Nothing makes me happier than seeing huge portions of good food. When I’m with a large group of people who don’t have a ton of money to spend, off to Carmine’s we go. I’ve been to both locations in Manhattan and the consensus is that the service is never great, unless you get an upstairs table at the theatre district location.
Carmine’s is the epitome of family style Italian dining. You’re surround by hustle and bustle, loud talking and laughter everywhere. And you will never leave hungry.
Dishes I’ve devoured at Carmine’s:
Baked clams: Good, not great but good. Scoop the sauce at the bottom of the dish for a big hit of garlic.
Zuppa de mussels: Yummy, yummy, yum, yum. And I love dipping my bread into the leftover sauce.
Carmine’s salad: Think leafy green mixed with antipasto, chunks of salami and cheese all throughout
Ceasar Salad: It is what it says and doesn’t disappoint.
Mixed seafood pasta: Their pasta is always al dente and they do not skimp on the seafood.
Pasta with white clam sauce: Like I said, perfectly cooked, you cannot go wrong with their pasta dishes.
Chicken Marsala: The wine flavor is a bit overpowering for me, but the chicken was cooked well.
Chicken parmigiana: A very tasty dish, I probably could have eaten the entire plate if I had more time.
Broiled porterhouse: HUGE portion, great for meat eaters.
Porterhouse Contidina: This blew the plain porterhouse out of the water. I could cut the meat with just a fork and the sausages, potatoes, peppers and onions added an incredible amount of flavor. Love at first bite.
Strawberry shortcake: To me this tastes amazingly when done simple and to the point, which is how Carmine’s does it. A delicious winner.
Chocolate Torta: A must have for any chocolate lover. Think of an oversized, good quality, rich brownie that is slightly undercooked. Grab a side of ice cream to go with it.
I know, I know, I complain about the service at tons of other places, why don’t I let it affect about how I feel about Carmine’s? Part of it is because it’s a family style restaurant so it’s very laidback in my eyes. Another part is that the restaurant is simply understaffed. They should bring on more waiters, but at the same time if they do, the waiters would make less money. One more part. The cost of the food is extremely reasonable. One bowl of pasta can feed 4 people and have them leave full. I can’t complain about that.
8.5 out of 10