Unlike our first adventure, on our second trip to Carmine's, we were well-prepared not to let any of the food we ordered go to waste. The servers at Carmine's at the Upper West Side are scrupulous about warning guests the portions are big, but even that is an understatement. We ordered the Mixed Green Salad and a plate of Fried Calamari. The salad was fresh and included green olives and hot pickled cuban peppers. The fried calamari was excellent; it was soft to the bite and not chewy, and tasted just perfect. For our shared main, we ordered the Rigatoni with broccoli and sausage and, upon the server's recommendation, country-style. This meant adding white beans and other treats. It was excellent and the white beans cut some of the richness from the sausage and creamy sauce. Sadly, even with two more mouths and only ordering 3 dishes, we couldn't finish the rigatoni. We failed and the house won again. Dinner at Carmine's wouldn't be dinner at Carmine's with at least one bridesmaid's party, one stag, a half-dozen birthday parties and sporadic signing, yelling and chanting. On this particular evening, the singing of the traditional "Happy Birthday" song melded into a crowd-pleasing and participating rendition of "God Bless America". This just doesn't happen in Toronto and it was a treat. Our server handled the confusion and cacophony around him with aplomb and good humor. If you are looking for a fun and exciting meal, I'd happily recommend Carmine's on Broadway.
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