Carrabba's Italian Grill Review - Tallahassee, FL.

8:56 AM

I was recently given the opportunity to have dinner at Carrabba's Italian Grill here in Tallahassee, FL. I have lived in this area for over 14 years and had never visited this restaurant so I was very excited to try something new! Carrabba's has stores throughout the United States so if you're interest is peaked by my review, you can go here to see if there is a location near you.

{In Their Words}

"Carrabba's serves fresh, flavorful Italian dishes prepared from the finest ingredients sourced from around the world. From our fresh mussels rope grown in the icy cold waters off the coast of Prince Edward Island, to our Borges extra virgin olive oil imported from Catalonia, Spain, to Garafolo pasta imported from a small town outside Pompeii. We make everything by hand in each of our restaurants every day from our delicious soups and flavorful sauces to our salad dressings and desserts. Even the roasted cinnamon rum pecans that top our John Cole dessert are made from scratch. We are proud of the time and effort that goes into preparing each of our dishes at Carrabba's and look forward to serving you."

{My Take}

From the moment you pull into the parking lot, you know you are in for a unique experience. I have to honestly say that I have never seen a restaurant with the landscape growing on the roof until I pulled up to our local Carrabba's restaurant. The boys got a kick out of the trees growing up there.

We stepped in the door and were instantly welcomed by not one or even two people, but three different hostesses. I hate waiting at restaurants so I appreciated the instant attention and fast seating. My youngest had to go to the bathroom and the rest of us were seated before his dad even brought him back!

The lighting in our local Carrabba's seemed to be a little dark, but that may be a local thing and I am sure that it would be welcomed if you were having a romantic dinner. The kids were provided with crayons and great coloring sheets that actually kept them entertained with a sort of ISpy like activity. There were plenty of families around, but also couples eating alone as well as a group of friends having a great time at the bar LOL. We were seated at a huge and I do mean huge boot, which was awesome and gave us more of a confined and secluded feel that I loved. Much better than eating in chairs in the middle of a crowded restaurant floor.

To start, we had the calamari. This is a pretty standard offering at many Italian restaurants, but Carrabba's had added their own flair with a spicy Italian pepper and lemon butter sauce that actually had Jalapenos in it and was delish. I was dipping anything I could get my hands on into this sauce, including the delicious homemade bread that was brought out. The boys loved the calamari as well, but were not too keen on the sauce so I had it all to myself. LOL

Little complaint here. If you see a table with two adults and four children, you would think that more than one small loaf of bread would be brought out.The first time the bread was brought out I didn't even get any, because there was none left. The waitress was really good though and she did bring out another loaf a short time later.

 Photo from Tulsa Food Blog

For the main course, I choose the Chicken Trio because I thought it would be a good way to sample a bit of many things this restaurant has to offer. The chicken trio is a combination of the Bryan (with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and a basil lemon butter sauce), Marsala (with mushrooms, prosciutto and Lombardo Marsala wine sauce), and Rosa Maria (with fontina and prosciutto, mushroom and basil lemon butter sauce) chicken dishes. I had this dish served with garlic mashed potatoes and a caesar salad. My picture came out too dark so I had to borrow one from the website listed above. Two of the boys had chicken tenders served with buttered penne noodles and the other two split a kids cheese pizza. There were no complaints from them so I have to assume it was yummy and there was plenty to go around.

My dinner on the other hand, I have plenty to say about. This was seriously good. I mean, I want to roll over and just die now good! The chicken was so tender and juicy in each of the dishes that it could easily be cut with a fork and the combination of the different flavors and textures almost put my mouth into shock. Out of the three chicken dishes, I like the Rosa Maria the best. I am not a huge mushroom lover so the Marsala, while delicious without the mushrooms was not as good as this stuffed and butter smothered concoction. The goat cheese on the Bryan chicken was delicious, but after a few bites, it became a little rich and overpowering as well.

We had no room for dessert so I can't comment on that, but the offerings include a "Chocolate Dream" brown with Kahlua and a Limoncello Bread Pudding that must be ordered at the beginning of a meal because it takes so long to hand prepare. I definitely plan on having the bread pudding next time we go back and will absolutely without a doubt be back. Probably within the next few weeks so I will try to pop up a picture of that bread pudding.

I have no problem recommending Carrabba's Italian Grill to anyone. Everything from the service to the food was divine and with signature pasta meals starting at only $10, they are a wonderful option even for those on a budget!

* I received a $45 gift card to Carrabba's Italian Grill for the purpose of this review, but was not compensated in any other way. The thoughts, opinions and words seen here are entirely my own and were not influenced by anyone else.

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