First, let me give a disclaimer: on the evening we visited Carrabba's, I had only had a breakfast bar with peanut butter, and 2 graham crackers with peanut butter, 2 cups of coffee and one diet coke the entire day, so I was ravenous by the time we got there. Just wanted to make that clear, as when you are really, really hungry, even ordinary things can taste amazing!
As we've never had a Carraba's Italian Grill near us, this was a first-time-ever visit. We do enjoy Macaroni Grill, but haven't lived close to one of those in several years. The two are somewhat similar. We adore the bread at Macaroni Grill (MG from this point on), so I was hoping Carrabba's (Cb's from this point on)would have something similar. And, I suppose it was, in a way. Whereas the MG serves you with a piping hot loaf of their amazing bread, Cb's brought basket of hot sliced Italian bread. The loaf at MB is a lot more bread, but our waitress offered us more when she noticed the basket empty. Both restaurants serve you with extra virgin olive oil (evoo) in which to dip your bread. MG simply cracks pepper in the dish and then pours the evoo over it, and paired with their sinfully delicious, crusty, butter brushed loaf of artisan bread, it is amazing.
However, our waitress at Cb's emptied a small container of 'fresh herbs and garlic' onto the dish and then poured the eevoo over that--telling us it was their own special blend. Wow! Special it was! Absolutely delicious! The bread had a crunchy crust and a deliciously soft center--and paired with that amazing 'blend'/evoo mixture, to die for. I could've just had that for a meal!
Next, our salad with the creamy parmesan dressing came and it, too, was very, very good. Not a lot of different 'stuff' in it but it did have a couple of tiny calamata olives in it--and the dressing was very good.
By the time the entree got there, I couldn've just skipped it and gone straight for the dessert, as I was actually full. But, the Mezzaluna (Half moon ravioli with chicken, ricotta and spinach in tomato cream sauce) was delish, the other pasta dish with the corkscrew pasta in a tomato sauce was 'ok', and the grilled salmon--a disappointment.
The salmon was a large portion and cooked a little too much, but the reason I say it was a disappointment was that it lacked flavor. Hubby said he thought it was 'wonderful', but then, he eats anything--even if he sits there repeatly commenting that it is not very good--while he's eating it. So, I suppose it could be that I was just full....but, to me it lacked flavor and depth.
We ordered the limone bread pudding and it was delish, too. That liquour they put on it was BITTER, but even that couldn't take away all the 'goodness' of it.
One thing I will give a five star rating to: our server, Jennifer. She was most excellent, cheerful, and prompt. She is the kind of waitress everyone hopes to get when they go into a restaurant!
All in all, Carrabba's has very tasty food--with the posiible exception of the salmon. The service was fantastic, and we will be going back, on occasion.
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