Hubby and I went to Romano’s Macaroni Grill the other night. This used to be one of my favorite restaurants to eat at. While it is not terrible, it just is not as consistently good as it used to be. I do like that they have been changing up the menu with each season – it is nice to have some variety and they do keep a few of the favorites on the menu also.

Our service on our recent visit was friendly, but slow and very poor timing. We ordered two of the Italian Tapas – Crispy Artichoke Potato Cakes and Baked Prosciutto and Mozzarella. For a restaurant that had to be less than 25% full it took a while to get food to the table and then it did not come at the same time. The potato cakes came out first and we were told the other tapas was on its way. Hubby and I ate the potato cakes and then we waited and waited and finally they brought out the prosciutto and mozzarella. There is no reason both of these items should not have come out together. We asked the server about this and she said “well they are made at different ends of the kitchen and the wood oven was backed up”. We suggested maybe they should have waited to make the potato cakes then to which she replied “they don’t communicate well”. Very frustrating. Yet again another pretty long wait to get the entrees after the tapas, not unbearable, but again with a fairly empty restaurant we expect things to move a little quicker. The staff all were very friendly at all times.

Crispy Artichoke Potato Cakes from Romano's Macaroni Grill Baked Prosciutto & Mozzarella from Romano's Macaroni Grill

The shape of the first picture is a freak accident – the crispy artichoke potato cakes are individual little rounds that were lined up on the plate. Oops. Anyway, they were okay, but really leaned on the dry side and they fell apart quite easily. They were crispy. The sauce was needed to help with the dryness and to hold them together a bit. It is not something I would order again. The second tapas is the baked prosciutto and mozzarella. Frankly I thought this dish was not visually appealing at all. What do you think? The color of the prosciutto was just unappetizing and it looks better in this photo than it did to the eye in the lighting of the restaurant. The dish is small pieces of mozzarella wrapped with a small piece of prosciutto, there is a little red sauce on it and it is baked in their wood oven. The taste was not bad on this and the red sauce helped pull it together. It is served with a flat bread which I did not care for at all, it was very crunchy and a bit burnt in some spots and I did not feel it elevated the flavor of the rest of the dish in any way. Hubby did not mind the flat bread, but he did not continue to eat it either. The tapas were 2/$9

Pasta Milano from Romano's Macaroni Grill Mom's Ricotta Meatballs & Spaghetti from Romano's Macaroni Grill

I had the Pasta Milano. This has been on the menu for as long as I have been going to Macaroni Grill and it is a good solid pasta dish and they do get this right. No problems. Hubby had Mom’s Ricotta Meatballs & Spaghetti with Bolognese. I had to try those meatballs – they were hands down the best part of the entire dinner. They are super tender and flavorful and just the right size. The spaghetti was a good size portion and Hubby had enough left over to take home even.

Not terrible like I said, but just not quite as wonderful as it used to be. On trips before this I have had some of the other new menu items that I did like very much, some so-so. I will go back to Macaroni Grill, but I just wish they could pull themselves back up a bit and focus on timing for sure.

Do you have this chain near you? What do you think of it?

Disclosure: None, we just went on our own and I am sharing.