Saturday, February 21, 2009

Manga Carrabba’s Italian Grill

I recently won a gift certificate for $50 from Carrabba’s Italian Grill. I’ll have to be honest. My husband and I both love Italian food but don’t generally like chain Italian restaurants. When I lived just outside of DC I sometimes drove all the way to Baltimore to eat at one of the great Italian Restaurants in Little Italy. You were guaranteed never to leave the table stuffed and mumbling something about how you ate too much. This didn’t mean that you regretted eating too much, rather it was an acknowledgement of having done so. I can still close my eyes and almost taste the home made canola from one of the bakeries there.

For Darryl and I always seem to find a favorite restaurant no matter where we live. There is a recipe for perfect Italian restaurant which is part food, part atmosphere, part service, and some je ne sais pas. I do know when I’ve found it though.

I had never been to Carrabba’s before but Darryl had been once before on a working dinner. We went to have a late lunch so that we wouldn’t have to rush. Before we went though we checked out their menu on line. It was a difficult choice but we were both in the mood for a nice steak dinner.

When we arrived at the Carrabba’s in Kennesaw, Georgia we didn’t have a long wait. Within five minutes we found ourselves sitting in an intimate booth. Big points for booths as Mr. Thrifty and I prefer booths especially in Italian restaurants. Our waiter came right out and took our drink order. I was in the mood for a glass of Sangria.

We both ordered a steak. I ordered the Filet Scampi and my husband ordered a Filet Fiorentina. Steaks and other items from the Wood Burning Grill come with a choice of house salad or soup and two sides. We both chose the house salad with its creamy parmesan dressing. For my sides I decided to try the spaghetti pomodoro and the cavatappi amatricina. Darryl decided to try the garlic mashed potatoes as one of his sides. While we waited for our salad our waiter brought out a basket of bread and seasoned olive oil.

The lighting was low and Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra played in the background. We had come hungry but didn’t stay that way long. Our salad came out to the table pretty quickly. I don’t eat much red meat so for me steak is a real treat. I just didn’t know what a real treat I was going to have. My steak was so tender it almost melted in my mouth.

Now, I’m really being won over. Great food, a friendly server, and the servings were abundonza!!!! I wound up taking half of my meal home. You see I HAD to save room for dessert. We had a coupon for a desserts sampler. It included three desserts from a special menu. This gave us a chance to try their Sogna di Ciccolata, Dessert Rosa, and Cannoli. Oh YUM on the Cannoli. It was just as good as the ones I used to eat back in Baltimore.

The Managing Partner Michael Shroeder even came by our table to talk with us. This made our meal even better. In small family run Italian Restaurants you often meet the owner. He usually comes by to talk to you and ask you how your meal was. I seldom experience that in most chain restaurants. This is definitely a place we would LOVE to come back to visit.

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