Take it With A Grain of Salt

An honest review of Macaroni Grill.

Ashleigh Thorson, Staff Writer

Quiet, relaxing music and an aroma of mouth watering pasta and bread wafts through the air when you first walk into Romano’s Macaroni Grill, an Italian restaurant in Roseville. 

My group and I had originally discussed many different restaurants, but ended up choosing Macaroni Grill for our first homecoming dinner. Making reservations was an easy process for our party of six. 

The scraping of dishes and the bustling of the kitchen can be heard in the background. My mom had already been seated, so we were able to walk straight to our seats, which was nice. Our waiter arrived in a timely manner, handing us our menus and serving us bread with oil and vinegar. 

The bread, while it did have a seasoned taste, was fairly dry, so it’s a good thing they have the oil and vinegar available. The oil and vinegar combination always pairs well together, and definitely kept me reaching for the bread while waiting for the appetizers. 

The garden salad was fresh and crispy. It’s served cold and the ranch has a great flavor that brings together the dish. The croutons have a great garlic flavor that elevates the salad. 

The signature mac and cheese bites were what could be described as crunchy bites of awesomeness. The crispy breading exterior creates a perfect shell of the bite. The inside was soft and warm, and the mac and cheese had a slight garlic flavor. The alfredo dipping sauce was perfect because it helps sandwich the crust with the pasta. It was creamy and the perfect amount of cheesy.

The create your own dish feature offers many different options and flavor profiles. You can choose your pasta type, sauce, up to three toppings, and add on meat if you so desire. This is enjoyable because it can accommodate those who want to explore something new. 

I chose the fettuccine pasta with alfredo sauce, fresh spinach, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and chicken.

The spinach and tomatoes brought a pleasant freshness to the dish. The roasted garlic was strong, but subtle enough to not overpower other flavors. The chicken was well seasoned and the alfredo ties together the dish nicely. The pasta was cooked to al dente and while it was on the salty side, the different components all tied together pleasantly.

A disappointing dish we encountered was their butternut tortellacci. The dish was extremely salty, and the asiago cream didn’t compliment it well. We had to send it back due to how salty it was. Overall the other members of my party agree that the food overall was pretty salty. 

The service of the restaurant was good. The waiters and staff were friendly, and there were even occasional live music performances throughout the dinner.

There was a party of 30 for homecoming and many other customers at the time. Because of this we ended up having to wait a while for our main courses and did not have time for dessert at the end, which was disappointing as we were looking forward to it.

I would recommend trying the garden salad, signature mac and cheese bites, and the ‘create your own dish’ option. Avoid the butternut tortellacci and don’t go at a very busy time if you do not want to wait a long time for your food. 

For the quality of the food and service that night, I would rate the restaurant 2.5/5 stars. I hope to be able to go on a less busy night and try other dishes  in hopes that they would be less salty.