Romano's Macaroni Grill is a casual dining restaurant chain specializing in Italian-American cuisine. The company has over 200 locations around the world, and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

The first restaurant was founded by Texas restaurateur Philip J. Romano in Leon Springs, Texas on April 19, 1988. Brinker International, Inc. bought the franchise rights to the company on November 22, 1989.



Eggplant Quadratini

Macaroni Grill Restaurant Copycat Recipe

Serves 2

1 eggplant, ends removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
3 ounces (about 1 cup) uncooked penne pasta
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon each chopped garlic
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon each red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Optional seasonings: additional salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Evenly place eggplant and cherry tomatoes on the sheet. Spray with nonstick spray, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until eggplant is tender and tomatoes are soft and slightly blackened, 25 - 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare pasta in a medium pot per package instructions, about 10 minutes. Drain and cover to keep warm.

To make the sauce, bring a small pot sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Cook and stir onion and garlic until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir until onion has fully softened, about 5 minutes. Gently stir sauce and baked veggies into the cooked pasta. Sprinkle each serving with basil and feta cheese. 

Romano's Kitchen Counter

Romano’s Macaroni Grill unveiled  a  fast-casual lunch format called Romano’s Kitchen Counter inside 131 of its company owned restaurants.

The division of Houston-based Ignite Restaurant Group, which also owns the Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tap casual-dining brands, said the Kitchen Counter, open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., intends to give lunch customers a faster, less expensive option than its traditional full service menu.

The popular Italian restaurant chain recently announced the new $7 menu items, which are available at more than 130 Macaroni Grill locations nationwide. These made-to-order meals are guaranteed in seven minutes or the meal is free. With a wide array of options like fresh salads, classic dishes-turned-sandwiches, pasta and specialty Calzonettos – handheld pockets filled with your favorite Italian ingredients and baked in a brick oven – the new menu offers sit-down quality for those even on the tightest of schedules.

Some of Macaroni Grill’s Kitchen Counter signature dishes include:

  • Prosciutto Grilled Cheese – Lightly smoked prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and four cheese fonduta, served on warm ciabatta.
  • Chicken Parmesan Sandwich – Parmesan chicken, mozzarella, imported pomodorinia and fresh basil served on warm ciabatta.
  • Chicken Caesar Calzonetto – Handheld pocket stuffed with grilled chicken, tomatoes, spinach, oregano, Parmesan, mozzarella and Caesar dressing.

New Menu Items

Romano's Macaroni Grill New Items: 

  • Smashed Meatball Fatbread: Thick crust pizza topped with crushed beef and veal meatballs and mozzarella cheese, starting at $7
  • Farmhouse Fatbread: Thick crust pizza topped with mozzarella, bacon, prosciutto and sauteed spinach, starting at $7
  • Pesto Primavera Fatbread (pictured): Thick crust pizza topped with mozzarella, zucchini, roasted tomatoes, bell peppers and basil, starting at $7
  •  Margherita Fatbread: Thick crust pizza topped with bruschetta tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, starting at $7
Availability: Through Oct. 26, 2014

Macaroni Grill has been filling its menu with Italian inspirations, including the new Fatbreads.
And go big is exactly what they've done with their latest menu offering. The Fatbreads new specialty pizzas elevate the traditional flatbread pizza by delivering a bigger crust, more ingredients and larger flavor. The new Fatbreads are available now at participating Romano's Macaroni Grill locations nationwide.

Inspiration for these new menu offerings came after Romano's Macaroni Grill Executive Chef Antonio Iocchi traveled to his hometown in Italy to search for "the next big thing."

4 Course Tasting Menu


Romano’s Macaroni Grill introduced Monday a limited-time $15 four-course meal promotion and is extending its offering of half-price house wines through the end of the year.

The four-course dinner deal positions the 208-unit chain, a division of Houston-based Ignite Restaurant Group, differently from casual dining competitors such as Applebee’s and Chili’s, whose “Two for $20” deals have become a staple on their menus.

