In a nutshell, Maggiano's is a pleasant spot for Italian-American dining and for gathering with family and friends.
There are many locations of Maggiano's but the one in Costa Mesa is in a particularly lovely area, just a few steps away from the popular South Coast Plaza and fantastic Orange County Performing Arts Center.
Overall, the menu is satisfying, offering a variety of pastas, meats and salads. Maggiano's is a step above the more visible Italian food chain in America, Olive Garden. Maggiano is closer to authentic than OG.
Connected to the main restaurant of Maggiano's is the Corner Bakery which is more for people who are on-the-go. The cheesy garlic rolls are to die for! Hopefully, these will be continued on the menu. Ask for one!
The restaurant gets too dark at night for me but I can overlook this. Perhaps the obscuirty is romantic but I would rather have more light. On weekends and nights, the restuarant is most crowded of course, so therefore it gets very lively in the dining area. Music from Sinatra, Dean Martin and other, similar crooners is often played on the speakers and live performed by wanna-bes Rat Pack types.
Favorite Dish: Stuffed Mushrooms!
It's just an appetizer but it was filling and tasty! It has the feeling of eating meat without being meat. The mushrooms were portabello of course!!
For a dinner dish, I would reccomend the Chicken Vesuvio. Leave some room in your stomach for this!
The food is great, the service is good and the ambience is nice.
A little Frank Sinatra playing in the background sets a nice mood.
Black and white pictures of various customers and celebs cover the columns between tables.
I don't recommend going on a busy holiday weekend night. They can get so busy that the wait is 2-3 hours for dinner and the service gets sloppy.
Go on a non- holiday weekend EARLY for dinner or have lunch. Our favorite is Saturday lunch at about 11:45am before the rush comes in. By 1pm it's packed.
Favorite Dish: Spinach Salad
Crispy (thin) Onion Strings
Veal & Mushroom Ravioli
Four Cheese Ravioli