Carmine’s Restaurant at Forum Shops Review—Hearty Southern Italian Food

When my husband and I attended a special tasting at Carmine's in July of 2013, we were overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of their food.  I reviewed the opening for Splash Magazines in a story called Carmine's Italian Restaurant Review - Soulful Southern Italian Food family-style at The Forum Shops at Caesar's Las Vegas.

 

Carmine's is located in the Las Vegas Forum Shops * Photo by Burt Davis

 

 If you are a New Yorker or visitor to the Big Apple, you may be familiar with the original Carmine's on the Upper West Side (Broadway & 91st St.) or the theater district location. There are now six locations including the Las Vegas Forum shops.

As Carmine's just celebrated the first anniversary of its Las Vegas location in July, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the eatery which is based on the concept of an Italian grandmother preparing southern Italian food and serving it family style to an extended family. Actually, I thought it would be a delicious idea.

 

Seating capacity is 700 people * Photo by Dianne R. Davis

We couldn't do it alone as the portions are geared to at least four people and really could serve six. Las Vegas photographer Ira Kuzma and his wife Marie were delighted to come along with us to check out Carmine's.   We were all thoroughly pleased with Carmine's food and service.

 

Sardinian Lemon Drop Martinis * Photo by Dianne R. Davis

 

My husband and Marie ordered adult beverages. He said that any restaurant that had a bar as handsome as Carmine’s was sure to prepare excellent cocktails and so he and Marie ordered their Sardinian Lemondrop Martini.  It is made from Ciroc Vodka, lemon juice, a touch of black raspberry liqueur and Argiolas Amarons.  His glass was drained in rapid fashion.

 

There is an extensive beverage selection * Photo by Dianne R. Davis

 

Carmine’s promotes itself as a family style restaurant that serves huge portions for four or more people.  We therefore only ordered one appetizer, one side dish, one main course, and one dessert for the table. It was enough food for us.  

  

 

Fried Calamari * Photo by Burt Davis

 

We started the meal off with fried calamari - one of my favorites. Ira had indicated that he wasn't a big calamari fan but agreed to it when it was our waiter's number one suggestion. It was lightly breaded and tasty.  Marinara sauce and thick lemons accompanied the huge portion. Guess what - Ira ate his share and agreed with us that it was some of the best calamari ever.

 

Caesar Salad Photo by Dianne R. Davis

  

The folks at the table next to ours ordered Caesar Salad which they said was crisp and delicious. They saw me taking photos of our calamari so I explained my mission and they were more than happy to allow me to photograph their meal as well.

 

Eggplant Parmesan * Photo by Dianne R. Davis

 

We opted to order a side dish of Eggplant Parmesan as that is a signature dish at Carmine’s.  It is served in the form of a loaf - nine inches high.  The lightly battered and fried eggplant is blended with a combination of Parmesan and Romano cheeses.  This is some of the best eggplant parmesan I have ever tasted.

 

 

Veal Scaloppini * Photo by Dianne R. Davis

We agreed on Veal Scaloppini for the main dish. I had actually confirmed that our friends were meat eaters who might enjoy some good veal. It was tender and soaked in a lemon and butter sauce.  We were able to cut the veal with a fork.  

 

We just might have to opt for the traditional spaghetti and meatballs next time * Photo by Dianne R. Davis

 

Our neighbors ordered traditional  spaghetti and meatballs.  Their waiter explained that they had a choice of five different pastas combined with 16 possible sauce preparations. They were pleased with the meatballs which they said were not only big, but quite favorable. They looked delicious.

 

Could we possibly do justice to the Titanic * Photo by Ira Kuzma

 

I recalled seeing the Titanic Sundae when I was last at Carmine’s but did not have a chance to enjoy it.  Well, that didn’t happen again.  The sundae does indeed look like a ship including three smokestacks.  It is over six inches tall and contains layers of whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate cake, and fruit.

 

There was nothing left after we got through with the sundae. We sank the Titanic! * Photo by Dianne R. Davis

 

* Photo by Ira Kuzma

 

Carmine’s is a huge restaurant, encompassing over 28,000 square feet   While we were there a group of at least six dozen high school students came in and were escorted upstairs for a group dinner.

 

The food at Carmine’s was as delicious as I remembered.  They are ideally set up to serve the many patrons of the Forum Shops.  Its a good spot for locals because they can take leftovers home.

 

Take your leftovers home

On that subject, the restaurant is actually set up to accommodate the combination of shoppers and leftovers. They boast that they will hold the leftovers in a refrigerated compartment while the customer shops or visit Caesars Palace Casino. Yes, you can check your leftovers while you shop - if you have any leftovers.

 

 

Carmine's is a delicious dining experience * Photo by Burt Davis

We recommend Carmine's for its quality and quantity of food and for the excellent service we had. For more information including menus see Carmine’s web site or call 702-473-9700 

Carmine's, a family style Italian restaurant located in the Las Vegas Forum Shops at Caesars, is a great spot for hungry tourists or locals. The food is plentiful and delicious and the service A-1.

  

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