This month we had plenty of friends and family come through the city. When you live in DC, people tend to visit form all over some of whom you haven’t seen in a long while. My husband and I do our best to give them a true DC experience when it comes to tourism most importantly for us, the recent experience. See a recent article How to Make Fine Dining Affordable.
Most recently Ryan and Rachel (Surviving the Stores) came to visit. Laura (Beltway Bargain Mom) and I were thrilled to host them and their beautiful children in the city. What better place to attend (for a party of 14 – yes we had a lot of kids with us) then the Legendary Family Style Italian Restaurant – Carmine’s?!
Carmine’s is a family style restaurant offering exceptional value to its guests through the many dishes of Southern Italian cuisine. Restaurateur Artie Cutler crafted the Carmine’s concept with a singular vision; bringing his guests “wow-factor” sized portions and making any meal feel like an Italian American wedding feast. Platters of homestyle antipasto, pasta, decadent seafood or meat entrees, and of course homemade desserts are all staples at Carmine’s, meant for sharing amongst friends and family. When great food and wine are supported by friendly and knowledgeable service, the results are magic – we want every day to feel like a Sunday afternoon at Grandma’s!”
Carmine’s is famous for the NYC location, but did you know they have 6 locations? Washington DC, Theater District NYC, Upper West Side NYC, Atlantic City NJ, Las Vegas, and Atlantis, Bahamas. Don’t get the locations fool you, this is not a chain restaurant. This a privately owned company by the widow of the late company founder, Artie Cutler, with the CEO Jeffrey Bank. I personally have been to three Atlantis, NYC (Theater District) and Penn Quarter in Washington, DC and each was just as wonderful as the next.
One thing I loved about the DC location was it’s proximity to tourism and government. It’s not uncommon to see a familiar face or two! Best of all, valet park, eat and then tour. Just because you leave the restaurant, you do not have to leave Valet (it’s impossible to find parking in the city so this is a winner situation.) You can even valet check your leftover food and come back later to pick it up! Valet is only $11 while most parking lots in the city are not under $25 (plus you don’t leave with delicious food!)
“Located steps from the National Mall and the Verizon Center, Carmine’s opened in our Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C. in 2010. From politicians enjoying power lunches to hungry tour groups dining after a day at the monuments, Carmine’s D.C. makes private groups a priority.”
You know me, I am a frugal shopper and I am frugal eater. I want to get a bang for my buck. You won’t find Carmine’s coupons, you won’t find a voucher online but you CAN find an affordable meal! What makes this restaurant affordable? Each entree feeds 6 people! Listen to this. Bring a family of 6 and you could easily get away spending $10 per person and still enjoy salad, an entree and dessert? Tell me the last time you got off that easy at your typical Italian Restaurant?… and was the food to even close to as wonderful at the famous Carmine’s?
Our group of 14 overindulged and enjoyed the following (we had plenty of leftovers)
- The House Red Wine
- Carmine’s Salad
- Caesar Salad (gluten free without croutons)
- Rack of Lamb (a Tuesday special, but it is also an Easter special)
- Porterhouse Steak, 64 oz. (gluten free)
- Chicken Marsala served over Angel Hair Pasta
- White Bean Broccoli & Sausage Pasta (gluten free)
- Marinara Pasta ((gluten free)
- Bread Pudding
- Titanic (gluten free, ordered without cookies) <—- save room for this on your visit!
So the price intrigues you, how about the atmosphere? The restaurant is designed to feel like your grandmother’s home. There is a dim atmosphere. A lot of chatter and laughter, and most of all people enjoying one another’s company. I loved how no to chandeliers were the same. It was a real eclectic, comfortable feel.
Next time you are with a large crowd or even a small family, try Carmine’s. Great food, huge portions, reasonable prices, big smiles!
Disclosure: I was provided a meal for my review. All opinions are mine and should not be used as your own.
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