D'Carlo is... different | Rock Candy

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

D'Carlo is... different

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 10:20 AM

QUATTRO FORMAGGI RAVIOLI:  With DCarlos unusual smooth marinara
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  • QUATTRO FORMAGGI RAVIOLI: With D'Carlo's unusual smooth marinara
Everyone has a different way of doing things. I had to remind myself of that when I went to D’Carlo Italian Ristorante out on the county line… because things are certainly done differently out there.

We went on a Saturday night with the girl child, and a party was about to come in. The restaurant was really dark!

We were really excited to see Stuffed Whole Artichokes ($9.95) on the menu. It’s been years since I had a good stuffed artichoke in a restaurant (I’m blessed to know a great deal of great home chefs). It took some time to prepare, but when it arrived it was massive — and singular. Just one artichoke on the plate. And… well, it was tasty enough, sure, with Parmesan cheese and bits of tomato and breadcrumbs and onions and garlic. The one thing I had about it was that the thistles hadn’t been trimmed. You know, the little sharp bits?

They really sting when you bite into them. I’m used to those being trimmed off.

It was quite some time later (our waitress was also handling the large party that came in after us, which meant we saw little of her) we received our entrées. And something odd happened. My dining companion had ordered the Quattro Formaggi Ravioli ($13.95), six round hand-made cheese ravioli swimming in a sea of the smoothest, most chunk-less marinara I’ve ever encountered, topped with melted cheese and dried herbs. Which, honestly, didn’t excite him.

I’d ordered the Pasta-Aglio-Olio Portabella Mushrooms ($13.95), which turned out to be a very large pile of fettuccini noodles washed with some olive oil and garlic with a dusting of Parmesan and dried spices… and slices of roasted mushroom on top. Hrm.

Now, mind you, I tried the mushroom bit right away and was quite pleased. It was very savory and tasty, nicely done. But… I don’t know.

Anyway, we tried each other’s plates, found the other’s more to each other’s liking and switched. And I seriously dug into the ravioli themselves, which were nicely balanced four cheese ravioli.

And my dining companion relished the mushrooms and pasta.

Still… what was up with that sauce? That was the thinnest, smoothest marinara I’ve encountered outside a can of kid’s pasta obtained at the store… and while it was nicely basil flavored it just seemed… off. I mean, I guess this is just a part of Italian cuisine I haven’t encountered, the chunk-less marinara.

And it’s not that we had a bad meal. It just seemed… a little mediocre. The price seemed a bit out of touch with what we received.

So, I don’t know. Did I just have a weird night there? Is this the norm? I’d love your thoughts.

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