An open kitchen churns out wood-fired pizzas and fresh-made pastas at this casual Sicilian-American chain..
Decorated with family photos of founders Damian Mandola and Johnny Carrabba, the open dining rooms pack groups of friends and extended families into four- and six-person tables and booths; smaller parties or couples can grab stools at the open kitchen's adjoining bar to watch chefs make dinner. The traditional southern Italian menu offers grill specialties like steak Marsala and fire-roasted chicken breast with sun-dried tomatoes; pasta dishes include fettuccine Alfredo and garlic-sauteed shrimp with linguine.
Pretty darn good!.
I like Italian food, and I am usually pretty skeptical of chain restaurants, so when my visiting mother said she'd like to go to Carrabba's I was all set for the usual spaghetti and meatballs with tasteless tomato sauce chain experience. Boy was I surprised.
The food was just great. Even the bread was unusually good - nice and warm and doughy, with olive oil & herbs for dipping. The calamari appetizer was done with a spicy batter, very authentic and not like the usual frozen stuff, with a chunky tomato sauce. The eggplant parmesan was wonderful - layered with cheese & sauce but not deep-fried, with a side of pasta that was the best I've had since Rome. My wife and mom had pasta with shrimp dishes, both of which were really good. Large, crunchy shrimps, and sauces that had a lot of flavor. They're not afraid to spice the food - lots of garlic, herbs, pepper... food that really tastes like something.
The service was very friendly and prompt. We took our 7 month old baby with us, and felt very comfortable (whew - I'm always worried about bringing kids to restaurants). There's plenty of background chatter & noise around, so even when she started to fuss no one could hear it anyway.
The best restaurants leave you feeling full and happy afterward, and that's exactly how we felt after our dinner at Carrabba's. Highly recommended, and we'll be going back.
Surprisingly good for a large chain restaurant.
If you don't mind the crowds and the noise this is a good place to take the kids. The decor attempts to provide a sense of intimacy and friendliness and succeeds to some degree.
The menu is varied and their pomodorro sause was the best I've tasted in a chain restaurant. The pasta has always been cooked correctly never tough or doughy. The lasagna was excellent but their sausage lacks a little seasoning and seems a little flat.
The chianti's on their wine list are quite good.
For good Italian food and convenience this is the place.
just ok. I enjoyed the food but it felt just like every other chain. It seems like a lot of management changes.
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