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My husband and I recently had our first date in what seems like forever. We spent an evening on the town in Orlando, visiting Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant on International Drive. This was a fantastic choice.
We didn’t have reservations, which we didn’t think would be a problem on a Monday evening. Hint: make reservations. The place was packed. Since it was just the two of us, we were told the wait would be about twenty minutes, but larger parties were told over an hour. Our wait ended up only about ten minutes.
The dining room is large, dim and noisy, but we had a round booth that felt like our own little island. The waitress, who had the same first name as our daughter, was warm, friendly and attentive from the start. She went out of her way to make us feel welcome and important.
The husband is a picky eater and knew what he wanted quickly – spaghetti and meatball. He asked for very light sauce. Then he asked if it would be possible to just get the sauce on the side. The waitress assured him it would be no problem.
I had a more difficult time deciding. Maggiano’s offers lighter options to many classic dishes like fettucine Alfredo with chicken and asparagus. That was certainly the healthier option, but everything on the menu sounded delicious.
The waitress suggested the Rigatoni “D” – pasta with chicken breast, mushrooms and onions in a half Alfredo, half Marsala sauce. I love both Alfredo and Marsala, so I was sold.
My dish was $16.95 and the husband’s was only $12.95.
The husband had Coke and I had ice water. Both were kept full.
We munched on delicious warm bread dipped in seasoned olive oil while we waited for our food to arrive. Well, I ate the bread. My husband showed restraint since we were warned by the waitress that the portions were “generous.”
The food came quickly, especially considering how busy the restaurant was. The waitress wasn’t kidding about the portion sizes! My husband was pleased to see they went above and beyond with his order – not only was the sauce on the side, they also brought the meatball on the side, so he could put exactly his preferred amount of sauce on everything.
Yes, I said “meatball.” The dish is spaghetti and meatball not “meatballs,” but it’s a huge ball.
We dug in quickly and the food was outstanding. The Rigatoni “D” was perfection – perfectly cooked pasta with tender chicken breast, caramelized onion, whole baby mushrooms and the best sauce I’ve ever tasted.
I stopped myself from devouring the whole bowl because I wanted dessert. I saw a sign about a special menu to benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation while we were waiting to be seated and it included a Crème Brûlée Trio.
Dinner was amazing, but it was just passing time until I could order my Crème Brûlée Trio.
I love Crème Brûlée.
It came with larger than expected ramekins of traditional, chocolate and honey caramel varieties. The honey caramel was easily the best Crème Brûlée I have ever tasted. And the trio was only $8.95.
We left full and happy for under $50 plus tip. What a great date night at Maggiano’s Little Italy!