Pioneering Italians were not only the first to put tomatoes in cuisine, they were also the first people to take photographs of themselves pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Delight in their inventiveness with today's Groupon to Mariani’s Inn & Restaurant in Santa Clara. Choose between the following options:
• For $15, you get $30 worth of Italian-American fare at dinner.
• For $10, you get $20 worth of Italian-American fare at lunch.
With recipes honed through more than 50 years of practice, chefs twist pasta and ladle sauces at Mariani's Inn & Restaurant to create lunch and dinner menus populated with Italian classics. Kick off a meal with an order of steamed clams ($8) that evoke images of pristine Italian beaches and labyrinthine vineyards tended by oenophilic minotaurs. At dinner, slicing incisors and steak knives cut through the succulent Angus-certified filet mignon ($29), charbroiled in a port-wine reduction, or the calamari steak ($16), pan-seared in a caper-lemon-garlic-wine sauce. The veal saltimbocca ($20.95) illuminates midday repasts garnished with a savory landscape of prosciutto mountains, a melted lake of jack cheese, and scallions carved to look like miniature sherpas. Add mostaccioli ($3.25) to any meal for a sample of cylindrical pasta swathed in marinara and parmesan.
Mariani’s patrons croon the songs of their stomachs and souls for karaoke on Thursday nights and work off their meals on the dance floor with live music and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights.