Sherlock Zone was recently dreaming about the many wonderful Zone meals he has had during his Italian travels when he spotted Maggiano’s Little Italy, which is located in his area and in 19 other states. Sherlock every month looks for clues about how Zoners can get a good meal when dining out. This month he decided to give Little Italy a try.
He found he could get a Zone meal there, but it wasn’t as easy as it is in Italy where most restaurants offer a Zoneful first plate, and the third plate features many low-fat protein choices and several vegetable selections. It is the second plate of pasta and risotto that Zoners avoid.
Looking at the first plate, or appetizers as they are called here, Sherlock noticed that so many of the selections were covered with breadcrumbs: Breaded mozzarella, baked shrimp topped with breadcrumbs, breaded, deep-fried calamari. His party settled for two appetizers for the table: Mussels steamed in garlic and white wine sauce with sun-dried tomatoes, white beans and sliced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella.
As always there were several salads that fit the bill. Instead of an appetizer, Sherlock chose an Italian Salad: Iceberg and romaine lettuce tossed in Italian vinaigrette with plum tomatoes, provolone cheese, broccoli, red onions, garbanzo beans, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers and croutons. Pass on the croutons.
For entrees Chicken Marsala and Piccata are fine. Beef Medallions are served with portabella mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes. Ask for extra mushrooms and turn down the potatoes. The same applies to the Italian pot roast, which is served with carrots, onions, mushrooms and potatoes. The veal cutlets, served over spinach, are also fine.
Perhaps the best choice of all is the filet of salmon sautéed with fresh herbs and spinach and served with a light lemon sauce. Sherlock had the salmon along with his Italian salad and was just about in the center of the Zone. A side order of fresh asparagus sautéed with garlic and olive oil completed the picture. Other favorable sides are spinach or broccoli, both sautéed with garlic and olive oil.