25 years of Maggiano’s Little Italy: I came, I ate, I had a lot of fun!

A silver anniversary is definitely a cause for celebration, especially in the culinary world. So many restaurants open today and close for good tomorrow, and even fewer manage to forge a culinary identity and to become a household name. Maggiano’s Little Italy is one of the few remarkable success stories. Since 1991, Maggiano’s restaurants have consistently delivered staple Italian dishes in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere – always reinventing, always passionate about food.

After serving millions of gnocchi and manicotti and tons of prime New York steaks and chicken marsala, it was time to take a break and to celebrate – and what better place to throw a party than the original Maggiano’s restaurant, on Clark&Grand in downtown Chicago? I answered yes to Maggiano’s invitation and brought my friend Marina along, as a guest. ๐Ÿ™‚The party was just getting started when we arrived, and we had a blast having our pictures taken in the photo area. I was particularly impressed with the ice sculpture in the hallway, which I thought was a very cool way to celebrate Maggiano’s 25 year milestone. That was real ice, and it looked absolutely gorgeous!

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On the food front, the burrata ravioli were my favorite. Creamy and succulent, the ravioli exhibited a lightness which made me come back for more. I also enjoyed the roasted vegetable pasta (chock full of delicious carrots and mushrooms) and the roast pork loin, which was served with a side of iron rings and with various home made dressings.

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Can a truly authentic Italian dinner ever be complete without cannoli? The answer is no, of course. The cannoli I tried at Maggiano’s celebration were light and had a wholesome mascarpone filling, and the shells were crispy, yet they also miraculously melted in your mouth. The cannoli shared the menu with a quintessential American dessert: mini cheesecakes, perfumed with vanilla and enriched by dollops of whipped cream. I have a very sweet tooth, and the desserts at Maggiano’s did not disappoint!

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My friend Marina and I had a great time at Maggiano’s Little Italy celebration in downtown Chicago. Throughout the evening we learned interesting facts about the story – and history! – of this restaurant from Maggiano’s President and Vice Presidents, as well as from former and current employees. This was also a good opportunity to socialize in an informal environment and to try out flavorful food, which tells a story. Last but not least, I was over the moon to travel downtown and to check out Chicago’s night skyline, as beautiful as ever. Life in a cosmopolitan city clearly has its perks ๐Ÿ™‚

*Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated by Maggiano’s Little Italy for this post. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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