Monday, May 24, 2010

Restaurante Italiano

Alex is taking a modeling class in Knoxville every Thursday night and for the last month I’ve been planning to go along so Bev and I could go to dinner during the 3 hour class. For a variety of reasons, we didn’t make it until last week and we decided to give Carrabba’s a try – had not been there before. As I’ve said many times, I grew up around Italian food cooked by first generation immigrants.

We normally don’t get an appetizer as the meal is more than enough, but the lobster mac and cheese caught our eye and we tried it. I thought it was very good and when Bev suggested we take some of it home, I decided I would take my entree home if necessary as I was really enjoying this dish. I ordered an Italian salad and Bev got the Mediterranean. Mine was marginal as the dressing tasted like oil with a little vinegar in it. Hers on the other hand had much more vinegar and lots of herbs and we ended up trading – too tart for her. Hers was what I was expecting and I thought it was very good.

For entrees, she had Penne Franco, which is pasta with sautéed mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and black olives and she added a piece of grilled chicken – it sounded good, but I didn’t cars for it at all. I had Linguine Pescatore, which was linguine with shrimp, scallops, and mussels in a spicy marinara – it had a nice heat that left a little burn on the tongue - I thought it was pretty good and would order it again.

All in all it was pretty good for chain Italian, similar to and maybe a little better than Olive Garden – but I still prefer the local family owned Naples. Under normal circumstances, I don’t know if I’d go back, but likely will so I can sit at their pasta bar and see how the dishes are prepared. I could see a little from our table and tried to decide if they were using fresh or partially cooked pasta, I suspect the later. I believe it would be a good learning experience to watch them for an hour or so.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.



  1. I try not to patronize chain restaurants as I'd rather support local owners, but would like to try Carrabas. That lobster mac and cheese sounds interesting.

  2. We tried a Carrabas while in KC a few weeks ago. It was very good. I had a grilled Talapia, my wife had some type of grilled chicken.

    I dont know if we would seek out another one, but if we are in the area again we would probably eat there again.

  3. Nothing like a little watching to see how the "pros" do it, right? Glad you enjoyed it. I hope Alex has fun with her modeling.

  4. Yum - I love a spicy marinara sauce - if you add seafood, I'm in Heaven!

  5. If it means eating out, I'll eat just about anywhere at least once LOL!! Everything you mentioned sure sounded good anyway - I've heard of that lobster mac and cheese.

    Hope you're having a great week.

  6. I've eaten at that one a twice and we liked it, although I'd agree with you on Naples. I also used to LOVE Altrudas but weren't blown away after our last visit a few years ago.


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