Thursday, July 24, 2008

Carrabba's - Lobster Ravioli and Cannoli

Your favorite Pensacola food critics descended upon Carrabba’s in full force last night. Your’s truly went with the Lobster Ravioli ($17) and ice water for the main event and Cannoli ($6) for dessert.

The Lobster Ravioli is described as Ravioli stuffed with tender Maine lobster in a white wine cream sauce with diced tomatoes. My plate arrived with a heap of beautiful ravioli and bright red tomatoes – no over-dressing. I like that. The food should be the star. I took a whiff before digging in and didn’t really smell anything, which is far better than that straight from the ocean smell you sometimes get with lobster dishes. After whiffing came biting - my first ravioli left something to be desired. But there’s one bad apple in every bunch, right? I thoroughly enjoyed the other nine apples, er, ravioli. Most of them contained nice big chunks of lobster which was indeed tender. I like a big chunk of meat – no unidentifiable mush for this critic, please. Oh – and the ice water was splendid. It did not taste chalky as many a glass of restaurant water I’ve sampled does. My only complaint – I was sucking air through my straw for most of the meal. I know water is the despised free drink, but it allows me to taste your food without some crazy cola infusion – so if you keep my glass full I’ll add that extra 30 cents to the tip that a $2 soda would have entitled.

Onward to dessert. The Cannoli is described as two crisp pastry shells stuffed with sweet ricotta and chocolate chip filling, topped with pistachios and powdered sugar. I chose this dessert because I have a hard time resisting anything with pistachios, not because my meal left me feeling hungry. The cannoli looked better than it tasted. Not that it was bad - it tasted good, the ricotta was creamy, the shell was crisp and the pistachios were great – it just so happened to be slightly more appealing to my eye (yes, just the one) than my tongue. By the way, the dessert portions seemed much more generous than the entrée portions. And if you can’t decide what to get, try the dessert sampler, which our waitress assured us is very “cute”.

I’m not sure where to rate my meal on the cuteness scale. Maybe somewhere between just cute and absolutely adorable…super cute??? Overall my meal was tasty and the atmosphere was nice. We were seated and served quickly despite the parking lot looking ominously full. Will I dine at Carrabba’s again? Sure. Will I order the same thing? Probably not – it was good but the plates of my partners in crime looked better (obviously I haven’t learned my lesson from the handsome cannoli).

The Low Down:
Italian entrees, desserts, wine
311 North 9th Avenue
Sun 11:30 – 9 p.m.; Mon-Thurs 4-10 p.m.; Fri & Sat 4-11 p.m.
$-$$$
http://www.carrabbas.com/

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