Monday, September 20, 2010

DC Food Blogger Happy Hour at Carmines - October 6


Olga from Mango & Tomato and I checked this place out a few weeks ago and it is just like the Carmine's in New York City. It is big, it serves big platters, and its PACKED with people. We got there at 6:30 on a Friday night and was told that it would be a 45 minute wait for a table for two. This is at a restaurant that boasts to be a 700 seat restaurant.

It was just our luck that we ended up at the bar. Customers can order from the main menu or they can order from the bar menu that includes hoagies for $10. The happy hour food special sof the day was an appetizer of fried zucchini or meatball sliders for $4 each. Olga and I ordered both to try. We also ordered an eggplant Parmesan hoagie with a salad to share. The fried zucchini were cut like shoestrings, battered, fried, and topped with a lot of Parmesan cheese. They were salty fried goodness but in the end, packed a lot of oil that you felt later. The meatball sliders were big, fat meatballs (probably the size of a baseball) that was good. If Olga and I just ate the appetizers, we would have left the restaurant full and it would have been an $8 meal but I had to try the eggplant Parmesan. Though the eggplant Parmesan sandwich was dry and disappointing, the salad that accompanied it did not. It was fresh, tasty, filled with a variety of vegetables like green olives, peppercinis, big tomatoes slices, and dressed with a tangy, red wine vinaigrette. It was piled high on the plate and Olga and I devoured it. We were so stuffed from the meal that the bread basket was left behind barely touched.

Would I go back? Yes but I would keep in mind that if I was not sitting at the bar, I would probably leave with a very large doggie bag. Between Olga and I, and our non-alcoholic beverages, we barely spent $15 per person on a very satisfying meal with tax and tip. The service started off rough but was better towards the end. You have to be assertive in a place like this where the noise level is high and there is a lot going on around you. Cute fact about Carmine's is that they employ local policeman and fireman as security for the restaurant. The security guy came to chat with us and he is a local DC policeman who does this when he is off duty. He is from New York City and used to eat at Carmine's so for him, it is nice to work somewhere that reminds him of home.

1 comment:

  1. always love our Friday night dates :) Did not realize you weren't a fan of the sandwich. I thought it was pretty good and the bread was awesome. Too bad I was already full from our appetizers to eat it! Salad was definitely great.