This past week I was meeting some friends for dinner and we decided to go to Carmine’s in Caesars Forum Shops.
Carmine’s original restaurant is located in New York City on Broadway in the upper West Side of Manhattan and is known for their large family size servings. Now we can get that same authentic Southern Italian cuisine right here in Las Vegas.
Be sure to bring a gang with you because the portions are huge. When I was parking in valet, I asked the girl which was the best way to get to Carmine’s and her eyes lit up. She and her husband went there the night before so she pointed out how good the food was.
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She said make sure you try the Chicken Wing appetizer. I’m thinking, I’m going to an Italian restaurant, why would I want Chicken Wings?
I meet my party and we get seated. Our waiter, Edward S., was exceptional. He started to tell us all about the menu and the day’s specials.
We asked him for some recommendations and he proceeds to tell us about the Spicy Scarpariello Wings. He tells us how they are marinated then tossed in a White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce. He said you have never had wings like these. We were sold.
I mean, the waiter and the valet girl both can’t be wrong. Out comes this platter of wings that would have been enough to last me for an entire Steelers game. And, folks, I can eat a lot of wings!
What a great appetizer! I highly recommend trying it.
Next up was dinner, so we had to decide on an entrée and a pasta dish. Again, everything is served family style so what we order is for the entire table.
The entrée was a no brainer as my one friend orders Chicken Parmigiana almost everywhere we go. In fact, my friend Mark has named the group the Chicken Parm Gang. For our pasta we went with the Penna Alla Vodka.
Understand, we are three guys who can eat and when they brought the platters out they were huge. We ordered just two dishes and it was more than enough to feed us with plenty of pasta left over for the next day.
My buddy Gill made sure there was no Chicken Parm leftover. Both the pasta and Chicken Parm were great and Gill, our resident expert, deemed it may be the best he’s had in Las Vegas. Don’t forget, this guy has had Chicken Parm all over town.
We were stuffed but our waiter told us we had to have dessert. He brings out this thing called the Titanic. Words can’t describe how big this was. We barely put a dent in it.
On the bottom of the platter was a flourless cake. Then they put five scoops of ice cream – three vanilla and two chocolate – followed by a mountain of homemade whipped cream and strawberries. Finally, it was all drizzled with chocolate sauce. It was absolutely incredible!
Carmine’s is a fun experience best enjoyed with family or a group of friends. The entire staff makes you feel like you are at home. If you are on a date, don’t worry about ordering a dish with garlic. The restrooms are equipped with mouthwash dispensers, which I thought was a very nice touch.
If you plan on doing some shopping at the Forum Shops and you don’t want to lug your leftovers around with you, they have what they call refrigerator service. They will put your leftovers in the fridge and hold them for you. I thought that was a very nice touch.
The quality of the food, the size of the portions and a very attentive wait staff, along with reasonable prices, makes Carmine’s a must. I give Carmine’s a rating of 3.75 Forks out of 4.
Marco D’Angelo is the senior handicapper at Pregame.com. He co-hosts FIRST PREVIEW every Thursday at 10 a.m. on ESPN 1100 AM/98.9 FM. Follow him on twitter: @MarcoInVegas. Contact him at [email protected].