As a blogger, I get a lot of fun opportunities! Last week, I was invited to my favorite restaurants to preview their fall menu. I think I literally heard angels singing when Carrabba's emailed me. No way of them to know, but as a crazy Italian food lover-they are always my go-to when I don't want to cook. I have a million of wonderful memories at our Carrabba's in Daytona and the food is always always good!
I visited their Sanford, Florida location which is brand new, they opened this summer. I was really loving the new atmosphere & design which was different than the one in Daytona. This new design features an open kitchen, relaxed and casual dining room and bar. The new Carrabba’s look also features a mix of traditional and contemporary design that includes family tables, a kitchen counter and an indoor/outdoor bar.
They also had an indoor/outdoor bar gives guests the option to sit inside or outside on a patio and may I say I heard some as always great music, Frank Sinatra especially. How can you not eat Italian without Frank? (You can't).
We were sat at family tables which are large tables that seat up to ten people and are perfect for large gatherings of family and friends, a deep-routed Italian tradition. All of our First Tastes came out family style.
When we arrived we met with Virgil Morar, Managing Partner. He told our group a quick history of the restaurant which you can find here. We ordered some house red wine, my favorite and started to get excited for the new items.
Fire Roasted Mushrooms
First up were the Fire Roasted mushrooms. Fire-roasted cremini mushrooms stuffed with sausage, red bell peppers, fennel, sautéed onion, brioche breadcrumbs, artichoke hearts and romano cheese. They were great!
Of course every good Italian knows Nonna is grandma in Italian. This pasta dish was creamy and delicious, Penne pasta with wood-grilled chicken, housemade pesto cream made with fresh basil, pine nuts and walnuts, spinach and zucchini, topped with mozzarella and baked until golden brown in our wood-burning oven
Hands Down, my favorite! This was so so so good!!! USDA Center-cut sirloin wood-grilled, topped with imported blue cheese, roasted tomatoes and fresh basil. It was unbelievable!
Cedar Planked Fire Salmon
Pan-seared salmon topped with jumbo lump crabmeat and fire-roasted on a cedar plank, topped with our lemon butter sauce. Served with roasted asparagus, mushrooms and red bell peppers. This was really good!
Rigatoni Al Forno
I am such a HUGE fan of pasta with lots and lots of ricotta cheese. This was delicious! Rigatoni pasta tossed with our housemade marinara sauce, romano and mozzarella cheese, topped with Italian fennel sausage, mozzarella and fresh milk ricotta cheese then finished in our wood-burning oven until bubbly hot
This was off the chain! I wanted this dessert to last forever! A rich custard prepared with Madagascar vanilla bean and topped with torched sugar, whipped cream, and strawberries
Check out the First Tastes Menu here and be sure to visit Carrabba's on Twitter and Instagram. Thank you for the wonderful time!!