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Denver Restaurant Week: Carrabba’s

With a Tuscan style decor and specialized lighting, the atmosphere of Carrabba’s is laid back and sophisticated. Although the restaurant is usually packed, customers enjoy a cozy environment where conversation can easily be shared over a delicious meal. About a 25 minute drive from Golden, Carrabba’s is located in West Central Westminster. This outing details a special occasion, Denver’s 5280 Restaurant Week, of which Carrabba’s is a proud supporter. For $52.80, diners enjoy a pre-selected four-course meal.

The meal began with an appetizer of calamari with a marinara dipping sauce and lemon along with a loaf of bread and a basil pesto olive oil dipping sauce. The calamari was thin with a light pepper breading. When dipped in the spicy marinara sauce the dish was complete. The loaf of bread was soft on the inside and crisp on the outside; paired with the dipping sauce the appetizer made for a great start to the meal.

Next came individual soups, with choices including sausage and orzo and a Sicilian chicken soup. The Sicilian chicken soup came in a good-sized bowl and tasted like grandma’s homemade chicken noodle soup. It was warm and comforting. The sausage and orzo soup was filled with chunks of a spicy Italian sausage and just the right amount of seasoning to provide a kick without being overly pungent.

Individual entrees included Carrabba’s Chicken Trio and The Damian. The Damian was a pairing of three of the most popular seafood dishes; grilled salmon, spiedino di mare and lobster ravioli. The grilled salmon was topped with a spicy tomato basil vinaigrette and provided a luscious flavoring to the salmon that fell apart into perfect bites. The lobster ravioli was topped with a tomato cream sauce and was filled with lobster and a smooth cheese. The only problem with the ravioli was that they were served at barely a lukewarm temperature. The favorite of the three seafood dishes was by far the spiedino di mare, consisting of shrimp and scallops breaded with light and fine italian breadcrumbs and topped with a lemon and pepper sauce. The dish explodes with flavor. The Damian is a highly recommend dish for all seafood lovers and will be sure to delight.

Carrabba’s Chicken Trio consisted of three of the restaurant’s famous chicken dishes. The first was Chicken Bryan, chicken breast topped with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and basil lemon butter sauce. The second was Chicken Marsala, chicken breast topped with mushrooms, prosciutto, and Lombardo Marsala wine sauce. The final was Pollo Rosa Maria, stuffed chicken breast with fontina and prosciutto, topped with mushrooms and basil lemon butter sauce. The chicken was very moist and had bursts of flavor. Along with the chicken came creamy garlic mashed potatoes. There were no complaints for the Chicken Trio entree.

The final course was dessert. The two options were Tiramisu and “Chocolate Dream”. The Tiramisu consisted of ladyfingers dipped in liqueur laced espresso, layered with sweetened mascarpone, Myer’s Rum and chocolate shavings. The alcohol flavoring was a little overwhelming, but other than that it was a sweet treat. The “Chocolate Dream” was a rich fudge brownie brushed with Kahlua, accompanied by chocolate mousse, freshly whipped cream and homemade chocolate sauce. It was definitely a chocolate lovers’ dessert.

Wine is paired with the meal as well, with a small selection to chose from. For this outing, the wine chosen was a White Zinfandel. It was a sweet wine flavored by strawberries and melon.

Overall, Carrabba’s was a great start to Denver Restaurant Week. With so much food, diners not only get an amazing dinner, but leftovers make for additional meals. College students looking for a great deal should take advantage of what Denver Restaurant Week has to offer, including the highly-recommend Carrabba’s Italian Grill.



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