DESTINATIONS, Restaurants & Bars, TRAVEL, United States

Carmine’s in Time Square

Travel There – Bring on the Doggie Bag

“Best calamari I’ve ever had!” That statement, from a Facebook friend is what got us to Carmine’s. I was looking for an authentic Italian restaurant to enjoy during our stay. The reviews on Google were also overwhelmingly good. Why wouldn’t we go?

So, after our Rock Pass Extravaganza, we returned to the hotel for a little cocktail time, before our dinner. We visited with a nice couple from Shreveport on the sofa across from us. One of them was a music teacher, so Deb, my friend the opera undergrad and ballroom dancer, had plenty of fodder for conversation.

I have to say, I’ve always considered myself the chatty one, but in my old age something has happened. I seem to spend more time listening to other conversations than making them myself. Am I just lazy or have I suddenly gotten boring? I’m not sure, but even when I am out with my husband, who is certainly not loquacious, I find myself not saying much. Perhaps having a platform, like this blog and my Facebook feed, where I can write what I want to say uses up most of my words. I like being able to edit before I hit the send button.

I asked above why we wouldn’t go to Carmine’s. Well, one reason might be because it was Friday night on Times Square. What a zoo! The photo above was actually taken on an earlier stroll up Broadway. On this night, the marijuana fumes were thick, the knockoff bag sellers were everywhere and it was crowded. Crowded yes, but not as crowded at Carmine’s. We had reservations – even so, we had to wait.

By the time we sat down, we were just happy to get a table, any table, but we certainly didn’t have a good table. We were tucked into a nook at the top of a stairway. It was hectic and loud. As all the reviews warn, the servings are huge, well more like ginormous. While it may be an amazing experience for a large group, we felt both overwhelmed and lost in the shuffle. I wouldn’t recommend it for couples.

It was not the best calamari I had ever had. It was probably the most calamari I’ve seen on one table, if size counts, but I didn’t give it any extra points. It was also not the worst calamari I’d ever had. It was the real thing, not those plastic rings they sometime claim are calamari, and certainly good, but not the best.

What was incredible was the garlic bread. I know, we were carbing out, but we’re eating Italian, right! That stuff was made in heaven. The wine was OK. I think we had some Chianti for a bit of a change.

When it was over, we left behind enough food for four people, and we hadn’t even had an entree. After yet another long day of walking, we were exhausted, so back to the hotel and ready for another day.

Next week we’re headed to the Frick and a bucket list item I hadn’t actually hoped we’d manage to tick off my list, but we did! Come find out what it was.

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