Carrabba’s is an American Italian chain restaurant. In this area when you think of Italian food you think pasta, pizza, and bruschetta.  I used to love going out for the cuisine when I was younger, which may be why I rarely crave it now. It’s delicious, and I can eat pizza all day long, but I have to really be in the mood when it comes to pasta.

Complimentary bread.
Complimentary bread.

The bread was simple with a nice light flavor and texture, served warm. Bread and olive oil, garlic, and spices is such a wonderful combination of flavors. The oil was light and of good quality.

Caesar Salad.
Caesar Salad.

My salad wasn’t anything special and pretty much a clone of many Caesar salads I’ve had at other restaurants. The plate was cold with condensation, which told me that they prepare their side salads in advance and keep them in the cooler. I probably should have alerted management of my suspicion that a member of staff appeared to eat all my croutons in desperate hunger. I found only one and a half of them, which were buried underneath my salad.

Pizza.
Pizza.

I built my own wood fired pizza. Mushrooms, basil, and sun dried tomatoes. Now, for those who may not know, I am Asian. Being Asian, I love chewy food. There is an exception, however, and that is for pizza. I do not like chewy pizza. My pizza was quite chewy. The sauce possessed warm and inviting flavors, and was not overly sweet. The basil didn’t manage to capture my attention for some reason, and I forgot it was even on there until halfway through.

The atmosphere at the Carrabba’s in Grand Rapids is nice. Our server was attentive, but our food came out very fast, one dish immediately after the other. The pace is so pushed that you are quite reminded that you are dining at a chain restaurant.

Murfatlar Cabernet Sauvignon.
Murfatlar Cabernet Sauvignon.

I felt like imbibing that night so I ordered one of their Blackberry Sangrias. It was too sweet and a little thick. Fortunately I had a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from Romania sitting at the boyfriend’s place. Murfatlar, the first Romanian wine I’ve ever drank! The nose was horrendous and made me think of maple syrup. Thankfully, it tasted much better than it smelled. Big and bold, nothing unique but still good nonetheless. It was also seven dollars. Sweet.

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