Michael and I went to see “Spamalot” Friday night (which was tons of fun, Michael says it’s one of the top five shows he’s ever seen) and before the show I wanted to take him to Carmine’s which is right across the street. Carmine’s was our childhood theater district staple—a big Italian food factory that I thought it would be fun to review for this site. Unfortunately, Carmine’s is still as popular as ever and there was no way we were getting in.
The conceirge at my parents’ hotel suggested Bond 45. “If you like Carmine’s, you’ll like Bond 45,” he suggested. So we signed up for that and a reservation was made for 6 pm. So at 6 we walked down 45th street and almost missed this very subtle entrance:
I don’t want to waste time on this meal because it was just ok. There was a good half and a bad half. The good half was my appetizer of Spaghetti Carbonara (with pancetta, eggs, and pecorino):
I really enjoyed this, though I felt like a lead truck after I finished eating it. It was yolky and cheesy and hammy, and I like how brave they were with the pepper. Michael had a Caesar salad which he enjoyed.
For my entree, I ordered “A Lot of Shrimp Scampi (whole roasted garlic and rosemary):
It looks ok in the picture, but I didn’t love this. The shrimp tasted like they’d been frozen (which they might have been) and reminded me of airplane food. I only ate half. Michael had red snapper in a clay pot which he enjoyed. (They made him sit in a clay pot while he ate the snapper, which I thought was a strange touch.)
All in all, this is one of those theater district joints that I’d never tell anyone to go to unless they had a show to see and were in a bind for a place to eat. It could be fun for a large group or if you have kids (it’s big and noisy in there). Otherwise, my heart still belongs to Carmine’s.* (*Take that last sentence with a grain of salt, though, I haven’t been there in years.)