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A rare event occurred yesterday. I went to an actual sit down dinner at Carrabba’s, with my husband, just the two of us! And being one of those rare breeds who not only loves to eat but also is devoting her career to it, I can say for certain my eye and tastebuds have a certain detail more than the casual diner so for me its about the whole experience. And in this case? A winner.
I love how much detail they put into the design it almost feels like a real Trattoria in Italy. They had outdoor fans above tables all around the outside, it looks so nice, and I can see myself having a pizza out there this summer!
We were seated right away and drink orders were immediately. Hubby opted for an iced tea. Being that Carrabbas has a very nice selection of wine and even a bar area adjacent to the dining area, I took the opportunity to order my favorite drink, a Martini. Well an Appletini to be exact. And it was the best one I’ve had yet.
We chose an appetizer and did the Calamari. This was a shocker. You see I didn’t know that in Italy the real authentic way to make the Murena Fritta (Fried Calamari) is to fry all of it not just rings sliced from the head area. So it was interesting to see the different shaped pieces. I had a couple pieces but hubby really loved it and ate most of it. It was tasty though! We also got a basket of bread with olive oil and herbs to munch on. Yeah we ate it all and it was super tasty.
For our starters Hubby got a side salad and I opted for soup which is not what I usually order. I selected the spicy chicken soup.
Ok I will say 2 things about this soup that are good, one is that it was DELICIOUS and spicy but not enough to ruin my taste buds. Also I very very much appreciate that this isn’t something prefab its homemade. The bad part, in the eyes of the CHEF in me, the fact that there is a pretty big piece of chicken skin staring right at me tells me that they could use some quality control. It might have been done on purpose, who knows, but chef would have yelled at me for that for sure. But the soup was GOOD.
Main Courses. Its really hard to go through the menu because everything sounds SO good. And smells good too. In the end hubby chose the Salmon with a Fettuccine side and I chose the Lasagne though I nearly chose the Sirloin Marsala. The salmon was topped with a Topped with a tomato basil vinaigrette.
Both meals were absolutely delicious. The sauce in my lasagne was superb and I loved the freshly grated at my table Romano cheese for the top. I was so glad when hubby told me the next time he tries to cook salmon that he wants to do it just like the way they did at Carrabbas. Hubby has a history of not embracing the culinary arts when it comes to fish so it was music to my ears.
We were stuffed by the time we left but we had a very good visit. As always I don’t let them know I am reviewing them for my blog because I don’t want special treatment. I didn’t need it, the manager and wait staff were amazing and always asked us how everything was soon after tasting. The decor was absolutely perfect. My favorite hands down, the OPEN KITCHEN!
My only piece of advice I would give to this place is to plate the food better. There was nothing pretty in the presentations of our food. Sure they tasted good but you always taste first with your eyes and for this review, the picky chef in me would like to see the dishes prettier.
If you love Italian food and love Carrabba’s they have a promotion on Facebook where you can sign up to receive emails and specials from Carrabbas and be entered to win a classic Vespa scooter! It all starts with liking Carrabba’s on Facebook! Here’s a hint, when you sign up for Postcards from Italy the first email you will get is an offer for a FREE appetizer. SWEET deal!
WIN IT!! Carrabbas is giving one lucky reader a $25 Gift Card so they too can get a taste of Italy!
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The winner of this contest is Eve!
Disclosure: I was given gift cards to Carrabbas to facilitate this review, opinions are my own.