Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Johnny Carino's

I am a lover of Italian food!  I love the zest and enjoy pasta and the atmosphere of a good Italian restaurant.  I have not been able to try the local Italian scene until just a few days ago.  This restaurant was highly recommended by a fellow foodie, Will McCracken.  This is "his spot" he said.  The food is good and they have great drink specials to go along with it.

With this recommendation in mind I was eager to try it.  I was off work at an early time and headed out to my destination.  It was lunch so I skipped the drinks, and not feeling to well I even skipped the wine!  I know it is a cardinal sin when dining in a Italian setting but health first!  When we pulled into the parking lot I was surprised.  It was a large beautiful building, I was expecting a smaller more mom and pop style.  By first glance of the unexpected architecture I knew it must be a chain.  Come to find out it is! (Carino's Italian)  When I walked in the decor was beautiful.  Lots of plates on the walls and Italian art strung up and the perfect soft lighting that comes with a nicer establishment.  The dimmer the lights the higher the prices I always say. 

They have a 6$ lunch menu if your not looking to spend a whole lot.  The regular menu starts at about $9.99 and goes up from there.  The menu is loaded with the typical and not so typical Italian fare.  I was in heaven from the start and knew right away what I was going to order.  Chicken Marsala.  My favorite!  I have had some variations of this dish, including my own, and was eager to try theirs.  Not to mention Will had said it was one of his favorites and a must try.

To start the meal you are brought bread, in traditional Italian fashion.  Their spin is to provide dried garlic on a plate and top it with a spiced olive oil.  The bread was nice and crispy outside and soft and warm on the inside.  The spiced oil and garlic was an addictive and nice twist too.

I'm not a fan of mushrooms, so it is kind of surprising that Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite dishes.  I do tend to pick around them but they really do bring the whole plate together.  For those of you who are wondering, Marsala is a wine.  Usually reserved for cooking, though I have met people that do drink it.  I have used it in a previous post to make Marsala Pork Chops.  This sauce was a much lighter color than the rich brown I am accustomed to seeing, which was a pleasant surprise.  It was served over a perfectly al dente fettuccine.  It was a nice refreshing dish and not all that heavy on the stomach.  Tho I know better than to think it is a "Healthy" dish. 

My Mom was having a big dinner later that evening so she opted for a Chicken Cesar Salad.  It was among the best she had ever had, if not the best.  The reason being was the addition of black olives. 

To end the meal we chose to have Cannoli.  They where amazing!  They where filled with a chocolate chip white cream and half dipped in chocolate.  Our server Matt had informed us that they where made on location and he had been the one to make the filling, as well as the half dip and plating.  He was obviously proud, as he should be, and took pride in his work.  For me that was refreshing.  As a foodie and restaurant lover it is good to know that someone takes pride in a job that may very well be a way through school.

I recommend trying Johnny Carino's.  It is amazing food done well.  The service was the best I have had for a long time.  The dining room was comfortable and the large tables and booths where accommodating.  It is worth the money if your in the mood for some Italian food!

Love Food, Live Life!

Johnny Carino's Italian Kitchen on Urbanspoon


  1. Serving up Italian hospitality, this place promises an excellent dining experience to those lucky enough to land their spoons on Johnny Carino's magnificent dishes.

  2. They serve delicious Italian dishes. I also plan to create my own recipe with the right kitchen facility.

  3. The foods makes it special, although what adds substance to their quality is the terrific design of the dining hall.

  4. What I love about Italian food is it is perfect with wine and the flavors are so rich.

  5. Does Jonny Carinos have a catering service? That Cannoli would be a good choice of desert for my mother’s birthday.

    catering nyc

  6. The Cannoli dessert looks mouth-watering! It looks like it’s expensive because of the ingredients that it has.