Chain restaurants are not our usual fare but here was something about the "Italian Grill" in the Carrabba title that sounded appealing. So, when my wife said she had a $10 discount coupon for Carrabba's on an evening where we were heading out, I went along.
On a Thursday night, the parking lot was packed at 6pm and we had to wait to be seated. Not long, but we had to wait. At Carrabba's. On a Thursday.
After sitting, our waiter promptly greeted us, introduced himself, left us with the menus and ran off to return with our drinks. Warm bread in a basket arrived a few minutes later. Our water, Josh, poured some herbed olive oil on to a plate for the bread. The bread was good and the olive oil tasty.
We ordered the crab cake appetizer and for main courses, lobster ravioli and rib eye steak (cooked rare) with the side salad. The salad was a plate of leafy greens, a few tiny olives and was slathered in the dressing of our choice (balsamic). A few tomato chunks and less slathering would have been nice.
The crab cakes were hockey-puck sized, looked freshly made and were served with a peppery sauce. The cakes were made of fresh meat, too heavily seasoned and almost overpowered by the sauce.
The lobster raviolis were artfully arranged on the plate with a light covering of a creamy sauce. The saltiness of the dish nearly overpowered the bits of lobster in the raviolis. I'd prefer they charge $2 more and use a little extra lobster.
The rib eye was served medium rare, not rare, and could have been better trimmed. It was still tasty and paired nicely with the Coppola Claret. The garlic potatoes were only fair: short on flavor, short on garlic and left mostly uneaten.
Overall, the meal was pleasant and, all things considered, pricey. One appetizer, two entrees, two glasses of wine for $75? Chuy's or Mexico Lindo would have been 30-40% of that and vastly more satisfying.
OTOH, the bread was pretty good. And, again OTOH, the restaurant was packed with people who appeared to be enjoying themselves. Maybe you'll be one of them, too.
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