You can’t miss the nearly open Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant in Scottsdale.
The Chicago-based eatery sits directly behind the 125-foot-high Frank Lloyd Wright spire at the Promenade shopping center on the southeast corner of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Scottsdale Road. It is slated to open Thursday.
On cooler days, diners are likely to fill up the patio, enjoying the monument up close.
For those who like the world-famous architect’s designs in less-flamboyant doses, Maggiano’s has incorporated Wright-inspired designs throughout the restaurant — from the stained-glass windows to the geometric carvings in the massive wood bar.
The crystal chandeliers typical of Maggiano’s 28 other locations are replaced by Wright-inspired light fixtures.
But mostly Maggiano’s decor is reminiscent of an oldtime Italian restaurant in a city like New York or Chicago. There are old photos in ornate frames, red-checkered tablecloths, black leather booths and lots of dark wood. The entry is an elegant piano bar with a black-and-white, mosaic tile floor.
The menu is full of pasta dishes — all made from scratch, of course. That’s expected in a good Italian restaurant.
But you can also order a prime piece of beef.
"I’d put our steaks up against any steakhouse in Scottsdale," said general manager Craig Lancaster.
In a sea of restaurants — Benihana and Cantina Laredo next door, Fox Sports Grill ac ro s s the parking lot, Tomaso’s and Charleston’s across the street — Maggiano’s will win its share of diners, Lancaster said.
"We have a presence in large markets like Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia and D.C. that gives us instant name recognition," he said. "And (the Valley) has a large presence of permanent residents from the Midwest and those who come here for winters."