Carmine's Italian Restaurant Review – Soulful Southern Italian Food Family-style at The Forum Shops at Caesar's Las Vegas
Carmine's specializes in soulful Southern Italian Food served in huge portions designed to be passed around. Carmine'sofferings are best enjoyed by groups of four or more.
Visitors from New York are probably familiar with the original Carmine's on the Upper West Side (Broadway & 91st St.) or the theater district location The first one opened in 1990. I recently attended the grand opening and media night at the Las Vegas Forum Shops location where I learned more about the restaurant and more importantly was able to sample some of its menu items.
Jeffrey Bank, CEO of Alicart, the restaurant group which owns the eatery, explained that Carmine’s food concept is based on the premise of an Italian grandmother preparing Southern Italian comfort food for her extended family.
Our table of eight members of the media were able to enjoy a wide variety of food selections. We started with Carmine’s salad of assorted greens and finely diced Italian meats and cheeses.
This was followed by artichokes and fried zucchini. The artichokes were stuffed and baked with seasoned breadcrumbs and chicken stock.
Pasta was next. The meatballs were big and flavorful. All pastas are made to order and diners can mix and match from a choice of five different pastas and 16 different sauce preparations including everything from calamari to the more familiar Bolognese meat sauce.
Eggplant Parmesan 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 perfectly blended with a combination of Parmesan and Romano cheese. Some of the best I have had.
Porterhouse Pizzaiola is a signature dish which is great for meat lovers. My spouse could not resist. After offering it around the table, he gladly enjoyed the privilege of gnawing on the porterhouse bone.
After so much delicious food, would we have room for a little dessert? A good Italian restaurant may also be measured by its special desserts. We were served a Titanic Ice Cream Sundae, Tiramisu, and Chocolate Cannolis.
Some of us were too full to eat more than the shaved chocolate atop the Tiramisu but we tried. A strong double espresso accompanied by a glass of zambucco finished the delightful meal for many at the table. Rest assured, no one went home hungry. The consensus was that if you are Italian, like Italian food, or want to taste some delicious Southern Italian food, you can't go wrong with a visit to Carmine's.
Beverage Director Erin Ward is proud of the bar area with its selection of hundreds of bottles and boasts of the fine selection of wines including their own private labe
The restaurant, in the space once occupied by Planet Hollywood, is huge with three floors and the ability to house 700 patrons. Thousands of photos fill the walls.
Carmine’s is located in the Festival Fountain section of the Forum Shops in the space formerly housing Planet Hollywood. Their 28,000 square foot space has been completely remodeled and upgraded. It contains thousands of pictures. Bank told us that they have installed new Italian style fans and chandeliers as well as wifi. The restaurant contains numerous meeting rooms for private and corporate dinners.
Although Carmine’s will have a lot of corporate business, they are uniquely set up to serve the visitors in the Forum Shops. Bank stated, “We expect that a lot of our customers will take leftovers home and the restaurant is set up to hold the leftovers in a refrigerated compartment while the customer shops. Yes, you can check your left-overs while you finish shopping – if you have any leftovers.
For more information, contact Carmine’s at http://Carmine'snyc.com/index.php or call 702 473 9700.
Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis