Feel free to sing along: When the plate hits your table piled high with delicious pasta, that's Maggiano's. Come ready to eat, because like an Italian mother's kitchen table, there is always plenty of food.
You'll find red-and-white checkered tablecloths and the music of Frank Sinatra and Perry Como in the air at this national chain, which serves quintessential Italian. If you're coming with a group, set your sights on the "family style" (read, "all you can eat") menu, complete with two appetizers, salads, pastas, entrees and desserts. Should you order from the regular menu, it's almost guaranteed that you'll have leftovers.
My favorite is the linguine with clams; the clams are large and the white sauce is flavored with butter and garlic. But you can't go wrong with any of your choices, which range from fettucine alfredo with broccoli to the specialty lasagna (it's massive) and veal marsala. And, as you should do in any Italian restaurant worth its chops, save room for the tiramisu.
Reservations are recommended for this mall-side location; an awning covers a nice outdoor eating area (main drawback: much of it abuts the parking lot).
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Kennette Crockett