East Braintree, MA

New York Sirloin Steak
Eggplant & Sausage
Fresh eggplant and sausages, topped with cheese & meat sauce, served en casserole.

If you manage to leave Maria’s hungry, you didn’t order anything. Or eat off of anyone else’s plate. The pre-dinner salad was modestly sized; the portion, at least of the breaded eggplant and sausage en casserole, was more than generous: layered eggplant and sausages sliced lengthwise, drowning in rich red meat sauce. I found the sauce became a little too spicy over time, but I couldn’t have eaten the whole thing in one sitting anyway; brought half home and now it’s in the fridge.

Steak was well-cooked, moist, and tender, but an over-application of liquid smoke prior to searing led to a slight charred taste (but not at all a charred steak). This was easily masked by our favorite A1 steak sauce, which actually complimented and balanced the flavor. Mixed vegetables on the side were seasoned with an olive oil-garlicky type dressing: not overwhelming on the garlic and in proper proportion to the amount of veggies. DH chose baked potato on the side, with no complaints.

I wish the water glasses were larger. I think they held about a tablespoonful, and our waitress seemed a little overwhelmed for a fairly quiet Monday night, so they didn’t get refilled. She also handed the night’s specials handwritten on a piece of paper and let us read them ourselves; non-traditional, but at least the handwriting was perfectly clear and there were prices listed too. Service was polite and entrees came quickly.

Love, love, love the kitschy neo-Italian-American decor. Who doesn’t love a faux grape arbor in the middle of the dining room? Wall murals are lush, bright, abundant, and add to the new-old-world charm; white porcelain statuary placed in wall niches throughout the room reminded me of street vendors in Florence and Rome. With the broken silverware drawer on service-area hutch staring him in the face all night, DH says it feels just like home.

And who doesn’t love strings of Christmas lights daisy-chained in and around empty Valpollicella Chianti bottles? You know the wine didn’t go to waste in the name of decor.

NOTE: When you eat at Maria’s, your UPromise account may benefit. Ours did!