The Maggiano's Little Italy chain, part of the Dallas-based Brinker International family, is known, obviously, for its Italian food: calamari, manicotti, linguini and clams. Ba-da-bing ba-da-boom.
But the restaurant is also home to one of the best ice cream desserts: its spumoni, so good that it made the list of 10 restaurants with surprise desserts.
Not many places around Dallas offer spumoni, an Italian-American ice cream combining three separate flavors of chocolate, cherry, and pistachio. Even beyond the scarcity, Maggiano's version is very good, the portion is generous, and it's $4.50. What more do you need?
Maggiano's thinks you need more, with a special-edition dish available through July 4 that combines more than seven of Maggiano's desserts into a mega-dessert that stands over a foot tall.
The dessert includes basically all of Maggiano's dessert line:
- Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- Lemon Cookies
- Sugar, Chocolate Chip and White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
- Double Chocolate Brownie
- Mini Apple Crostada
- New York Style Cheesecake
- Chocolate Zuccotto Cake
- Chocolate Zuccotto Bites
That all gets balanced on a plate along with fruit, hot fudge, whipped cream, caramel sauce, strawberry sauce, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, hazelnut croquant, and a mint sprig. Don't forget the mint spring.
This exercise in excess is designed for celebrations, says a Brinker spokesperson.
"Maggiano's is known for celebrating special and every day occasions, so they whipped up this dessert as a special treat to graduates in May," the spokesperson says. "But you don't have to be a graduate to enjoy."
Obviously it's for sharing — however, as photographed, it doesn't even look shareable. How do you get your fork into that? Do you save any money by ordering this, or is the price the same if you just order the desserts a la carte?
Oh but then you can't share.
The dessert costs $27.50 in the dining room, but if you book a celebration in the restaurant's banquet room, you get one free. Okay, so that's the move: Book a party, get a free dessert, got it.
Called Sweet Success, it will be available at all Maggiano's locations, including Dallas and Plano, from now through July 4.