Monday, October 25, 2010

Carmine's in DC

I had heard that the famous NYC restaurant, Carmine's, had opened a DC-outpost.  Early reviews included favorable comments.  It's family-style Italian, with portions so large you should go with a group to enjoy as many different dishes as possible. Definitely a few steps above Buca di Beppo and Maggiano's.  7 of us went to an early dinner Saturday night for some pre-race carbo-loading.
Located at 425 7th Street NW, between D and E Streets. 
This immense 700-seat restaurant is across from the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Lansburgh Theatre. 
Mixed Green Slaad ($18.50)
Stuffed Mushrooms ($14.50). 
We should have asked, but these were stuffed with a savory pork sausage.
Linguini with white clam sauce ($23.50)
The clams were plump and the sauce was not too salty, this was my favorite pasta.
Penne alla Vodka ($23.50)
Robust tomato, vodka and cream sauce with chunks of tomato, basil and garlic. 
Spaghetti and Meatballs ($23.50)
The meatballs were the size of tennis balls.  Made with a mixture of beef and veal, they're dense and flavorful.
The Titanic ($19.50). 
A colossal dessert made with a flourless chocolate cake base, scoops of ice cream, bananas, strawberries, nuts and whipped cream.  A smaller version, called the Tugboat, is also available.
Tiramisu ($16.50)
Nicely flavored, this gorgeous dessert could easily serve 8-10 people. 
Call me Odd, but I thought the beautiful bathroom deserved a photo too.
The service was very nice and patient as we debated which dishes to try.  I couldn't help but watch the massive platters delivered to other tables and wonder how two people could dine here without boxes of leftovers for days.  Everything we tried was very good.  I'd like to return to try a few different dishes with a large group again.  In the one hiccup of the night, our server and her manager acted swifty and professionally.

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