Spouse & I were sat quick for a Sunday at dinner (no wait) and were promptly greeted by the owner or big boss who took our drink orders. We waited longer than we would like but this gave us a chance to review the very extensive menu. Lots of appetizers, pizzas, pastas, meat entrees - the works! We did not get a wine list but I can look past that since we weren't in a drinking mood. Our server showed up some time after after that's when the fun began. I don't mean to be a complete biznitch, but something was off with this dude from the moment he mumbled hello we knew something was up. We didn't know if it was a speech impediment or language barrier, but I was really hard to understand this guy. We made the best of it and ordered our staple Italian dinner items - mussels, gnocchi, and chicken parm. And decided we would figure this dude out by the end of the meal.
The food came out pretty fast. We munched on yummy bread while we waited. First up was the mussels in white wine & garlic. These little guys we delicious. The garlic was very fragrant and added a serious kick to the dish. I found the dish quite small for my taste but it was good so that's what matters. We made up for the small portion by dipping our bread in the juices.
Next up - the gnocchi and chicken parm. The Gnocchi al Pesto comes in a generous portion tossed with Garlic, Pine Nuts & Cherry Tomatoes in a light Basil Cream Sauce. Let's just stop here as I wipe my drool as I recall the yummy little pillows of fluffy dough covered in creamy, tasty, incredibly flavorful basil sauce. In the words of Borat, wawaweewa. Top 3 for sure.
The Chicken Parm was awesome - crispy but not greasy or overly breaded, juicy, cheesy, the sauce was fresh. It was awesome. Also, a generous portion.
Since we didn't eat nearly enough with the previous 3 items and couldn't agree on a dessert, we lived dangerously as ordered 2, which is unheard of in this crowd. Husband insisted on keeping it simple and ordered a Tiramisu while I took living dangerously to another level and went for the house speciality: The Vesuvius. The tiramisu was pretty good - The cream was rich but light, the cakes part was spongy and tasty but not overpowering. We downed it without shame or regard.
The Vesiuvius is a fantasy, a diabetic's last meal (literally, they will not make it out the door but in a bodybag) or a PMS'ing kidnappers ransom. Too rich, too sweet, too gooey, too perfect. This magnificent monstrosity consists of layers of sweet fudgy brownie, light fluffy cheesecake, airy chocolate mousse and thick rich chocolate truffle. This dessert is my inner fat girl's Make-a-Wish Foundation's request. Husband hated it, I ate 1/2 (OK 3/4!) It was amazing.
Our food was amazing, but the service truly sucked so that is why I deducted a star on my Yelp review. As the meal went on our server seemed distracted, unattentive, and off. Like off in the clouds. And kept snorting. And talking really, really fast. This guy didn't have a language barrier, or speech impediment - homey has a problem that can only be addressed in an episode of Intervention or Dr. Phil. We had to ask the manager for refills and the check, which was not cool. I hope he gets help or I hope I don't have the pleasure of his service on our next trip because we will definitely be back.
Carmine's La Trattoria
1745 Sherry Lane
Miami, FL 33183