Romano's Macaroni Grill Introduces New Menu And Fresh Wine Pairings

Chain adds slow-cooked braisers category, all new wine choices, menu introductions and return to Italian flavors

Aug 13, 2013, 12:10 ET from Romano's Macaroni Grill

HOUSTON, Aug. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Romano's Macaroni Grill heads into fall with a refreshed wine list and new menu items steeped in Italian trattoria cuisine and culture.

Since being acquired by Ignite Restaurant Group in April, Romano's Macaroni Grill has returned to its roots. Senior Director of Menu Innovation Antonio Iocchi enhanced nearly a third of the items on the chain's popular menu, making substantial changes to its recipes and refocusing on rustic Italian comfort food. With an emphasis on quality ingredients made with great attention and care, the new menu features simple, hearty dishes full of flavor.

Starting Aug. 13, the chain will introduce a new category of entrees – handcrafted braisers. With a nod to the time-honored braising method combined with contemporary trends, the three new dishes are seared to seal in juices, then covered and simmered low and slow to develop rich, tender flavors.

  • The new Cremini Pork Shank offers substantial portions of pork shank steeped in marsala wine sauce with caramelized onions, the dish's namesake mushrooms and garlic rosemary potatoes.
  • The new Chicken Cacciatore is a roasted boneless half chicken, served with a brown hunter's sauce with mushrooms over capellini pomodoro.
  • The new Classic Italian Bake is a slow-cooked version of pasta and meatballs, made with homemade meatballs, Italian sausage, rustic tomato sauce, roasted tomatoes, creamy ricotta cheese and rigatoni.

In addition to braisers, Macaroni Grill's new menu features updated appetizers such as Bruschetta, Spicy Sausage & Peppers, Brick-Oven Olives and new Baked Mozzarella Fonduta. Country-style Italian Sausage & Potatoes, a Romano's Classic entree, will also make a return.

Senior Manager of Beverage Innovation Megan Wiig also went back to the chain's roots, recreating Macaroni Grill's wine list to include only wines from the best wine-producing regions of Italy and America. Each best-in-class wine was hand-selected to enrich the flavor of the new dishes along with Macaroni Grill's signature entrees.

"My hope is that our new wine list will inspire guests to try something they haven't had before and perhaps discover some new favorites," said Wiig. "Our tasting notes and pairings, two things we've never done before, will help guests select the best wines for their taste and budget."

Macaroni Grill's signature house wine program hasn't changed and is still served "on your honor."

Beginning Aug. 26, Macaroni Grill will spotlight the new Braisers, Baked Mozzarella Fonduta, and, for a limited time, Butternut Asiago Tortellaci (the first in a series of seasonal fresh pastas to be featured throughout the year), each accompanied by suggested wine pairings from Wiig.

About Romano's Macaroni Grill®
Part of Ignite Restaurant Group's (Nasdaq: IRG) portfolio of restaurants, Romano's Macaroni Grill has been proudly serving unforgettable meals Inspired by Italian trattoria cuisine, culture and conversation since 1988. An extensive wine list and the chain's unique honor wine system complete the Italian-infused experience. With 209 locations worldwide, the restaurant blends Italian traditions with progressive culinary inspiration so guests can experience Italian-inspired lunch and dinner in unexpected ways. For more information, visit

MEDIA CONTACTS: Tracy Aiello or Ashley Bain 817-329-3257

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