25 Comment

  • Mediocre. But most DC Italian is. Downtown version of Buca di Beppo.

  • I ate there once and I wasnt a fan. Its family style so the portions are huge and every bite of the chicken marsala tasted like salt. I’d try it again but there are too many good restaurants in the area I’d rather eat at.

  • I’ve been there once, soon after it opened. My date and I split an order of lasagna and a bottle of wine. I thought it was fair to good. We couldn’t help but look at some of the other dishes coming out of the kitchen.

    I’ll go there again, but doubt I’ll make it a regular spot. However, due to the portion size, it is very possible I would come in to order food to go and eat at home. I like the idea that it’s close to where I work and near my origin point for public transit to home in the evening.

  • I went there a few weeks ago for a family dinner and found the food (well, most of it – the antipasto, ceasar salad and bread were great) and service disappointing.

    The chicken dish we had (forget which one, but it’s a whole cut-up chicken, with sausage and peppers) was very dry and salty. Plus, it and another dish arrived about 45 minutes after our other entree was served – Hardly a “family style” way to serve (although they did comp us one of the dishes.)

    And maybe this is a nitpick, but they serve wine in drinking glasses instead of wine glasses.

    I wasn’t impressed.

  • I’m guessing it will be the latest New York export that will survive little more than a year in DC because the sort of staff with the necessary skills to make a place like this work simply don’t exist in this town.

    • This is assinine. Same food as the NYC branch, but people have an “emperor’s new clothes” mentality when doing anything in NYC. Hence your comment…

    • Judging by the lines of people I see in front of this place every time I pass by, I think it will do just find. Gigantic portions of mediocre Italian food is just the thing that appeals to the tourist-and-Verizon-Center crowd.

  • My grandfather — straight outta Italy– only drinks wine out of a drinking glass or a beer mug.

  • If you like a heaping ton of at-best mediocre and ridiculously salty food, this place is tops.

  • Pasta a la vodka is great. Good place for large groups but definitely make a reservation.

  • I’ve eaten at Carmine’s several times. Granted it is a chain and is not my top pick, but it is worth at least trying. The waiter I had there was very knowledgeable about the menu and made some great recommendations. The food we had there was very delicious and very authentic italian (not salty as the people above complained about). The portions are huge, but that is what makes it great for families or groups of friends. Apparently there are a lot of big wigs have eaten there (Members of Congress, diplomats) according to some WAPO articles. Overall I like Carmine’s and I would recommend to anyone who wants some reasonably priced good authentic italian food.

  • Huge portions. Unnecessarily big. Granted it’s a restaurant, and it’s their shctick, but it’s a god damn waste and the food isn’t that tasty.

  • Went with 3 other people, and we split one caesar salad and one penne alla vodka. Caesar salad was excellent, and they didn’t skip on the anchovies, which is always a plus. Pasta wasnt too salty, but was heavy on garlic, which to me isn’t a bad thing. Even between 4 of us, we had enough leftovers to make 2 additional meals out of it as leftovers. Considering bill was only $55.00, it was a great deal. Obelisk it ain’t, but it is miles better than some slop like olive garden. Wouldn’t go there without at least 4 people to tackle a dish, otherwise it seems wasteful.

    That being said, our server was a complete dick to us. He seemed genuinely annoyed when we declined to order the $110.00 pasta bowl with 3 whole lobsters in it, and basically treated us like we were a waste of time all night. That was a damper in what was otherwise an enjoyable meal.

  • why not just go a bit more downmarket and visit the tgifridays on 21 and penn? you would save a bundle and not lose much in terms of quality of food and service.

  • This is going to sound strange for an italian restaurant, but they have the best wings i’ve ever tasted. Also, our service was great. we got a magnum bottle of house wine that we couldn’t finish and the manager himself poured it into a standard bottle so we could take it home. apparently there is a law in DC that you can’t have an open bottle bigger than standard.

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