My daughters and I first dined at the Maggiano's in San Jose a couple of days after we arrived in California, because my husband had a business meeting there. I love that most servers at Maggiano's ask if anyone has food allergies, and they send a chef to the table to talk to you.
After a two week vacation before our move, I wanted something light, so the chef suggested cedar plank salmon with vegetables. The fish tasted fresh, and I loved the balsamic glaze it was topped with. I also enjoyed my green beans and cauliflower.
For dessert, I can never pass up Maggiano's spumoni, which is made up of cherry, chocolate, and pistachio ice cream. I especially love the chunks of chocolate and cherry in the ice cream.
When we dined at Maggiano's a few weeks later with friends, my husband and I split the balsamic-glazed cedar-baked salmon, and shrimp scampi with tomatoes, garlic, lemon butter, and gluten free penne. I am pretty sure that Maggiano's uses Barilla gluten free penne, one of my favorite brands of gluten free pasta.
This was my first time trying the shrimp scampi, and I was really impressed. I also recommend Maggiano's Rigatoni "D" with herb-roasted chicken, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and Marsala cream sauce. All of the salad dressings and pasta sauces at Maggiano's are gluten free, so there are a lot of options to choose from.
The last two times we visited Maggiano's, my husband and I shared two appetizers and an entree. I am a big fan of their Caprese salad, because of their incredible balsamic glaze. We also like the calamari without breading. In December, the calamari we ordered was grilled, but today, it seemed to be sauteed in butter, garlic and lemon. Both ways, it was delicious, and I would definitely order it again.
My favorite pasta dish at Maggiano's is the lobster carbonara with gluten free penne, lobster, smoked bacon, snap peas, and garlic cream sauce. Sometimes it is a little over-sauced for my taste, but other than that, it is pasta perfection. I love the combination of the sweet snap peas with lobster and bacon, two of my favorite foods.
I think I ate about 1,000 calories of spumoni today, but we all have a hard time sharing, so all four of us ordered our own.
I also recommend the beef tenderloin medallions with portabella, balsamic cream sauce, and garlic mashed potatoes.
I have found the chefs at Maggiano's to be incredibly accommodating. The have made dishes for me for lunch that are only on the dinner menu, and they are always willing to switch out sides when I don't like the vegetables that accompany a dish.
The Orlando and San Jose Maggiano's do not have gluten free menus, but there are plenty of great gluten free options to choose from. If you love Italian food like we do, I highly recommend a visit to Maggiano's. You can view their restaurant locator here.
February 5, 2017 Update
Earlier today, we had lunch at Maggiano's, because we wanted to try their Johnny's Carbonara with gluten free penne, Nueske's Bacon, fresh peas, truffle cream sauce, and a poached egg. Our poached egg was a little overcooked, but overall, we thought this new dish was delicious, and I would order it again.
What are your favorite gluten free options at Maggiano's Little Italy?