Romano's Macaroni Grill Menu Items Ranked Worst To Best

It's time to gather some friends together for a night out on the town for some great food and tasty cocktails. So, where are you headed? You obviously want something fancier than fast casual but not so expensive that you'll have to forgo your electricity for the next month. Decisions like this are never easy. But, you suddenly remember the glowing sign in a neighborhood near you advertising Romano's Macaroni Grill. At first, you might feel a slight hesitation because you assume not everyone in your party is going to want pasta. However, one glance at the menu tells you there's a whole lot more than that to enjoy at this longstanding Italian restaurant chain

The menu at Romano's Macaroni Grill includes a range of appetizers, soups, salads, desserts and entrees featuring chicken, seafood, and more. People with all kinds of food preferences are sure to find something they'll enjoy. However, as with any restaurant, not every single item on the menu is going to leave you satisfied, so it's always important to do a little bit of research before you hightail it there on an empty stomach. We've compiled a list of the most popular items on the menu and ranked them so you know exactly which options to consider and which to stay away from. Read on for Romano's Macaroni Grill menu items ranked from worst to first.

15. Grilled Salmon

Salmon on its own without any type of sauce or seasoning is still pretty darn tasty. The fish is super flaky and tender and, when cooked correctly, melts right onto your tongue. Romano's Macaroni Grill offers a Grilled Salmon dish to all those seeking something delicate from the ocean. It comes coated in a Calabrian honey-pepper glaze and served over pasta with spinach and sundried tomatoes. Sounds like it should be a home run, right? But the truth is, it just ends up being an inside-the-park hit.

The disappointing thing about this dish is that the glaze on the salmon is so darn tasty, but it would be even better if the filet of salmon it covered wasn't so dry. Instead of a soft texture you can cut with the edge of a fork, the filet nearly requires a knife to cut a smooth piece. However, even though the texture is rather unappealing, the sauce does lend a bit of moisture to it so you are left with a bite that has a punch of the glaze flavor.

14. Shrimp Portofino

When it comes to cuisine from the sea, there are few better bite-sized options than shrimp. You can pop a whole bunch of those suckers down your gullet without feeling overly stuffed, and they offer a succulent flavor profile that erupts with an oceanic tinge with every bite. Romano's Macaroni Grill offers diners a Shrimp Portofino dish, which comes with sauteed jumbo shrimp, capellini, spinach, mushrooms, pine nuts, and garlic all resting in a lemon butter sauce. It sounds delicious on paper.

Unfortunately, if you're seeking an entrée from the sea, you might wanna swim away from this one. The major issue here is the lemon butter sauce. A sauce should help bring out and complement the flavors of everything it's coating, and it just doesn't do that here. It lacks any real  depth of flavor, which leaves all the ingredients on the plate rather lackluster. The pine nuts do add a nice crunch, but all in all, the jumbo shrimp on the plate deserve so much more love than they receive.

13. Key Lime Wave

When it comes to truly enjoying food, you just gotta sit back and ride the wave of flavors a dish sends your way. Well, at Romano's Macaroni Grill, there's no better way to ride the flavor of a dessert than with the Key Lime Wave. This sweet and tart after-dinner treat comes with a tangy key lime curd inside a classic graham cracker-baked crust, along with fresh strawberries drizzled with a strawberry sauce. If you like a dessert that kicks you with a one-two punch of tart and sweet, then the Key Lime Wave is a good option.

Sometimes the flavor of key lime can be a bit overwhelming when served in huge portions, but not here. The nice thing about this dessert is that it's not a super thick slice of pie, so it's never too much to handle. This place gives you the optimal size. Plus, that also means you're not devouring a ton of calories, either. The sweetness of the strawberries complement the lime perfectly, making for a great dessert that really hits the mark — after you've finished devouring a delicious dinner option off the menu. 

12. Chicken Scaloppine

Chicken dishes are always hugely popular because chicken is far from an intimidating meat for most people. Steaks can seem a bit daunting to some, and once you start venturing into duck and veal territory even more people tend to shy away. Well, luckily, for all those chicken fanatics who want to stay in a safe lane when they order an entrée, Romano's Macaroni Grill serves up Chicken Scaloppine.

The dish comes with tender chicken breast, artichokes, mushrooms, capers, and prosciutto in a lemon butter sauce, all served with capellini pasta. The chicken is really moist thanks to the lemon butter sauce, and all the fixings pair great together. The mushrooms lend an earthiness, and the capers are little salty bursts that accentuate the flavor of each bite. Plus, the prosciutto makes everything better, as prosciutto tends to always do. The delicate pieces of the paper-thin meat never overpower the chicken, but instead add a subtle saltiness. 

11. Bibb and Bleu Salad

If you're trying to lead a lifestyle chock-full of healthy decisions, then you just gotta get your greens on when it comes to food. Munching down a plate full of veggies may not scratch that itch for something rich and hearty, but your body will certainly thank you for the rush of vitamins and nutrients it offers. Luckily for all those in search of a high-fiber feast when sitting at a table in Romano's Macaroni Grill's dining room, they offer several options. And one you just have to try is the Bibb and Bleu salad.

