Brunching With Maggiano’s Little Italy

If there is one thing Dallasites know how to do – it’s brunch. I’ve referenced this in past posts and yes I know this isn’t new, but I wanted to reiterate that brunch is a weekend must in Dallas,  for extra impact on the rest of this post. I would even go as far as to say that Dallas is directly responsible for the National brunch craze. #fakenews

Since brunch has become SO popular, how would a restaurant as beloved as Maggiano’s enter the brunch scene? Well, they’d start by putting their own Italian twist on the classic brunch dishes we all love and then back it up with some really solid new dishes. Having previewed Maggiano’s past menu rollouts, I’m continually impressed with their passion for Italian cooking and how they spread the feeling of family to each and every guest. Little known fact, each Maggiano’s location has their own Chef that has input on the dishes served across every location. To say their new brunch menu was a labor of love would be an understatement.

Oh yes, speaking of the food…

I have two words for you, and I don’t even know if this is the fancy menu name, but: MEATBALL. BENEDICT. At first, I was like….I’m not so sure that’s for me – as I only recently started tolerating eggs in any form other scrambled. But also, throw in a meatball that I’m not used to eating during brunch hours, but I’m also not necessarily opposed to….it was just a lot to process. But…isn’t that kind of exciting? Doesn’t that make dining out more interesting? For me, it’s a sign of success – but only if it’s delicious. AND IT IS. Everything about this dish works. The slightly spicy, classic-style, meatball pairs perfectly with the rich hollandaise and fatty yolk of the poached egg. Truly original.

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When I preview a menu, I always try and highlight a favorite dish so that readers have a menu recommendation – especially if they’re trying the restaurant based on my referral. I was ready to name The Meatball Benedict as my fave dish – until I tried the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Wow, y’all. Words cannot be attributed to how delicious these were – but I’m going to try. I think so many of us are used to these giant – rather flavorless – traditional pancakes that are essentially used as a vessel for sugary, non-maple, “maple” syrup. Not these pancakes. No way. These pancakes are made with ricotta cheese and whipped egg whites; making these cakes thick, but light. The flavor is bright with a slight tang from the lemon zest and juice, but balanced with the inclusion of vanilla bean. Skip the syrup and dress these simply with whipped cream and fresh berries. Lucky for me, I now have the recipe for these sinfully scrumptious pancakes!

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Other new brunch dishes include a more traditional Crab Cake Benedict, Vegetable Frittata, and a sweet Creme Brûlée French Toast. Oh! I almost forgot…. When Maggiano’s Chefs created this menu, they had the arduous task of sampling “so many” different styles of bacon to accompany their new dishes. The bacon they have chosen is a masterpiece – that is not an exaggeration. I heard angels singing when I bit into this perfectly meaty, not over-smoked, and almost brisket-y, bacon. Seriously, it’s worth the visit alone.

XXX – Chase

 

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