Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul.
Dallas has plenty of Italian American restaurants. What it needs is more good ones — restaurants that know how to cook a red sauce from scratch, how to make a meatball and how to roll fresh pasta. Before Carbone's came along, the best option to get your mangia on was Maggiano's and for that you had to brave the parking lot at a shopping mall.
Carbone's is the work of Julian Barsotti, who opened Nonna in 2007 to the praise of every fan of Italian fare in Dallas. But those who preferred "gravy" to "sauce" and liked their hoagie rolls chewy were out of luck until he opened Carbone's in Highland Park. Now fans of all sorts of Italian foods can dance around with bottles of Chianti in their hands.
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A plate of spaghetti and meatballs can be one of the most soothing meals, if done properly, and with lasagna, spaghetti with shrimp scampi and a bucatini all' Amatriciana made with house cured guanciale, Carbone's has all of your pasta bases covered.
You've got no business asking about dessert with plates like these thrown around, but you're going to anyway, so don't pass up the cannoli that arrives wrapped up in a string. That crunchy shell was piped full of mascarpone cheese seconds before it was brought to your table so it stays crisp until you finish eating. It's the perfect close that's not too heavy. Now, if only you could get a glass of grappa around here.
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