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For a Family Style Feast: “Carmines”

When you are in N.Y.C. and you want a satisfying, delicious meal within your budget there are several places to go. My best recommendation is one that has more than one locale for your convenience, Carmine’s. Carmine’s also happens to be one of the best places to eat Italian food. 

I first discovered Carmine’s several years ago when I was taking in Gypsy on Broadway. It was in a great location and the place was hopping. I would soon learn that in order to get into this hot spot having a reservation is the smartest way to go. But I was lucky that first time and ever since it is a place I recommend for New Yorkers and those that want to act like one.

Carmines’ menu is very classically Italian including many of the pastas, chicken, veal, and seafood entrees you are looking for. The appetizers and desserts make it hard to choose from. The best part is that the serving size is for a family or any group you are with. The more people you are with the more plates you can order so you can try a bit of everything. That is what I like to do. I went once with only my best friend and we tried our hardest but we couldn’t make a dent in the two orders we had. An ideal group is four and over making it a great location for celebrating a birthday or special event.

My last trip to Carmine’s occurred last year when I was out in the theater district. I was having dinner before seeing a play, A Raisin in the Sun ( Prior to this evening I hadn’t been to Carmines in a few years and I had a craving for their food. My friends and I (3 in total) were so excited to be there. I had my reservation for months and it was a joy to find a restaurant that I liked where I didn’t have to wait one month to the day I wanted to go in order to book it. I also knew that my table would be waiting for me when I walked in as it was not a place where a reservation is an estimated time which for me was another plus. 

But now onto the food, it’s almost too good to be true. This time we ordered the calamari as an appetizer. This is octopus cut up into small pieces and fried. It is served with a marinara sauce on the side. This can be a tricky dish because if it is not cooked right it will be too chewy and that is not pleasant. But here there are no worries. It was crispy without being greasy making it a perfect appetizer choice.

For our entrees with ordered the chicken Parmesan, and ziti in a garlic and oil sauce with broccoli and sausage. The food was brought out one after another. It wasn’t out too quick or too late. We weren’t being rushed out even though we managed to keep on schedule for the show.

All of the entrees were freshly out of the oven piping hot. They were each rich in flavor and the way I had knew they would taste in my mind. My cravings were all being satisfied and thus so was I. It is the kind of meal that once you have had it and are completely full will still crave the leftovers you couldn’t take with you. At intermission a quick bite or two would have hit the spot. Anyway dinner at this restaurant was a great way to begin my evening out.

Our server was nice and helpful. Actually the entire restaurant has a friendly attitude. The restaurant itself has enough seating for a party of any size and has an old world look to it while keeping it clean and modern.

Lastly I would say that I love coming here and even though we had been on a break we are still very much an item.

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