It seems as though it is that time of the semester where parents and families are starting to visit their kids in college. Although we love having our parents come and take us out to REAL food, finding that perfect restaurant is always the hardest part.
We all know that feeling where your parents are five minutes from arriving on campus, and you still have not figured out where to eat. While we know D.C. has so many options, during those five minutes of crunch time, we think to ourselves “THERE IS NO WHERE TO EAT!”
Well, we are about to save you from a fight with your parents or gaining that stress pimple you really do not need. Located in Penn Quarter, D.C. is the home of Carmine’s, an amazing family-style Italian restaurant.
The moment you walk in, you feel the warm Italian welcome from all staff members surrounding you. With Carmine’s having the luxury of fitting about 700 customers, you always feel the sense of hospitality with the many servers checking in on you and your party.
With the most unique layout of a restaurant, Carmine’s has their menus located on all the walls surrounding you as well as a menu for the table. With this distinctive feature, it gives you more of an opportunity to enjoy your surroundings while you eat. While the restaurant is designed to be large, you never notice how sizable it is. This feature makes the experience at Carmine’s much more enjoyable as you feel more intimate with the people you are with.
With the idea of a family-style restaurant, Carmine’s portions feed four to five people. Although the price may seem high, it is directly proportional to the amount of food you receive. For an appetizer, we ordered the Fried Calamari ($31.95) and the Cold Antipasto ($35.95). As the appetizers came out of the kitchen, the only thing that crossed our mind was how we were going to finish the large portion. The Calamari was impeccably crunchy and had a perfect taste to the breading. The Cold Antipasto was splendid with a variety of food such as Bruschetta Tomato and Diced Mozzarella, Marinated Cremini Mushroom, House Cured Salmon with Lemon Mascarpone and so much more. For our entree, we ordered the Penne Alla Vodka ($32.95) and the Chicken Cutlet ($27.95). The Penne Alla Vodka was the superb amount of Alla Vodka sauce and the Chicken Cutlet was perfectly cooked and breaded.
After all the digging through our food, we ended our time at Carmine's with the Titanic ($28.95) for dessert. The Titanic contains strawberries, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, with a base of fudge all topped with chocolate syrup and nuts. With an addition of bananas on each side, the Titanic is a great way to walk out of Carmine's completely stuffed. We recommend sharing it among five people as it is a very large portion (see in photos).
We were very pleased with the service at Carmine’s as the wait for our food seemed like no time. Typically, at restaurants that house a substantial amount of guest, the service tends to be slow; however, Carmine’s has clearly mastered their guest hospitality.
With the government shut down causing our D.C. economy to be slow, Carmine’s took this opportunity to welcome government workers, during their time of nonpayment, into their outlet for a free meal during happy hours–4pm to 7pm. With such a busy and popular location, Carmine’s knows that helping others in your local community is important.
We were very impressed with Carmine’s level of hospitality, marvelous food, and respect for others. We highly recommend popping into Carmine’s with your family, or your large group of friends to have the ultimate dining experience.