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“Carbone's on Franklin Avenue!”

Carbone's Restaurant
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Ranked #13 of 482 Restaurants in Hartford
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$21 - US$40
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Bar Scene, Groups, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Buffet, Reservations
Reviewed 15 April 2018

We have lived in the Greater Hartford area for fourteen years, but rarely venture to Franklin Avenue, especially now that D&D moved to Wethersfield. Then Carbone's Prime opened in nearby Rocky Hill -- we have gone there twice and quite liked it. We decided to try Carbone's in Hartford and made a reservation. Parking was not a problem -- they have their own lot and a parking attendant There was a bit of a confusion about the entry, but the attendant pointed out the door. Our reservation was immediately honored. We noticed the booths and asked for one -- apparently you need to specifically request one; we were offered one, but didn't like it; we were perfectly happy, though, with the table at which we were seated. The dining rooms are somewhat dated and formal, but the overall feel was rather elegant. [My husband prefers the more modern feel at Carbone's Prime.] The service was excellent and very, very attentive; there were three wait staff that gave seamless service. I am always impressed when a restaurant provides free refills of soft drinks without asking -- my club soda with lime was always full. We had the fried calamari appetizer, which was quite good (although I like the fried calamari at Fiore's II in Middletown somewhat better); Carbone's calamari includes breaded and fried cherry pepper slices, which were spicy and added a nice kick to the dish. My husband had the bone-in rib eye, which was impressive and tasty; it also came with a vegetable medley hash, which he liked, as well as the marinated cipolini onions. I had linguine with meatballs. The meatballs were the best I've had a restaurant. [I compare these fluffy, tasty and huge meatballs with the leaden, virtually inedible meatballs I had recently at Joey Garlic's in Newington -- what a contrast!] We didn't get dessert, as we had already been to Mozzicato's Italian pastry shop (if you're on Franklin Avenue, drop in at an Italian pastry shop and Mozzicato's is probably the best known of a number of bakeries on the Avenue) before dinner and had cookies and pastries waiting to eat once we got home.The acid test: would I go back? Yes, indeed! In fact, we've already made reservations for late June when the in-laws come into town from California. [Just an aside: Mozzicato's is opening a bakery in Middletown in the near future.] Last note: as we were leaving, the parking lot was full, as was the dining room, and there was a huge white stretch limo in the lot: the driver moved the limo and the parking attendant guided us out of the lot. We took a left out of the lot and were on the Silas Deane within a block, headed south back towards Cromwell.

Date of visit: April 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank 305E40th4J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 - 15 of 175 reviews

Reviewed 8 April 2018

Carbone's has been the jewel of the South End for decades. It still does not disappoint! It's hard to go wrong with anything on the menu. You really should do the table-side items. They have the best Caesar Salad ever! They also do the retro but still delicious spinach salad with hot bacon vinaigrette. The server even walks you through the recipe so you could try this at home! Something not on the menu, but that they will always make is eggplant fries. You MUST order this as an appetizer. A certain restaurant in Newington makes them in homage to Carbone's but they are nowhere near as good. The service here is great; they have always meticulously trained their staff. If even if you're really full , you should cram in one of the two flambed desserts, the bocce ball (a chocolate covered ice cream ball flamed in Grand Marnier) or the bananas foster. Again, they walk you through the preparation, so if you don't mind scorched ceilings at home, you could try it out. Why do so when the rest of the food is so great?

Date of visit: March 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank desertswim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2018

We've lived in the Hartford area for years and have never gone to any Carbone's, and it was my 59th birthday so we decided to finally 'get around to it'. Went to the Franklin Ave location. First impression: Exterior was run down stucco. Okay... "Doesn't matter if the food is good"... Went in, had a drink at the bar. Bartender was chatty with the regulars, not a bad thing, but he was a bit foul mouthed... surprising. Hostess came to the bar area and was reading a recent negative restaurant review out loud to the bartender and the regulars. Kinda weird. We moved to the restaurant area, had another drink and ordered dinner. Very disappointed in the quality of the food, especially given the prices. I ordered the gorgonzola salad, which came with way too much dressing... then the Carbone's carbonara... it was average... dry chewy peas, sticky, not flavorful at all. My husband ordered the gnocchi, also average. in the end, the check was $150.00. Wow. Really?
For some odd reason, the bartender (also our server) gave us the last bit of a bottle of wine (corked, in a bag) to bring home with us... also quite odd...
In contrast, we had had a comparably priced but incredible Italian meal in DC the week before (Floriana's) for the same price! The food there was so good we didn't even speak while we were eating, because we were so absorbed in the flavors. Then, last night, we decided to go to First and Last, also in Hartford. Our experience there was outstanding. Great food, great service, normal prices (3 drinks, apps, two entrees, $75.00).
Don't know what's going on with Carbone's... maybe we were there on an off night.... but again, a big disappointment.

Date of visit: March 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jama C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2018

Absolutely delicious food each time we go! Plus great service and atmosphere! We just love this restaurant!

Date of visit: August 2017
Thank Megan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2018 via mobile

My husband and I go out for Valentine’s Day every year but not on the actual date because of the fix meal menus. This was our first time going to Carbone’s and we really enjoyed the ambiance and the food. We had a couple of drinks at the bar before our meal, and they were very well made. We sat down at our table and were brought some fresh home made bread with an amazing olive oil & sundried tomato dip. We actually got seconds on the bread. Appetizers and dinner consisted of calamari and the beef carpaccio, the calamari was very fresh and delicious. Dinner was pasta with seafood and veal and eggplant....both were very good. Dessert, bananas foster made table side, nice touch. Our waiter seemed to have been there for some time and was very gracious and on point. We will definitely be back.

Date of visit: March 2018
Thank tarvum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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