The Bibb and Bleu salad comes with bibb lettuce, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, bits of crispy prosciutto, pickled red onions, and crispy onions, all covered in a rich buttermilk ranch dressing. Everything here works like a well-oiled machine. The gorgonzola cheese has amazing sharpness that complements the vinegar of the pickled onion perfectly. The prosciutto is crisped up and bursts with salty goodness in every bite, and the walnuts add a wonderful crunch so each forkful is a textural pleasure.  

10. Romano's cannolis

If there's anything that tells you just how special cannolis are, it's the line from the "The Godfather" that states, "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." Yes, even hardened gangsters can't resist the cream-filled pastry, and that certainly speaks to just how delicious they are. After you finish up a hearty meal at Romano's Macaroni Grill, you have the option of ordering up Romano's cannolis – two crispy pastry shells piped to the brim with ricotta filling, finished with chocolate chips, and dusted with cinnamon.

These cannolis definitely do their job in the flavor department, with the rich ricotta filling bursting at the seams and coating your mouth to the fullest. The pastry tubes' texture is crunchy enough that it complements the creamy texture of the filling, but not overly hard, so it crumbles nicely with each delicate bite. Add in the chocolate chips and the kick of cinnamon and you have a cannoli that'll make you wanna screen "The Godfather" again.

9. Calamari Fritti

Calamari in itself isn't an unusual appetizer at all. Tons of restaurants offer it as a meal starter since it's easy to make and is totally shareable. When done correctly, fried calamari has a lightly crunchy texture that never overwhelms the flavor of the squid, and each piece should be soft as opposed to chewy and rubbery. Most of the time calamari is served with marinara sauce, and the zesty tomato based dipping accompaniment pairs great with the seafood. However, it's the sauces served alongside the Calamari Fritti at Romano's Macaroni Grill that take this standard starter to the next dimension of flavor.

So, what exactly could the two sauces possibly be that makes this appetizer a must-get to anyone who likes calamari? Well, the first one is Calabrian pepper pesto, and the second is citrus black pepper aioli. The Calabrian pepper pesto offers an amazingly hot but tangy sensation, and the citrus black pepper aioli is cool and creamy, with the earthy quality of black pepper and a unique zest of citrus. Each sauce is an absolute flavor bomb of unique aromas and tastes that'll likely have you ordering a second round of calamari just to experience these sauces again.

8. Stuffed Mushrooms

Mushrooms can prove to be quite a polarizing food. Sometimes it's the earthy flavor that throws people off, while others can't seem to get the idea of it being a fungus out of their head, and they give them a hard pass every time. However, stuffing mushrooms with an array of tasty ingredients is one way to rope at least some people back on board the fungal train. If you or someone you know is hesitant when it comes to mushrooms, you might just find that the Stuffed Mushrooms at Romano's Macaroni Grill will change your mind in a hurry.

The mushroom caps in this appetizer are stuffed with juicy morsels of sausage, both ricotta and goat cheese, and spinach. The sausage is super flavorful and rich, and the richness is offset by the tang of the goat cheese and the creamy saltiness of the ricotta. But the kicker to this whole dish is the Mediterranean vinaigrette drizzled onto each mushroom. It's bursting with spices, and the vinegar cuts through every ingredient so everything is well balanced.

7. Decadent Chocolate Cake

Decadence is the sister of dessert, and rightly so. When you're looking for something richly sugar-laden after a meal, you want a treat that's going to coat your mouth in sweetness. So, if decadence is the craving doing cartwheels across your palate after a meal at Romano's Macaroni Grill, there's only one option for dessert that stands out — the Decadent Chocolate Cake. The word is literally in the name, so you know exactly what to expect when this thing hits the table.

Just how rich is this dessert? Listen up, folks. You get a tower of, according to the menu, "intensely rich" chocolate cake layered with chocolate ganache and chocolate buttercream, and then it's garnished with fresh whipped cream and toffee crumbles. You really can't get much more indulgent than that. Chocolate fiends will fall into a celestial daze after each bite, and anyone who just loves dessert in general will leave with a smiling stomach brimming with dessert delight.

6. Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Salad

If you're a cheese enthusiast, then you know one sure-fire way to enhance any kind of protein is to coat it in a crispy crust of cheese. Cheese makes so many foods infinitely better, as it adds a saltiness and creaminess that offsets much of the rich flavor found in meat. And if you're looking for something cheesy when dining at Romano's Macaroni Grill, the menu offers a Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Salad. You get your fill of healthy greens and the crusted greatness of cheese.

The salad comes with a filet of Parmesan-crusted chicken, crispy prosciutto, and Roma tomatoes over a bed of fresh greens. The salad is drizzled with buttermilk ranch and a balsamic glaze. The flavor of the Parmesan on the chicken really brings the dish the next level, and both the dressing and glaze are two fantastic sauces to smother the chicken with. The ranch is light and creamy and glaze sweetens everything up. Plus, the crispy prosciutto gives every bite a crunchy little burst of salt.

