Maialino - not worth it?
After reading multiple CH recommendations for Maialino, I made a reservation for a special dinner next month, but I've just read the recent reviews on menu pages and they are scorching! Especially regarding minuscule portions and slow service. Is that accurate? I don't want to lay out a lot of money to treat a party of five and feel like we barely ate anything. Please let me know what your recent experiences have been there. It took forever for me to decide on this place and now I'm having second thoughts.
miniscule portions arent my issue. the food is super heavy and filling. ive walked out of there feeling like i left a steakhouse.
my issue is that the food is more one-note...HEAVY...salty. the maialino can be ordered for one...its a massive piece of pig. good but pretty fatty and really isnt much different than a good piece of roast pig from a dominican place.
the pastas are ok. my favorite thing there is a plum upside down cake...not entirely a raving review.
the place is fine...i just dont find it to be special really.
I had dinner there two weeks ago, and it was very good. I go there about once a month due to its proximity to my office. I don't find the portions to be miniscule, but I always order an appetizer and either a pasta or an entree, or split a pasta and order an entree. I find the service to be attentive, they have plenty of wait staff and you can always get someone to help you, whether it is their assigned table or not. They definitely don't rush you through your meal, but I have been in and out of there within an hour and 15 minutes when I needed to be. They have several round tables which I prefer for parties of 5 or more. Some restaurants will squeeze 5 into a table for 4 (which I hate), but not Maialino. I like that you can order a quartino of wine, which is more than a glass, but less than 2. I don't consider it to be that expensive. There are some things on the menu (i.e. rabbit at $48) that I wouldn't order, but if you split three appetizers and two pastas for the table and each order an entree, I think you will have more than enough food, and not break the bank. The Carciofini Fritti (Fried Artichokes & Anchovy Sauce) appetizer is good one to share. For pasta, my go to dish is the Tonnarelli a Cacio e Pepe, and for an entree I like the Pollo alla Diavola (Peppered Half Chicken & Pickled Chili). I have seen tables split entrees; maybe the rabbit and the branzino are priced the way they are because they are meant to be shared. Another option, if some of your party wants pasta as their main course, you could substitute two vegetables for the table to share instead of the pasta to share. I think it is an excellent choice for a special dinner and you will not be disappointed.
Worth it, worth it. Loved the Cacio e Pepe and the Carbonara. I'll be in Rome in a few months to compare
I also have enjoyed my meals there. None of the dishes, we think, are "stellar" but most all are very good. We have had good service. Good wine list and good sommelier, the wine list has many reasonable options. Good bread.