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Yet Another Reason to Love Carrabba’s

Posted on June 18, 2008 by under Flickr, Food and Drink.    


We just got home from a fantastic evening at Carrabba’s. We received an invite for a complimentary food and wine tasting to celebrate the return of the summer season. Ashley, the server who helped us on our last visit, recognized us and directed us to the appropriate area.

I had not had the opportunity to write about our last experience at Carrabba’s but suffice it to say Ashley was phenomenal. I was foolish enough to order a carafe of sangria for myself. I have no idea why I thought that I would be able to consume it all. By the second glass, I was already crying uncle. Ashley was not only attentive and friendly, but she anticipated our needs. Instead of having to ask what to do about the remaining sangria, she told us that she was checking with a manager to see if the remainder could be rebottled for us. They were able to do it and so we took the rest of my sangria home that evening. We had at least two more glasses left so it was really nice of them to do that for us.

Ashley dazzled us that evening with the quality of service she provided. We were so pleased that we sent a compliment to Carrabba’s via their web site. A couple of weeks later, we received a nice note back from the regional manager thanking us for sending the positive feedback. She also gave us a coupon for free appetizer or dessert on her.

When we ran into Ashley tonight, she thanked us for the compliment and told us that she got a free tie out of it. That is their form of recognition. That was really nice. I’m glad that she got recognized for her hard work and for going the extra mile. Joe, the owner, also came by and thanked us for sending the compliment for Ashley.

Brian said that Ashley told him that she saw our food blog in the paper a could of weeks ago, and she made the comment to him that the food pictures finally made sense. We get a few strange looks sometimes because I take pictures of everything I eat. Apparrently, Joe has seen the food blog too. I thought that was neat.

Anyway, back to the tasting.



The cheeses offered were romano and fontina. The wines from Jacob’s Liquor were as follows: Librandi Ciro Bianco 2007 (Calabria, Italy); Ducarosso Chianti Reserva 2003 (Tuscany, Italy); Montevina Terra d’Oro Zinfandel 2005 (Amador, California); and Pascual Toso Reserve Malbec 2006 (Mendoza, Argentina). The Jacob’s rep came by right before the tasting began and explained everything. He also came by to check on us a few times throughout the evening. There was a drawing for bottles of wine and dinner certificates that evening and we actually won a bottle of the Malbec. We are bringing it to Brian’s parents’ house tomorrow.

There were five courses during the tasting. Here are some photos:
The Bianco was paired with the crab stuffed shrimp and lemon butter sauce shown above. This was really good. The crab stuffing reminded me of crab cakes, which I love. I was really happy with it because then I got to enjoy crab and shrimp — two of my most favorite seafood items. Brian doesn’t usually like seafood, but he loved this appetizer. That’s truly a testament to how good it is. Oh, and the white wine is my most favorite out of the four options.

Incidentally, the crab stuffed shrimp is going on the specials menu in the next two weeks. I believe it will be offered as one of the special items for the next three months.

Next came the Mediterranean chicken salad and pesto vinaigrette paired with the Chianti. The Chianti was my least favorite of the four wines. This salad was really good, though. I thought the pesto vinaigrette dressing was fabulous. The chicken that they served with it the same chicken that is served in the chicken gratella dish. Brian and I both agreed that we could see ourselves making meals out of the salads on our next visit.

Then we had the veggie ravioli and roasted red pepper sauce paired with the Zinfandel. This was good, but I’m not a big fan of it because I’m not much of a veggie eater. I like my meats. The sauce is really good, though. The roasted red pepper sauce is the same sauce that they used to serve along with the crab cakes (no longer on the menu).

The veal marsala paired with the Malbec was the last food item. It was good, except I’m not too fond of veal. Our entire table agreed that this would be good with a tenderloin, or pork medallions, or something.

Finally, they served us mini mocha mousse desserts and pomegranate martinis. The chocolate mousse was superb. I think Brian and I have found our new favorite dessert. Too bad it won’t be on the menu for another month and a half. The pomegranate martinis probably would have been better had I not eaten dessert first. The sweetness made the martini taste stronger and more bitter. It was good pomegranate martini, though. Brian gave me his so I got his as a bonus.

It was a wonderful evening altogether. Joe came by several times throughout the night to provide us with more information about how the dishes are prepared and to see how we liked everything. We were really pleased with how smoothly everything went. And, we had the opportunity to meet some really fantastic people. Joe said that these tastings are normally held every third Wednesday of the month for $25 per person. The next one is on July 16. We might just do that and Bring Jan and Brian’s parents, too. I’m thinking they might enjoy it.

Carrabba's Italian Grill on Urbanspoon

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Most Exciting Birthday Party Ever : Life After Marriage  on April 15, 2012

[…] did too. I would go back on a normal night and see how they do. As for that pitcher of sangria, I remembered what they had done for us at Carrabba’s a few years ago so I asked for it to be re-bottled. Our server obliged, so that was nice. Speaking of which, […]

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