Fabgrandpa and I were invited to attend the First Tastes Event at Carrabba’s Italian Grill the other night.
We had never been to Carrabba’s before, so we were excited to be going. I had received a copy of the new item menu, along with pictures, so that we were really looking forward to this.
When we got there, we were greeted by the location manager, Susan, who took us to a table and gave us a drink and an appetizer because we got there half an hour early. She knew we were coming and asked me a little bit about my blog. That impressed me, because she took the time to get to know who was coming to her restaurant.
When the First Tastes started, we were seated at a long, tall table with other people who were there for the event. The food was served “family style” which meant we shared with others at the table. We sampled some of everything on the menu.
The first thing served was the Fire Roasted Stuffed Mushrooms. These were made with Crimini mushrooms stuffed sausage, red bell peppers, fennel, sauteed onion, brioche bread crumbs, artichoke hearts and romano cheese. The fennel was a very nice touch!
Oh! so good! I know we will order some next time we go. They are not gluten free, but they did taste good.They were accompanied by Sangria with citrus fruits:
The next thing they brought out was the Rigatoni Al Forno. This was a large pasta with marinara sauce, fennel italian sausage, and ricotta cheese. Again, not gluten free, but I did take a bite or two and it was delish! Carrabba’s, I wish you would have at least one pasta dish made with gluten free pasta.
The rigatoni was served with white Chardonay wine. It was a little bit sweet, which I love, and little bit dry.
Next up was one of my favorites of the night, Cedar Plank-Fired Salmon. This is pan seared, topped with jumbo lump crabmeat and fire-roasted on a cedar plank, topped with lemon butter sauce. My only complaint about this taste was that we only got a little bit of it!
The wine paired with this dish was the Vogel Pinot Noir, a dark red wine with a spicey flavor.
Fabgrandpa’s favorite: Bistecca Ardente. USDA Center cut sirloin wood-grilled, topped with imported bleu cheese, roasted tomatoes and fresh basil. I have never been a fan of bleu cheese until I tasted this. The pairing of the cheese, the basil and the steak was superb! And everyone at the table was talking about how good those roasted baby carrots were.
And then there was dessert!
I have only had Creme Brulee once before in my life, and it was home made by a friend. This one was soooo goood! The menu descibes it a a rich custard prepared with Madagascar vanilla bean and topped with torched sugar, whipped cream, and strawberries. I was sad to see the last bite go!
Carrabba’s Italian Grill has several locations around metro Atlanta. We went to the one in Douglasville, on Chappel Hill Rd.
First Tastes is an exclusive preview event that occurs nationally on the same day at the launch of a new seasonal menu at Carrabba’s. Amici Club Members and a guest enjoy a complimentary tasting hosted by the managing partner of each Carrabba’s Italian Grill location. Carrabba’s Amicis, Italian for friends, are a group of customers who are brand loyalists and have asked to receive invitations to complimentary events, exclusive offers, flavorful rewards, and inside information about Carrabba’s.