Monday, April 24, 2017

Carmine's Review

Image from Google Maps
On my latest DC visit, Mother Nature was not on my side, at it was a raw, rainy day for trekking around the city. After battling the elements all day, I looked forward to enjoying dinner at Carmines, an Italian restaurant that ensures that everyone- including those with dietary restrictions- can enjoy the experience of sitting down to a family-style Italian meal.

While Italian food does have pitfalls for those who are gluten and/or dairy-free, Carmine's menu offers plenty to love for everyone. With gluten-free pasta as well as options for appetizers, entrees, and even dessert, Carmine's has been on my radar awhile for places to check out in the DC area.

Carmine's is a more "touristy" spot than I typically pick, but I was won over by the good reviews I had seen online about their gluten-free offerings. With thematic Italian music playing and high spirited atmosphere, it was easy to enjoy my meal here.

Carmine's has allergy menus available upon request, which cover dairy/egg, wheat/gluten, and garlic allergies. Additionally, they have vegan/vegetarian items. The following items I cross checked are highlighted in green if they appear on both menus. You can see my post featuring all of these menus right here.

Because I had a large salad for lunch, I decided I was only ordering a pasta because I didn't want to carry a whole other meal on the train back to Baltimore with me if I had ordered a side dish as well. Although Carmine's serves family-style, I was dining solo, so I ordered a "lunch" portion of my pasta of choice, which could have easily served 2 people. The full-size platters I saw at tables around me were massive, serving up to 3-5 people per dish. 

Carmine's pasta is corn-based, and is made with cornmeal and water. When I ordered, I went by the directives on the menu. My waiter said that the kitchen would be alerted that it was an allergy order, and would take steps to ensure it was safe, including making the pasta in fresh water. 

After debating, I ordered the marinara pasta. With gluten-free noodles, the only other modification was ordering it without cheese. Although I was warned, I was nevertheless impressed by the ample serving. Topped with a thick, bold marinara chock full of plum tomatoes, the pasta was bursting with flavor and earned it from notes of garlic and basil. The pasta was cooked to al dente, and the shape allowed each noodle to carry the flavor of the sauce. Although seemingly simple, I adored every bite, and it had a sublime comfort food quality that was perfect for the drizzly day. 

My experience was wonderful from the food to the service to the price of my meal. Two generous servings of gluten-free pasta for only $15? That's unheard of at most restaurants, much less in downtown D.C. It was just as nice the next day to enjoy my leftovers for lunch, which lost none of it's flavor or form. 

Next time I visit Carmine's will definitely bring friends because it's the kind of place that's more fun shared with several people. Even so, I left full and happy, which is all I ask for when I dine out.

The Basics

Address: 435 7th St NW, Washington D.C. 20004
Cuisine: Italian
Ideal For: Lunch, Dinner
Price: $15 (incl. tax) for lunch-size pasta. No upcharge for gluten-free pasta.
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible
Special Feature: Make reservations on Open Table right here. I highly recommend securing one because the night I visited they were not seating people without a reservation.

Disclaimer: This review is based upon the information I have at the time of the review and does not reflect changes in ingredients or availability of items. Please contact the restaurant directly for up-to-date information and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.

Carmine's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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