The Macaroni Grill

Romano’s Macaroni Grill at the Mansion

Please note: this restaurant has since closed

Address: 1523 Davie Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604.689.4334

Ahhhh, the Macaroni Grill – usually I find it to be quite good for the $$. They’re fast and surprisingly classy for the price range. A lot of it has to do with the location – the building is a stunning mansion and frequently during the summer they open up tables for dining out on the lawn under the magnolias.

I tend to recommend the Grill to people in their 20’s who aren’t millionaires but still want a nice night out. The Grill tends to find a nice balance between fun and pretend fancy. They have an okay wine list, sweet and practiced servers, and they’ll give you crayons to draw on the tablecloths, yay!

Of course, on the night I went to review them everything sucked. They didn’t have any tables set up outside, the service was the slowest of all time ever, the food was meh, and their debit machine was down. But this was a rare thing; usually it’s all good times.

The mansion was still as fabulous as ever with it’s stained glass and minimalist decor. We were seated immediately without a reservation (this is not always the case) and jumped right into the wine and antipasti lists. A bottle of 2 oceans sauvignon was a good start (it was extra hot out) and we grabbed caesar salads, and a starter sampler ($12) right off the bat. The salad was fine as were the calamari and mushroom caps in the sampler. But the bruschetta was the WORST EVER! The kitchen seemed to have forgotten the spicing and oven aspects. I remember exclaiming “I could have cut up a raw tomato and dumped it on an old piece of bread at home!”. Terrible! I will NEVER order that again.

The rest of their menu is fairly inexpensive and quite varied:

Salads $7-14

Pastas $12-16

Seafood $17-22

Chicken $15-20

Classic Italian dishes $14-28

In the past I’ve had the lobster ravioli ($22) — which is deeeelicious! I’ve also had the Angellini di Mare ($18). But for the mains this time around we got the: trio of chicken parmesan, chicken cannelloni and lasagna ($19), the sicilian pizza ($12), and the prawn & chicken scaloppini ($19).

The trio was really nice – the cannelloni was by far my favorite with its cheesy goodness. The sicilian pizza was simply tasty (sweet Italian sausage, pepperoni, fontina and mozzarella cheeses baked with marinara and basil). And the scallopini was very nice — even if heavy on the sauce (pan roasted chicken breast, mushrooms, lemon butter and vermicelli) the shrimps were large and plentiful and the mushrooms were goo-ood eatin’. 

Though all the dishes were tasty good times it took forever to get our meals with barely an apology and no explanation. The table next to us arrived after we did and were finished their meals before ours even arrived!! I was super pissed off! I left not feeling as a valued customer at all. Though I usually like the grill I won’t be going back any time soon. If I was a broke college student taking my mom out for her birthday I would rate this place really well overall…but I’m an annoyed reviewer who got shit service so….I rate this particular dining experience: minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit for mediocre service.

Open: 5-10 nightly (4-11 on weekends)

Reservations: Sure, why not.

Parking: They usually have a valet for…um…$6 (I think)

I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I  I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I

Perfect pairing:

This is a tricky one….inside the restaurant they were playing music that matched their bruschetta — Old and Bad (madonna from the Austin Powers soundtrack).

So I’m going with:

Billy Idol – Idol songs

11 of his greatest hits. Even Idol fans won’t like all these songs. I don’t know what this guy’s been doing in the business for 33 years. He’s put out 14 albums – but at least 4 of them are ‘Greatest Hits’ (including this one re-released 5 years later with the tracks re-arranged) and one of them is a holiday album! 


Beach Boys –  Still cruisin’

This album is amazing! Kokomo, Wipe Out, I Get Around, and California Girls are all on it. It went gold for a reason.

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2 Responses to The Macaroni Grill

  1. Tzar Bi Kinmu says:

    “It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times”

    I imagine all places to be like a bunch of chimps in the back, cooking up dishes, and usually they are creating descent dishes, but sometimes you get the blurst. My experience in that place personally, is that everyone else’s dishes look and smell better then mine. But I haven’t been back there in like a 2 year span. I always go for the spiciest or most seafoody dish they have, only to get a little disappointed by it. Been there 3 times so far I think, maybe I should learn and just go for a pasta dish with chicken and leave surf dishes to other places for my pallet. But from what I do remember, the sauces always seemed runny for the pasta dishes, even the creamy sauces, which is kinda strange.

    And maybe I have something against being served shrimp in their shell, thinking it’s the laziest way of preparing it.

  2. lynbot says:

    This restaurant has since CLOSED.

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