Carmine’s – Theater District

Carmine's Theater District

Carmine's Theater DistrictAh, family style restaurants, the scourge of discerning chefs everywhere. Generally family style means little or no taste, crunchy pasta and sauces that are just this side of Ragú. Not so with Carmine’s, which serves up pastas, parmigianas and scaloppinis piping hot and overflowing the plate. This giant Theater District location has the look and feel of a bustling European something-or-other, with crowds of patrons jamming the doorway, and servers doing pirouettes with large trays of food and drinks. This isn’t a place for quiet conversation or a casual dinner–this is a place to bring your Aunt Irma who laughs like an asthmatic hyena and your Uncle Ted who once finished first in the Greater Milwaukee belching contest. Throw in their insanely bratty twins, Ted Jr. and Terri, and your grandmother Eunice with her broken hearing aid and you have the average party on any given night. Luckily they’ll all leave stuffed and satisfied, especially after wolfing down the Titanic desert that needs to be seen to be believed. Aside from decibel level and hard to get reservations, there really isn’t that much difference between Carmine’s and other city family style places like Tony’s and Trattoria Sambuca, but it supplies just that little extra atmosphere that puts it over the top. Depending on how many people you have in your party (and how close to vomiting you want to come), you may be able to get out of this place for under $25-$30 a person. [MF]

200 W 44th St. (bet. 7th & 8th Ave.)