The four-course meal begins with an aperitivo course of Ravioli Tostati, followed by a salad course. The pasta course includes a choice of Spaghetti Napolitana with Italian tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil, or Fettuccini Alfredo with Parmesan sauce.

The fourth course features any two Spiedini, which are grilled skewers of sausage, chicken, steak or shrimp topped with a verde sauce. The steak or shrimp choices require a supplemental charge, the company said.

As part of the brand’s emphasis on its wine offerings, which it promoted in half price deals during the summer, Macaroni Grill is featuring half-priced house wines through the end of the year. Wine will be priced at $2.75 a glass or $15 for a 1.5-liter bottle.

Rustic Kitchen Meatballs

Romano's Macaroni Grill New Item:

Rustic Kitchen Meatballs: Available in beef Bolognese, veal Marsala and chicken Parmesan flavors, made with a half pound of meat as well as specialty cheeses and herbs, served with spaghetti for $11.50-$13.

Availability: through the end of August, 2014

Chicken Scallopine

Macaroni Grill Copycat Recipe

Serves 10

Lemon Butter Sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound (4 sticks) butter

6-8 (3-oz.) chicken breasts, pounded thin
oil and butter for sauteing chicken
1/2 to 3/4 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, for dredging
6 ounces pancetta, cooked
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups artichoke hearts, sliced
1 tablespoon capers
1 pound angel hair pasta, cooked
chopped parsley, for garnish

To make the sauce: Heat the lemon juice and white wine in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce by one-third. Add cream and simmer until mixture thickens (3 to 4 minutes). Slowly add butter until completely incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm. To make chicken and pasta: Cook pasta and drain. Heat a small amount of oil and two tablespoons butter in a large skillet. Dredge chicken in flour and saute in pan, turning once, until brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and add to pan remaining ingredients. Heat until mushrooms soften and are cooked; add chicken back to pan.

To serve: Place cooked pasta on each plate. Add half of butter sauce to chicken mixture and toss. Taste and adjust, adding more sauce if needed. Place chicken mixture over pasta. Garnish with parsley. Alternately, mix pasta and chicken mixture together. Toss with butter sauce.

Grilled Chicken with Mushrooms

Macaroni Grill Copycat Recipe

1 chicken breast
1/4 cup portabello mushrooms
1/2 ounce smoked mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil blend
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup spinach, julienne cut
1/4 cup rosemary
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup prepared orzo
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cut chicken breast in half, and place skin-side down on the grill. Cross mark and cook half way. Turn breasts over arrange mushrooms on top of breasts. Cover the topped breast with a pie tin. This will heat the mushrooms. In a hot saute pan, place oil, garlic, peppers, salt and pepper. Saute until garlic begins to brown. Add orzo and chicken stock. Saute 1 minute, stirring to prevent sticking. Add spinach and toss until it begins to wilt.

Place smoked cheese slices over mushrooms. Ladle spinach and orzo covering top half of plate. Be sure to remove all from pan. Using the same hot saute pan, place stock and deglaze over heat. Bring to a boil. Shingle cooked breast off spinach orzo and top with the sauce.

Shrimp Portofino

Macaroni Grill Copycat Recipe

Serves 4

16 medium mushrooms
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/2 cup butter, melted
16 large shrimp, cleaned
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed, peeled, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts
4 slices lemon
2 tablespoons parsley

Saute mushrooms and garlic in butter until almost tender. Add shrimp and saute until shrimp is cooked, about 3 minutes (Do not overcook!). Add remaining ingredients except the lemon and parsley and heat through. Serve over pasta or rice. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley.

Notes: After looking at the menu description "jumbo shrimp, capellini, spinach, mushrooms, pine nuts, lemon butter" I would omit the artichokes hearts and wilt some spinach into the sauce and serve over angel hair pasta to make this more like the dish at Macaroni Grill