Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Restaurant Review: Carrabba's Italian Grill, Clermont, FL

Tonight I took my big boy (BB) and little boy (LB) to the Clermont Carrabba's to meet Grandma and Grandpa for dinner. There are several Carrabba's in the Central Florida area but I believe this is the newest one. Grandma called ahead to get our name on the waiting list, yet we still waited about 30 minutes to get a table. For some unknown reason, Clermont restaurants ALWAYS have a long wait. Here it was, a Wednesday evening at 6 pm, and we had a half hour wait! I guess Clermont residents have been literally starving for new restaurants in the area and now that several open up each month, they want to make sure they stay in business. I actually didn't have high expectations of what our experience might be at this restaurant. Grandma and Grandpa told me their first experience at the new restaurant a few weeks ago was terrible -- the food was cold and the service was horrible. But, they were willing to try again and we were all glad they did. We had the most wonderful server who was very attentive and was great with the kids. It turned out that Ashley was studying to be a preschool teacher and told us how she loved working with kids. How perfect is it to have a server like that? She quickly took our drink orders and let us know that it was still Happy Hour and "real" drinks were 2 for 1. Grandma and Grandpa took her up on that deal and ordered two sangrias. Ashley quickly came back with our drinks as well as hot bread and a bread dipping sauce made with herbs, spices, and olive oil. While the boys were stuffing themselves with bread, I perused the menu. Carrabba's has a pretty standard Italian menu with pasta dishes and pizzas along with some specials of the day and several interesting choices in Pasta Specialties and From the Grill. From the Grill features various preparations of chicken, seafood, and steaks that come with soup or salad plus a side dish. These run in the $15 - $20 range and sounded too filling for me. I went with Mezzaluna in the Pasta Specialties which was half-moon ravioli filled with chicken, ricotta and spinach in a tomato cream sauce. Grandma had the same as I did and Grandpa went with a bowl full of mussels steamed in a white wine and butter sauce. The kids menu was a coloring/activity book that had the offerings on the back. BB loves getting an activity book and crayons as a menu and quickly started filling out all the pages of his book. LB just scribbled happily. Kids' entrees are $4 - $5 and come with a beverage -- a big plus in my book as my kids rarely finish their drinks. LB went with the cheese pizza while BB got the cheese ravioli and went off the menu with his sauce, preferring an alfredo to the offered Pomodoro sauce (ah, my little gourmet, I was so proud). Of course Ashley said that would be no problem. The food quickly arrived and was all delicious. LB decided he wanted to eat a little bit of everybody's food although he liked BB's food a little too much and got a little cranky when he couldn't have more of the ravioli in the white sauce. We were able to placate him with the mezzaluna and he calmed down. Ashley returned to the table several times to refill drinks and bring more bread. We ended up bringing several types of ravioli home to save for my husband who had been working. All in all, a very pleasant experience and good food.

5 comments:

shelby21498 said...

Great review! Carrabba's has the best Chicken Marasala, too! Your article is making me crave Italian.

Newby said...

This is great information. Now I know what's "safe" for kids!!

Anonymous said...

pete wants to go next time

Anonymous said...

Do they have take out?

Restaurant Mom said...

Yes, they do have take-out at Carrabba's.
--Central FL Restaurant Mom

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