I’m just as surprised as you are to see a chain restaurant review on my honeymoon….but we had a really good reason.
We got to Louisville fairly late. After checking into the hotel, it was after 8:00 on a Sunday, so we knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of time to do any sort of exploring. We were also pretty far from downtown out on the east side of town.
On top of that, my mom had given us a gift card to Chili’s before we left. The company that owns Chili’s also Romano’s and neither of us had eaten at a Romano’s. To make things even better, we passed one on the way to the hotel.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill is on the east side of Louisville on Hurstbourne Parkway. It’s in an area with a lot of other chain restaurants and small shops.
We pulled up closer to 8:30 just hoping they were still serving. Neither J nor I knew what to expect because we had no idea what kind of restaurant we were walking in to.
When you walk through the door, you sort of walk between the kitchens. There’s an open air space on either side where the food is prepared. After that, you walk up to a hostess stand. We were shown to a table in the dining room on the right side of hostess.
When we opened the menus, we finally realized what kind of restaurant we were at and the Tuscan Villa decor made much more sense.
A few minutes later, the waitress came over. Let me start by saying she was an excellent waitress. She was prompt and courteous but not intrusive. The problem was, neither of us could understand a word she was saying. She was an Asian-American and English was definitely a second language. She started explaining the oil on the table and how the restaurant serves wine and with the noise of the restaurant, neither of us could really get a grasp on the process. J politely declined wine because we’re not really wine drinkers. Instead, she ordered a Sangria (and yes, I know that has wine in it) and I got a Budweiser. We both got a glass of water to help stretch the drink.
We had a hard time deciding on entrees. There were five or six things each of us had an eye on. I settled on the Lasagna Al Forno I got a huge slice of twice baked lasagna that was stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella and served in an earthenware bowl nestled in a charger. The bolognese sauce was delicious and the portion was huge. I like lasagna, but I almost never like lasagna as much as I like my own. This was pretty close. Not quite, but close.
J started with a side salad that was uninteresting. Good, but nothing special. For dinner, she chose my first choice, the Pollo Caprese. It was a very pretty plate with a salad of fresh herbs on one side followed by a grilled chicken breast and finally Capellini Pomodoro that were covered in a buffalo sauce. It was topped with buffalo mozzarella and cherry tomatoes. She really liked it, but there was enough on the plate to share, so I got a few bites. The sauce on the pasta was hotter than I would have thought, but it was good. She ate all the mozzarella, so I have no idea what that was like. The chicken was good, but it was just a chicken breast. I got half of that and polished it off willingly.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill was a surprise. It was kind of like an Olive Garden on steroids. Sure, they don’t have the endless soup, salad, and bread sticks, but they have quality Italian food. Our bill was a little over $30 and our gift card was for $40. We paid for the meal with the card then tipped with cash. Our meal was great. It was a great end of the day meal. The closest Macaroni Grill to Lansing is in Ann Arbor and even though we’ve drove by it, we never considered stopping due to the great dining options we know of in A2. We were driving blind in Louisville and with no time to stop and enjoy ourselves, Macaroni Grill was a welcome change from the usual suspects.