Cheat Meal: Carrabba’s

Last night was a cheat meal date night. My coach specified pasta, so we chose Carrabba’s (W. Charleston, LV, location), based on the online menu. Also, we wanted to enjoy a date-night style dinner rather than something fast casual, and Carrabba’s fit the bill.

We went earlyish, at 5, within the happy hour period. There were several good offerings on the happy hour menu–3 small plates for $12, $5 drinks. We weren’t too excited about any of the beers or wine listed. Instead, we ordered drinks off the standard Carrabba’s menu.

Props to our server here, who was able to accurately describe several wines and the imported beers. He guided Jimmy to a very enjoyable Italian doppelbock (and who knew such a thing existed?). I chose a midlist merlot.

The menu is solid. I was targeting certain specific items because of my specified cheat meal, but there were many items I’d happily eat another time. Again, our waiter was helpful in describing the entrees and answering questions.

The Meal

I ordered the Mezzaluna and Jimmy ordered the prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin in a port wine and fig reduction.

The waiter brought our drinks and a basket of bread, which is accompanied by a small plate of chopped herbs to which our waiter added extra-virgin olive oil. [I added a few grinds of sea salt–perfection.]

bread, Carrabba's
Bread and herbed olive oil for dipping
Salad, Carrabba's
Italian side salad

The Mezzaluna entree (menu description: “Half-moon ravioli with chicken, ricotta, romano and spinach in our tomato cream sauce”) was delicious. The pasta was tender and perfectly cooked, the filling was flavorful, and the sauce was lighter than I expected. I enjoyed this meal a great deal.

pasta, mezzaluna, Carrabba's, refeed
Mezzaluna in tomato cream sauce

Jimmy’s dinner was a winner as well. The pork tenderloins (menu description: “Medallions wrapped in prosciutto, wood-grilled and topped with our port wine fig sauce”) were done nicely. The semi-sweet port-fig reduction was a fine complement to the salty prosciutto.

Carrabba's, pork tenderloin, pasta
Prosciutto-wrapped port tenderloin with port wine-fig reduction

We didn’t order dessert this time (we had a later engagement with Sir Ben & Lord Jerry back at the house), but I’d like to try the ricotta cheesecake on another visit to Carrabba’s.

Overall, we had a really nice experience. Our waiter was friendly and competent, the food was tasty, and the atmosphere was pleasant. Portions were satisfying but not extravagant–which is good if you’re planning to order appetizers and/or dessert, but not good if you’re someone who likes to doggy-bag your leftovers for lunch the next day.

The Verdict

Would go again!

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