Dining out: Maurilio's

Published: Friday, March 21 2008 12:00 a.m. MDT

It's never good when you have to describe your restaurant's location as "behind Winger's," but such is the dilemma facing Maurilio's.
Wedged in behind both the aforementioned national chain AND a Mexican place, Maurilio's is easy to overlook, despite a fairly good location just south of Redwood Road and 9000 South.
But I hope people find their way to Maurilio's; if they do, they'll enjoy a good Italian meal with some homey touches.
We visited Maurilio's on a perfect evening for warm, comforting Italian food: It was windy, cold and alternately raining and snowing. A server greeted us at the door and quickly showed us to a table in the smallish dining space, which is a nice blend of casual — metal chairs, tile floor, a big front counter — and elegant — white tablecloths, high ceilings and art-bedecked walls in buttery and chocolate shades.
The food is a nice blend, too: reasonably priced, good quality and with portion sizes that are filling but don't make diners feel stuffed.
We started with the shrimp scampi and grilled chicken pizza. The scampi was six big, tender shrimp, sauteed in butter and white wine and served in a ramekin. It was not quite as hot as I like, but it was delicious. Even my husband enjoyed it, and he usually sticks to breaded shrimp.
The pizza, flavorful and just unusual enough to be interesting, had a chewy crust and was topped with pesto, loads of caramelized onions, cheese and a quartered tomato wedge on each slice.
My oldest daughter ordered lasagna from the regular menu, receiving a four-inch square of layered pasta, meat and cheese. Our 7-year-old had a plate of round, pillowy cheese ravioli topped with both marinara and Alfredo sauces, a nice touch that gave each bite a different blend of flavors. Our youngest daughter had aromatic, chunky pasta e fagioli soup and finished the whole bowl.
My husband, a man of simple tastes, had the chicken Alfredo, its creamy and meaty flavors well balanced by the addition of peas and bright-green broccoli. I had the chicken canneloni, a nice presentation with pasta tubes gently filled with a straightforward, beautifully seasoned mixture of chicken, mushrooms and ricotta cheese.
With each pasta dish, instead of bread, we all got a crusty roll, split, grilled and buttered. I liked this unique touch.
For dessert, Maurilio's has a decent selection that the server assured us was made on site. Besides tiramisu, which I never can pass up at an Italian restaurant, we had rich, steaming chocolate bread pudding studded with nuts and cranberries and a silky-textured, triple-chocolate mousse that went from white on top to darkest brown on the bottom.
And there was that tiramisu: authentic, not too sweet, full of tender ladyfingers soaked in coffee cemented with creamy mascarpone — in other words, heavenly.
Appetizers $6.99-$10.99, soup and salad $3.99-$8.99, steak and ribs $13.99-$17.99, chicken and fish $11.99-$13.99, pasta $8.99-$13.99, kids' meals $4.49.

Rating: ***
Where: 1650 W. Fox Park Drive, West Jordan
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Payment: Major credit cards accepted; no checks
Phone: 563-7447
Wheelchair access: Easy
Also: Location is easier to find than it sounds: just off Redwood Road a block south of 9000 South

By the way, I'm still seeking your opinions about restaurant wait times: What's too much? Do you avoid restaurants with long waits? If not, how do you manage them, especially with large groups or kids? Let me know at the e-mail address below.

Stacey Kratz is a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret Morning News.

E-mail: skratz@desnews.com

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company