Dining in Santana Row – Maggiano’s Little Italy

On Saturday, May 12, 2012 I had a pre-Mother’s Day dinner celebration at one of Santana Row’s most beloved italian restaurants. Oh, you may have heard of this fantastic restaurant…Maggiano’s Little Italy.

It was more than just the evening before Mother’s Day.  There were groups all dressed to impress as they dine prior to attending one of high school’s most treasured moments, the prom. Needless to say, the restaurant was full of patrons dining and also waiting to be seated. It was certainly not a quiet night for Santana Row either.  The favorite hot spot in San Jose was just packed with people!

Once seated, my guests and I were presented with a bottle of Robert Mondavi’s Reserved 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, which we all enjoyed and paired perfectly with our appetizers and main entrées.

As I was browsing through the menu, our well attentive server, Alexis was on point! She first introduced us to their “Make a Wish” special menu. Maggiano’s will donate to “Make a Wish” in your honor from orders on this special menu which is available now until June 27, 2012.



What better way to start off the eating festivities, than with these two selections we made from the appetizer menu.

~Spinach & Artichoke al Forno~

The combination between the artichoke hearts and the spinach mixed with a creamy alfredo sauce and asiago cheese were fantastic – served with toasted baguette slices. The dish was delectably flavorful, and perfect for starters.

~Crispy Zucchini Fritte~

This was a favorite amongst myself and my guests. I was surprised at how crispy each bite was, from inside and out. The typical fried zucchini dishes I’ve had in the past, did not stand up to these. It maybe the way Maggiano’s slices them perfectly that they come out to this consistency. Dip these crispy slices into the lemon aioli it’s served with and you will love every bite!



~Beef Medallions~

The beef medallion dish, I thought was delicious. The beef was ordered ‘medium’ and came out perfectly tender and juicy. The thinly sliced portabella mushrooms and balsamic cream sauce made the perfect accompaniment along side the garlic mashed potatoes. If you love beef, this is certainly a dish that you can’t pass up ordering.

~Chicken Parmesan~

At Maggiano’s, you can never go wrong with ordering the the classic italian dish – Chicken Parmesan.  This breaded chicken baked to perfection and covered with marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese is a perfect comfort dish, which is also served along side a bowl spaghetti marinara.  The chicken was juicy and not over cooked and what I loved about this dish is the quantity of tangy marinara sauce that it’s served with.

~Veal Picatta~

The sautéed veal was juicy and covered with capers and lemon butter which gives a crisp, burst of flavor with each bite.  Served along side a bowl of angel hair aglio olio, this dish is certainly worth trying.

~Chicken Manicotti~

Ok, so this was the winning dish of the evening!  Manicotti pasta filled with spinach, chunks of chicken and ricotta cheese then baked with the creamiest alfredo sauce.  Every bite was savory and full of flavor.  Although, this dish when you order it from the regular menu calls for a single serving, it can be shared with another person.



~Fresh Berry Tiramisu~

A fruity twist to your ordinary tiramisu dessert.  This dessert was part of the “Make a Wish” menu which certainly peaked my interest when presented to the table.  Lady fingers were soaked in berry reduction rather than your norm, espresso and rum.  It’s served with fresh blueberries, blackberries and strawberries and topped with a berry sauce.  This dessert was a little light on the flavor in my opinion and could have had a little more fruity taste to it.

~Apple Crostada~

If you covet anything apple, baked, or caramel, this is one that you can’t pass up!  This dessert was my favorite and made a perfect ending to the night.  The delicious pastry was crispy on the outside, and with each bite came the flavorful baked apples and the vanilla ice cream along with it.

~Veras Lemon Cookies~

We were also treated with these little bites of half moon, lemon heaven cookies.  The husband isn’t too fond of dessert, but did enjoy these treats with his coffee.  I of course loved the cookies and didn’t think were overbearing with lemon flavor.  This dessert is definitely worth trying, even if you only have the slightest room left to indulge.


The overall experience we had that night at Maggiano’s in Santana Row was perfect!  Each course came out in a timely manner considering how busy it was.  I highly suggest making a reservation to dine, otherwise, you could be waiting between 30 minutes to an hour if you just walked in.   This is the perfect restaurant as well if you’re dining with a large group of people as they also serve family style dishes.  I’d like to thank Ed Unangst, General Manager of Maggiano’s Santana Row and his staff for a well appointed restaurant and great service!

For more information on Maggiano’s Little Italy, please visit their website at and also visit Santana Row’s website at


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