DALLAS, Sept.17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- This time of year, from Italy to California, winegrowers, connoisseurs and enthusiasts celebrate the annual harvest of wine grapes. Embracing this tradition, Maggiano's Little Italy® is introducing a seasonal menu this fall featuring several craveable, Italian-American dishes reminiscent of the tastes, smells and colors of the "crush" harvest season.
Maggiano's culinary team researched a number of fresh ingredients and cooking techniques when developing the menu - which is available now through Nov. 28 - and fittingly called, the "Italian-American Crush." Wonderfully different and invitingly familiar at the same time, the dishes preserve the rich traditions of Maggiano's heritage while allowing chefs to showcase their interpretation of Italian-American cuisine.
A highlight on the features menu includes an authentic Italian-American dish inspired by a guest. Earlier this year, Maggiano's invited friends and family to share their favorite Italian recipe for a chance to be featured on the menu as part of the brand's first annual "Best Italian Chef" contest. Narrowed down from more than 500 entries and voted on by the brand's Facebook fans, the winning dish, named Pasta Lorin in honor of the guest, is available in restaurants nationwide now through Oct. 10. Meet the winner and learn how to enter the second annual "Best Italian Chef" contest by visiting http://lasag.na/BestChef.
"The essence of the 'Italian-American Crush' menu is uniquely Maggiano's as it allows us to embrace our heritage, highlight our chef-driven kitchens and offer guests another great reason to celebrate with us," said Keith Brunell, senior director of culinary for Maggiano's Little Italy. "Additionally, we are delivering on our passion to make guests feel special by naming one an honorary chef and featuring their culinary creation in our restaurants."
To provide guests with a complete dining experience, Maggiano's fall menu also features two varietals from The Dreaming Tree wines, collaboration between acclaimed winemaker, Steve Reeder, and musician and wine enthusiast, Dave Matthews. The Dreaming Tree wines pair perfectly with the harvest-inspired dishes and include a smooth, red blend called "Crush" from the northern California coast and a crisp chardonnay from the central California coast, available by the glass or bottle.
The "Italian-American Crush" menu is available now through Nov. 28 and features the following dishes (*denotes different start or end date):
- Roasted Pear Bruschetta – Toasted bruschetta served with a mix of fresh pears, prosciutto, arugula, gorgonzola, and a honey and balsamic dressing
- *Pasta Lorin – Ziti pasta tossed with tomato vodka sauce, cremini mushrooms, prosciutto and Calabrian peppers. Available through Oct. 10.
- Butternut Squash Ravioli – Butternut squash ravioli topped with sun-dried tomatoes, brown butter, parmesan, toasted amaretti crumbs and hazelnuts.
- Stuffed Chicken Pizzaiola – Tender chicken stuffed with ricotta, smoked mozzarella and pepperoni and served with tropheo pasta, pepperoncini and bell peppers in a pomodoro sauce.
- Tuscan Spiced Shrimp – Jumbo marinated shrimp tossed with roasted bell peppers, parmesan polenta and a lobster cream sauce.
- *Lemon Semolina Cake – Warm polenta cake finished with a honey mascarpone cream, toasted almonds, and whipped cream. Available through Oct. 10.
- *Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake – Pumpkin-flavored cheesecake baked on a bed of gingersnap crust and served with cinnamon whipped cream and pecan praline crumbs. Available Oct. 11 to Nov. 28.
Maggiano's Little Italy® specializes in Italian-American cuisine served in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Maggiano's menu features both classic and contemporary recipes – authentic pastas, signature salads, prime steaks, fresh seafood, regular chef specials and specialty desserts. Maggiano's 45 locations worldwide offer lunch and dinner, delivery, carryout service and banquet spaces for special occasions. Maggiano's is owned and operated by Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies, serving more than one million guests daily. Brinker owns or franchises more than 1,500 restaurants in 33 countries and two territories. In addition to Maggiano's, Brinker owns and operates Chili's® Grill & Bar and holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill®. For more information, visit www.maggianos.com.
SOURCE Maggiano's Little Italy