Carbone's: Jimmy's for the 1 Percent

Highland Park Gets Its Very Own Italian Restaurant and Specialty Shop.

Other mainstays are no less impressive. A vegetarian lasagna pairs tomatoes, spinach and cheese tucked cozily between thin and tender sheets of pasta. Fettuccine is just as delicate, though Barsotti should not call the sauce that dresses it "gravy." The blend of pork and other meats the kitchen saves from the scraps of other projects is cooked down into more of a ragu. The pasta is dressed more in the fat of animals than a long-stewed tomato puree. Semantics aside, the dish eats beautifully. It's satisfying, but not heavy.

Almost all of the hand-rolled pasta here demonstrates why Barsotti is known for his noodles, and a tortelloni special would look right at home on the more refined menu back at Nonna. The large parcels filled with a soft corn puree played nicely with a rich butter sauce tinged with sage and chewy chunks of pancetta. A special menu offered every week for Sunday supper feels especially "Nonnarific."

The only dish in which the fresh pasta doesn't work is the spaghettini and meatballs. The thin noodles don't stand up to the heavy sauce and end up gluey. Dried pasta, the kind that's cooked at most Italian-American restaurants, would work much better here.

Italian-American classics get a serious upgrade at Carbone's.
Lori Bandi
Italian-American classics get a serious upgrade at Carbone's.

Location Info

Map

Carbone's Fine Food and Wine

4208 Oak Lawn Ave.
Dallas, TX 75219

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Uptown & Oak Lawn

Details

Carbone's Fine Food and Wine
Hoagies $10-11
Prosciutto with melon $12
Caprese salad $9
Sausage and rabbit loin with polenta $16
Spaghettini and meatballs $16
Caesar salad $9
Cannoli $7
Lemon semifreddo $7

You're not at most Italian-American restaurants, however. That's evident with every dish that graces your table. Even more so when delicate cannoli seasoned with cinnamon marks the close of your meal. The dessert arrives wrapped in an envelope of paper and sealed with a butcher twine bow. A lemon semifreddo is even better, if you happen to like subtly sweet desserts that taste like a summer vacation.

Compare these desserts with the soggy tiramisu topped with chalky chocolate powder you're used to, and suddenly what's been working in Dallas in terms of red-sauce Italian cooking won't work so well anymore. There's a new Eye-talian spot in town, and it doesn't depend on its family name, its history or familiarity to win its customers. It relies on good food.

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5 comments
Somewhereinthe100percentile
Somewhereinthe100percentile

Well, you're eating there; so I guess you are a part of the %1, as well? Let me guess, the Observer is paying for the meal. Then it/VVM is a part of the %1. And what's so bad about being a part of the %1 anyway? You wouldn't have titled your review as such if you didn't think it was a pejorative.

Halldecker
Halldecker

My Sicilian Godfather grew up in East Dallas with Joe Campisi. He'd laugh, "Nobody would let Joe in their club, he talked too much." The fabled back room at Campisi's, where hundreds of thousands supposedly changed hands each weekend, a storeroom for sauce ingredients. Campisi's went to Hell after Joe died, they expanded into the plumbing store next door, decided they could use less expensive ingredients and less of them. You can make a pizza so cheap, nobody will eat it. Pizza, Scalini's is hard to beat. For Northern Italian, MoMo's on Forest Lane E of Greenville. Beware of others using the Momo's name. The Forest Lane location is the real thing. Perhaps the best Italian in Texas.

Beda
Beda

I'm a Pietro's fan too. I've been eating there since they were in the space now occupied by The Grape.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

I like Pietro's! I hear old people yelling in Italian in the Kitchen. That makes me feel at home...

snugs
snugs

i've been for lunch and dinner -- and both were great. and if you are craving a hearty "fat-man" meal -- get the lasagna topped with sunday "gravy". yum!

 
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