With so many individuals going “gluten-free” for either voluntary, dietary reasons or mandatory health reasons, restaurants owners and chefs have found it necessary to provide gluten-free options on their menus, such as found at Maggiano’s.

Maggiano’s has partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to give those foodies some tasty Italian food that won’t upset their bellies, and they will grant wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. Until July 8, a donation will be made in their honor when patrons order from the Eat-a-Dish for Make-A-Wish menu. This special menu includes drinks, appetizers, house classic pastas, savory entrees and desserts!

The Handcrafted Seasonal Sangria, made with Skyy Infusions Moscato, Seven Daughters Moscato and an assortment of fruits, is the refreshing way to begin your meal. And for the kids or those individuals who prefer non-alcohol drinks, the peach and pomegranate Wish Lemonade will also quench your thirst.



Appetizers are supposed to curb your appetite and make you a little less cranky as you wait for your meal, but this Shrimp & Avocado Lemonette will make you forget all about your main entrees. Served with mixed greens, smoked bacon and a lemon vinaigrette, my meal could have ended with this salad. The meatiness from the shrimp and smokiness from the bacon paired with the crisp green and bright dressing was heaven in my mouth. What a fantastic way to begin this meal.




For entrees, the Maggiano’s team created three hearty entrees. The Patricia’s Cheese Ravioli, served with in a parmesan broth with spring vegetables and truffle mascarpone, is little bites of cheesy clouds. Due to my lactose intolerance, I only sampled one piece of ravioli, but the small piece I tasted with surprisingly light and springy. Plus, this dish is named after Patricia, the darling little girl who’s wish of traveling to Rome, Italy is being made possible by this campaign at Maggiano’s.



If you’re searching for a lower carb option, the Grilled Jumbo Shrimp is the perfect dinner. It’s served with a sweet corn relish and honey calabrian glaze which reminded me of Southwestern flavors. The other was a tribute to Italy – big pieces of shrimp accompanied by Tuscan potatoes, arugula and lemon. The latter was my favorite of the shrimp dishes as it more closely resembled the Italian flavor profile that Magianno’s provides to its customers.



And finally, we’ve come to desert. Just because it’s gluten-free doesn’t mean it needs to be sugar-free too. This crème brûlée trio I sampled is definitely not lacking in sugar or lusciousness. Three ramekins of crispy topped brûlée – chocolate, caramelized honey and classic – gives indecisive diners the opportunity to sample a little bit of everything. Sharing is recommended but will probably be difficult. The caramelized honey brûlée was my favorite of the three. I absolutely loved the contradictory combination of salty/smoky and sweet. Is there anything better? I have a feeling that the chocolate will probably be a crowd favorite. Because chocolate. This dessert will be available until June 3 and then dessert lovers can try the flourless chocolate cake with mixed berries, hot fudge and vanilla bean ice cream. Well that just sounds horrible but you may prefer to opt for that.



Despite a little bit of discomfort caused by my consumption of foods that were not lactose intolerant, I left Maggiano’s full and satisfied, which isn’t normal and led me to think that maybe I also have a slight gluten sensitivity. Let’s hope that isn’t the case. If you, however, are gluten-free or maybe just love eating for a great cause, the special meal at Maggiano’s should make your belly happy and your heart flutter.

For more information about the Eat-A-Dish for the Make-A-Wish menu, visit Maggiano’s website.


(Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary meal, and all thoughts are my own.)