5. Mom's Ricotta Meatballs and Spaghetti

No one makes meatballs quite like mama does. Lots of people have memories of their mother's or grandmother's pasta and meatballs growing up. It was a meal when the family sat around and enjoyed each other's company while filling their bellies with delicious food. Well, Romano's Macaroni Grill wants to help bring back that experience with Mom's Ricotta Meatballs and Spaghetti, and this is nostalgia well worth indulging in.

Although this dish isn't stuffed with a variety of ingredients, the ones that are used are top notch. On the bottom of the bowl lies a bed of spaghetti tossed in your choice of tomato sauce. Nestled on top is a squadron of house-made meatballs made from beef, veal, pork, and ricotta ready to fly a delectable reconnaissance mission into your mouth. All of the different meats come together for a trio of rich flavors, and the ricotta cheese is what binds it all with creaminess. Sprinkle a little Romano cheese on top of it all and you have yourself a bowl of pasta that mama would be proud to eat herself.

4. Seafood Ravioli

Ravioli is the pillow of the pasta world. But instead of an inside full of down feathers, you can stuff it full of any combination of amazing ingredients to make your pasta game as strong as possible. And Romano's Macaroni Grill is setting the bar high with their Seafood Ravioli. Fresh ravioli is stuffed with a mix of fish and served with Roma tomatoes, asparagus, and whole shrimp all in a lemon butter sauce. 

One of the first things you notice when you bite into the pasta (besides the flavor, of course) is that Romano's doesn't skimp on the seafood filling. Sometimes you get a disappointingly small amount of stuffing in a ravioli, but not here. These pillowy morsels are teeming with creamy filling, and the lemon butter sauce they sit in lends a rich bright flavor. The addition of the whole shrimp means you get a whole lot of sea in one single entrée, and you'll be swimming in happiness while you eat.

3. Truffle Mac and Cheese

Let's be honest: Anytime you see the word truffle in the name of a menu item, you know you're entering into fancy territory. Truffles themselves are super expensive, as it takes tons of legwork to acquire them, and they lend a uniquely earthy flavor that foodies swear by. This makes each dish that incorporates truffles a unique experience. And when it comes to dining out, you might as well have yourself a unique experience, right? In that case, order up the Signature Truffle Mac and Cheese at Romano's Macaroni Grill. It's macaroni and cheese, so you can't go wrong. And it has truffles, so you definitely are in for a treat.

Heavy on the cheese is always the name of the game when it comes to mac and cheese, and this dish doesn't hold back one bit. Penne pasta is tossed with asiago, fontina, smoked mozzarella, cheddar, and pecorino, which means every bite is an absolute eruption of cheesy flavors coming from every angle. Then, you add the essence of truffle oil into the whole mix to give this already amazing bowl of gooey goodness an elegant and savory blast. This is mac and cheese on steroids, and it's an amazing thing.

2. Mushroom Ravioli

Whether you fill a ravioli with meat, veggies, cheese, or a combination of the three, as long as the ingredients are great quality, the end result is going to be a pasta dish worth diving head first into. The Mushroom Ravioli at Romano's Macaroni Grill proves this delicious point. Even though protein lovers might initially feel disappointed there isn't any meat in the dish, rest assured the quality of the ingredients used in this pasta make it an amazing meal that'll take all of that frustration away within the first bite.

The fresh ravioli pasta is stuffed with porcini mushrooms, which give the dish a nutty and intense taste. The pasta is served with caramelized onions and a marsala cream sauce, and honestly, those are the only two things you need. The caramelized onions are so soft and so sweet, and they are the perfect accompaniment to the intensely earthy flavor of the ravioli. It's a sweet and savory pairing that'll have your taste buds singing praises. And the marsala sauce is what ties everything together and coats the dish with its creamy flavor. Every bite is rich, sweet, tangy, and mouthwatering.

1. Butternut Tortellacci

So you're sitting down at Romano's Macaroni Grill perusing the pasta section of the menu when you come across the term tortellacci. You have no idea what it means, so you think, "I'll just play it safe and order something else instead." Do yourself a favor, friend, and absolutely order the Butternut Tortellacci. As it turns out, tortellacci is just a large version of a tortellini, and tortellini is awesome. This dish, however, puts awesome to shame.

The tortellacci pasta in this dish is filled with a rich four-cheese blend, tossed with sweet roasted butternut squash and crispy prosciutto, coated with an incredibly rich asiago cream sauce, and finished with fresh grated Parmesan. This dish has every single flavor bursting at the seams, and your palate will feel like a fireworks show just erupted on it. You have the subtle sweetness from the butternut squash, sharp saltines from the cheese, rich creaminess from the asiago sauce, and salty strips of crunchy textural perfection from the prosciutto. Do not let this dish go undiscovered. This is the reason you go out to dinner.