Carmine's Italian

Carmine's Italian located in Pasadena, hometown to Mr. Borscht, welcomes you warmly with its rustic chic charm.

The name alone Carmine's reminds me of the TV mafia drama The Soprano's, a chic version of The Soprano's that is.  Would the food live up to the very Italian name?  That is the question, and as I would find, it did, although the coffee was terrible, but lo and behold I wasn't here to critique the coffee but the food, which was most definitely molto buon!

Minestrone soup

Good to order:  The Minestrone soup and the small Antipasto salad.  

The minestrone soup was a hot bowl of soup with vegetables and a few bits of pasta, flavorful and warm, perfect for a cold day.  Don't let the small order of antipasto fool you, the small sized antipasto salad could literally feed two to fullness.  Fresh vegetables tossed in Italian dressing with black olives, Peperoncini for bite, red beets for a bit of nutty sweetness, cubed mozzarella to keep you grounded and salami and mortadella for a bit of spice and saltiness.  If you're craving something light but delicious this is the perfect salad to go with.

Antipasta salad: Salami, mortadella, fresh veg, red beets, peperoncini,
black olives, mozzarella

Good to order:  Chicken Marsala

Mr. Borscht grew up in Pasadena and had often frequented Carmine's back in his teenage days, he was looking forward to Chicken Marsala that he often ordered here, of course he ordered it today for the sake of childhood memories, would it be the same?  It would.  The best chicken Marsala I have ever tasted, large tubes of perfectly cooked Rigatoni with large pieces of chicken, slices of mushroom and in Marsala sauce that was light and nutty flavored.  I'm not Italian but this very much tasted like Italian chicken marsala, unlike many Americanized Italian restaurants' chicken marsalas.

Chicken Marsala over Rigatoni

The Damage:  $27.36

1 Chicken Marsala
1 Cup of Minestrone soup
1 Small antipasto salad
1 Cup of black coffee

Carmine's Italian
424 Fair Oaks Ave.
South Pasadena, CA 91030
(626) 799.2266

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