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Carmine and Co is a family owned and run Italian restaurant located in Port Adelaide for over 40 years. Late last year they moved into new premises, a former bank building, which took nine months to complete.

The restaurant is light and spacious with high ceilings and a mezzanine floor.

 The main wall is exposed brick with a gorgeous map of Italy carved out from the previous plaster work – a fabulous feature on a large wall.

A lounge area is at the back before walking through to a courtyard, where some herbs are grown for use in the restaurant.

Owner Carmine Misale, and three generations of family were all there giving us the history on the place and the love behind the southern Italian menu.

 For appetiser we tried three dishes. First, antipasto; cured meats, cheeses, olives, roast capsicum served with fresh bread.

Another Italian favourite – arancini rice balls filled with Bolognese sauce, peas, mozzarella and pecorino cheese – light and fluffy on the inside with a crunchy outside.

And eggplant parmigiana; thinly sliced crumbed eggplant twice cooked then layered with mozzarella and napolitana sauce. A delicious dish which I could have eaten a lot more of!

For entree we tasted three pasta dishes.

The first was linguine with Morton Bay bugs, with fresh tomatoes in a garlic, parsley, basil and white wine sauce. The pastas are all made on the premises and the bugs were sweet and the sauce was a perfectly balanced.

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni; pasta sheets filled with spinach and ricotta topped in a rose sauce. Unlike anything I’ve tried to make! The pasta was al dente and the mixture was a perfect balance of spinach and ricotta.

And the best dish of the night – Nonna Vicky’s spaghetti and meatballs. A fabulous dish with something extra from Nonna Vicky – it’s made with love. As she explained the recipe is in her head and it’s cooked from her heart. If I shut my eyes I can imagine being in her family kitchen being served a big bowl of this!

For mains another three to taste.

Carmine’s steak; char-grilled MSA rib eyeful led with sautΓ©ed Spanish onion, mushroom, basil, chilli, garlic and a red wine glaze that takes three days to prepare! Thankfully the meat was cooked with some pink still on the inside, with soft sweet Spanish onion.

Next was Pollo pistachio; oven baked chicken Maryland stuffed with fresh herbs and mozzarella cheese, wrapped in pancetta, finished in a creamy pistachio sauce. The chicken was juicy and tender with salty pancetta and a crunchy and creamy pistachio sauce. Yum!! I wanted to eat more of this but was feeling particularly full!

And finally stuffed calamari; South Australian calamari filled with Nonna’s special stuffing, cooked in her homemade tomato sauce. Nonna wouldn’t share her recipe but it was soft and moist and didn’t overpower the tender calamari.

Dessert, of course, was tiramisu – a favourite and this did not disappoint.

Also Zeppole, an Italian doughnut with a Strega (Italian herbal liquer) syrup. Just divine!

Carmine and Co has a wonderfully warm family atmosphere with a very satisfying menu.

** I was an invited guest.
Carmine & Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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