When I asked my dining partner if he had any feedback about our dinner at Maguire’s, he had one word for me: forgettable. I promise it wasn’t as bad as that sounds. It simply lacked that “wow” factor we were hoping for. Part of that we can blame on our well-intentioned but clueless server, who kept going back to the bartender—“the only person here who knows,” she said—when we had a question about the wine list. Eventually the bartender came through, however, with an Estancia Meritage (not on the list), which we got for less than $30, thanks to the Sunday night half-price wine bottle special.
The food, on the other hand, started off with a bang: tenderloin crostini, with tender, well-seasoned filet medallions perched atop toast rounds and drizzled with béarnaise. Next up was a tomato and mozzarella Napoleon, a tower of sliced tomatoes and mozzarella, graciously cut in half for us to share. Bits of crispy, salty bacon were strewn about, and while I generally believe everything tastes better with bacon, I could have done without it here, because the mozzarella just couldn’t stand up to it. We believed the marketing hype on the menu, so we chose the “famous” meatloaf and “addictive” green chile lasagna. The former was full of flavor, thanks to the can’t-miss combo of ground pork and veal, but it was overcooked and dry—which might have been overlooked had there been enough mushroom porto sauce to go around. The lasagna, a perked-up, Southwestern version of this Italian classic, fared better, although I had to dig under a blanket of mozzarella to get to it. I am happy to report that, like most layered casserole, the lasagna was just as good, if not better, the next day for lunch.
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