When we were in NYC last year, we had attempted to go to dinner at Carmines with Jeff and Jackie before going downtown for the fireworks. Carmines was closed for renovation, so we went its sister (brother?) restaurant instead, Virgils.
This year, while Jenni and I were enjoying the matinee of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Jeff and Jackie went over to Carmines to get in line for a table.
If they renovated it last year, they managed to maintain that much-sought after "unrenovated" look, complete with an extremely cramped bar area and confusing entry-way.
But it's all about the food, isn't it.
The gentleman who showed us to our table told us a little bit about how dinner at Carmines works with its family-style dining. The manner in which he delivered this information was somewhat like a soliloquy. As soon as he left us, Jackie explained "In New York, your wait-staff are most likely wannabe actors."
Then our waiter came up and introduced our specials in such a manner I thought they were upcoming guests on Letterman. He advised us that ordering 2 appetizers and 3 entrees would allow us to walk away from the table comfortably. I glanced to the tables around us and noticed the size of the servings. "Walk away comfortably" is to him what "waddling away while belching and unbuttoning the top button" is to us. A platter of their fried zucchini appetizer was approximately 14" x 8" x 6".
We opted for calamari for an appetizer, and a manicotti dish and rigatoni with sausage and broccoli in olive oil for entrees. We didn't finish any of it and left somewhere inbetween "walking away comfortably" and "waddling away while belching and unbuttoning the top button."
We then went on a waddling tour of midtown with Jeff and Jackie.
Oh, and we did NOT get up at some freakishly early hour and go down for the Today Show. We found that the crowds were much smaller at 9:00 at night.
After some discussion in the rain as to the best way for us to get back downtown to our hotel, we ended up on either the M1 or M6 bus and transferred at 14th Street to either the M6 or M1 bus. However we did it, we got to where we wanted to be. Jenni did want to get off the bus a lot earlier, thinking it was our stop. She saw a Duane Reade Drug Store across the street from a Starbucks. I pointed out to her that occurs hundreds of times in Manhattan. And so we traveled about 15 more blocks, passing 55 more Duane Reeds and Starbucks.
Give or take.