicken all over the kitchen and a nasty cut on the bottom of my foot! And yes, we did order a pizza!

Alisa Dellinger February 13, 2011 - 5:34 pm

richard tried to get me to eat the fish he caught that day instead of going out. he called all proud and asked what I thought about eating his fish instead of going out. I quickly said I was not eating fish he caught from the summit Hill pond. I won out and we ended up at Squids! Happy Valentine’s Day.

Kim February 13, 2011 - 4:11 pm

Left a comment on FB page! The 2 hr drive to get to Maggianos is gonna be worth it!!!

Ponilinda February 12, 2011 - 10:59 pm

I follow Maggiano’s on twitter and posted

Ponilinda February 12, 2011 - 10:52 pm
Ponilinda February 12, 2011 - 10:49 pm

I follow you on twitter and tweeted this contest

Ponilinda February 12, 2011 - 10:46 pm
Ponilinda February 12, 2011 - 10:41 pm

Well, my story is not quit about a restaurant. Few year ago I wanted to surprise my husband with a dinner at resturant but I wanted to play a little game before that. It took me few hours to prepare a game, it was clue hunt, he supposed to go from place to place find my notes and end up at the restaurant meeting me. But hubby didn’t cooperate and ruined all my plans so we didn’t make to the restaurant. I ended up throwing my Vday present at him and crying for an hour.

Bridget February 12, 2011 - 12:56 pm

Last v-day DH and i were visiting the inlaws. We had so much to do but we were rushing home so we could celebrate together. However by the time we finally got home we were so tired we ended up eating frozen pizza and watching a movie. Great night but not what we planned.

Aubreylaine February 12, 2011 - 10:12 am

Waiting for two hours outside in the cold to get into a restaurant!
[email protected]

AmyK February 12, 2011 - 9:10 am

following you on twitter (@AKauz) and tweeted
akkauz at hotmail dot com

AmyK February 12, 2011 - 9:08 am

follow Maggianos on twitter @AKauz and tweeted
akkauz at hotmail dot com

AmyK February 12, 2011 - 9:06 am

Like Maggianos on FB and wrote that I cant wait to try the Crispy Zucchini
akkauz at hotmail dot com

AmyK February 12, 2011 - 9:04 am

I usually hate going out for Valentine’s Day because of the crowds. we had a reservation at a nice place. They were trying to rush us so much in order to get the next table sat. Our waiter was so rude and ignored us the entire time. (literally throwing our plates of food down) We almost had to tackle him to order another glass of wine. It was a miserable experience! We did tip him the min. 15% but filled out a comment card. When we got our CC bill it showed a HUGE tip. I had the original receipt so we brought it to the manager. The server had changed the tip!!! We just stay home now with a romantic dinner in and save the dining out for a night not so busy.
akkauz at hotmail dot com

Katie Walker February 11, 2011 - 4:19 pm

Wait two hours for a table even though we had a reservation and then finally just went home and ordered pizza!

Chandra Zoba February 11, 2011 - 1:55 pm

I honestly can’t remember a Valentine Day we tried to go out, it’s been too long. For a long time now we have just had our own fun and creative celebrations at home, and those are the memories I have! Set up your own restaurant setting, white Christmas icicle lights strung up on the windows make great ambience.

marina February 11, 2011 - 12:10 pm

liked M on FB and wrote on their wall mmmmm the choc zuccatto cake sounds yummo!

marina February 11, 2011 - 12:07 pm

Oh that’s easy/ Walking in with our daughter when she was a baby and leaving a few minutes after because she decided it was night night time and bawled her head off…. 🙁

Mary Elizabeth Maynord February 11, 2011 - 11:46 am

OK–here’s mine. Neal and I got to the restaurant, and there was already a vase with a dozen red roses on our table when we were seated!! Neal had gone to the restaurant that afternoon (ahead of time!) and asked if they could have the bouquet on the table when we were seated…so, it’s a “crazy love” story and not a bad one 🙂 pick me, pick me!!

Tweets that mention Maggiano's Valentine's Day Menu for two: Win gift cards! | Maximizing time & money to make more memories -- February 11, 2011 - 11:44 am

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Liz C Taylor, Sami Cone. Sami Cone said: New on Maggiano's Valentine's Day Menu for two: W… […]

mary February 11, 2011 - 11:40 am

Maggiano’s facebook fan!

mary February 11, 2011 - 11:39 am

facebook fan!

mary February 11, 2011 - 11:39 am

3-4 hours wait at 3 restaurants!

Liz Taylor February 11, 2011 - 11:34 am

Hi Sami! Craziest story? Hmmmm…would have to be the time my DH and I ended up ordering Chinese and watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding at home because the local restaurants were packed and we didn’t want to just eat popcorn at the local movie house for dinner. Of course, that was pre-kiddos (going on six years ago) and we haven’t been out for V-day since then. Do I win the pity contest? LOL.

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