4503 Riverview Parkway, Birmingham, AL | Directions 3524233.428572 -86.710934
M-Th 4pm-10pm, F 4pm-11pm, Sa 11am-11pm, Su 11am-9pm
An open kitchen churns out wood-fired pizzas and fresh-made pastas at this casual Sicilian-American chain. – In Short
Decorated with family photos of founders Damian Mandola and Johnny Carrabba, the open dining rooms pack groups of friends and extended families into four- and six-person tables and booths; smaller parties or couples can grab stools at the open kitchen's adjoining bar to watch chefs make dinner. The traditional southern Italian menu offers grill specialties like steak Marsala and fire-roasted chicken breast with sun-dried tomatoes; pasta dishes include fettuccine Alfredo and garlic-sauteed shrimp with linguine.
Very Relaxing, Very Knowlegable – It was a dark and stormy night (well not really but the night was setting in and there was a certain gloom). Mrs. Flanders and I had gone to a major electronics store (I?ll not give them a free ad here) to see who was going to fix our Home Theater box. It was a wasted trip. Spirits were depleted but there, in the parking lot, was a Carrabba?s Grill! Morale soon improved in this festive place when we realized it was well past the Children?s Hour (FDR?s term for Happy Hour) and drinks were ordered. Mrs. Flanders had The Orange Thing (Vodka, Triple Sec and Orange Juice). I give Highlands Bar and Grill credit for giving a name to this concoction. I on the other hand had my favorite Italian drink: a Nigrone (Gin, Sweet Vermouth and Compari). I must admit, my appreciation for this location went up knowing they could fix this drink. Many Italian Restaurants lack the Compari. On to the appetizer: Mrs. Flanders had none but I had the Shrimp Scampi. It?s billed as ?Shrimp sauteed with garlic, white wine, herbs and lemon butter, served with garlic toast for dipping.? The sauce was indeed yummy and served with plenty of garlic toast (some left over). The shrimp were devoured! For the main course Mrs. Flanders had Spiedino di Mare. It?s described as Shrimp and sea scallops coated with Italian breadcrumbs, grilled and topped with lemon butter sauce. I had one scallop and the texture was grand as well as the fish being tasty. I had the Chicken Parmesan which is described as Sauteed chicken breast coated with Italian breadcrumbs. I had spaghetti as the vegetable and there were two ample portions of the meat. I recommend! The meal was washed down with a glass of the Merlot house red wine. Well, I like food & drink so much, I tend to be over generous in my critiques. Let?s think of something they need to improve on? It feels a little like a chain, but that?s it. Again, I recommend.
Unbelievable – Of all the top notch restaurants that I have eaten at in Birmingham, Carraba's is at the top. It's not as expensive as them, but the food is better... much better. I highly recommend it!
Carrabas – The filet marsala is as good as can be found anywhere. Order with the rosemary potatoes. It is not always listed on the menu, but it is always available.
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