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It's been a couple years since I've been to one, but I always remember it being pretty satisfactory - far exceeding my expectations of a chain restaurant. When I'm back in Jersey, I still prefer the mom and pop places for Italian food, but it's definitely not bad. I'm curious how other Chowhounders feel about the place.

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  1. I live in Boston, a quick subway trip away from the famous North End, home of many popular family-owned Italian restaurants, and quite frankly, I'd rather go to Maggiano's than nearly anyplace down there. The prices and service are far better, and I've always had good experiences with the food. It's definitely better than many of the mom-and-pop 'real' Italian spots not far away, and much less touristy and with a thousand times less attitude.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Boston_Otter

      I'm from central Jersey - the tourists haven't inflated the heads of the local restauranteurs :)

    2. It's gone down hill quite a bit in the last few years.

      1. i really like Maggiano's too. Quality is ok. it's no farm to table but you can get a good deal and their bolognese tastes pretty decent. what i really like about them is that my child who is allergic to nuts, tree nuts and egg can eat there safely. in fact we went to the one in Denver for Thanksgiving dinner visiting relatives and they made him a special pasta meal. the chef also made a nut-free/safe pumpkin cheesecake bc he said quite a few people with food allergies come to Maggiano's. they are able to cater to everyone which doesn't happen often.

        1 Reply
        1. re: trolley

          Our family likes it a lot.
          We love the chopped salad. Eat lots of it when we order family style.
          The mussels are cooked just right.
          The pastas are not as heavy as cheesecake factory.
          Creme brulee and cheesecake family style finish the meal just right.
          Service is always attentive.
          Only problem is every location is always packed. So there is usually a wait during dinner hours even with a reservation.
          Good value and taste for a chain.

        2. I went to the one by the farmer's market/Grove in LA maybe 13 years ago. I don't recall much about the food except the dessert which was actually one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever had oddly enough, and I don't really like chocolate, but I really liked that cake.

          At the time I didn't know Maggiano's was a chain because I'd never heard of it.

          1. This is a chain but it is a good chain. I love their family style service and we will be there this friday celebrating another family milestone. Good place.

            1. Just out of curiosity, what do you all think are their best dishes?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Heatherb

                When I go I typically go with a group & we get 'family style' dining; the dishes that always seem to be a hit are the calamari, the stuffed mushrooms, the chopped salad, the Rigatoni "D", the spaghetti & meatballs (surprisingly good!), and the toasted pound cake.

                1. re: Heatherb

                  I used to love their steak maggiano's style. The caesar salad used to be nice when they still had shaved parmesan in it. My husband liked the lasagna, although I didn't have good luck with it when I got it. It was cold in the middle. My daughter liked their ravioli. I had a really nice vegetarian flat bread sandwich there, but I'm not sure if it's still on the menu.

                2. spaghetti/pasta Bolognese is my favorite food on the planet.
                  but not theirs they add tarragon (as per the manager in Tampa) which in my opinion does not belong

                  1. First time I went was to a business dinner in Boston. I had NO idea it was a chain. Took my SO to Boston and we both enjoyed it immensely. When I was in NJ (home state) and saw the one in Hackensack, I was amazed. Food was plentiful AND good. More than good. Service was top notch, but it was a bit noisy both times. I hate to think of the place going downhill, as many restaurants do, but I would go back in a heartbeat. Hartford needs one bad!