Archive for the ‘Italian’ Category

Restaurant Catch-up: Stone Creek Dining, Kincaid’s, Buca di Beppo

March 31, 2009

Over the past couple months, I have not updated the reviews as I have dined out.  So, let me take this opportunity to post some dining experiences that stick out in my mind.

I’ll start with the one that sticks out that was not so pleasant.  It was in Noblesville, IN at the Hamilton Town Center.  There, I dined at Stone Creek Dining Company.  From the outside and the interior decor, it looked as if this was going to be a really nice dinner.  After about a half an hour  to 45 minute wait, we finally were following some girl as she speed-walked to the table we were going to be sitting at.  Then, no friendly chit-chat or anything, she handed us our menus and was off.  Then, we were greeted by one of the worse servers I have had.  This person literally was sweating and wiping the sweat with their hands.    Yes, the same person that brought us our meal and drinks.  Well, I should add that this person was supposed to bring us our drinks…our drinks were empty for most of the meal.  The server never even came around much for us to ask for drinks, and when we did tell them, we would usually have to mention it again to actually get it.  We just left this dining establishment frazzled.  On top of that, the meal we got was just okay.  I really hope that things have gotten better there because we were extremely dissatisfied.

On a much better note, a place that I really enjoyed was Kincaid’s in Clay Terrace in Carmel, IN.  The service was okay, but the food was great.  I’ve been there twice in the last two months because I enjoyed the food so much.  I have had the Seafood Linguine for dinner and the Pacific Tiger Prawn Linguine for lunch.  The seafood is a good size, and I really enjoy the white alfredo sauces they use for both of those.  Here is the menu for both the lunch and dinner.  I have dined with others who have gotten the Bering Sea Red King Crab Cakes for dinner and the Fish and Chips for lunch, and they really enjoyed both.

I also dined at Buca di Beppo in Castleton.  There they serve a majority of their food family style, so you pick a couple dishesand share with others in your group.  Some items that we got were the Bruschetta, Mozzarella Garlic Bread, Cheese Manicotti, and Raviolli with Meat Sauce.  All the items were very good, and the dishes remind me of home cooking.  It’s definitely a different taste than other Italian restaurants such as Carrabba’s and Macaroni Grill.   Those two taste more like what you would expect when dining out, and to me, Buca di Beppo has more of a taste like my grandma had worked in the kitchen for hours preparing the meal.


Olive Garden Review – Indianapolis

December 13, 2008

Restaurant: Olive Garden
Location: Indianapolis (Castleton), IN
Address: 6130 East 82nd Street  Indianapolis, IN 46250
Hours: Sun – Thurs 11:00a.m.-10:00p.m.  Fri – Sat 11:00a.m.-11:00p.m.
Menu: Olive Garden Menu
Today’s Meal: Zuppa Toscana Soup, Breadsticks, Fettucine Alfredo, and Soft Drink
Cost: About $15
Type: Italian
Loyalty Program: None Known

Today was lunch at Olive Garden.  I was anticipating that there could be quite a long lunch wait since this location is close to the mall, which would be extremely busy being so close to the holidays.  Upon entering, they told me it would be a 5-10 minute wait, not bad at all!  It ended up being about 10 minutes (perhaps a little longer), but the wait was very reasonable.  The table I set at ended up having a weird placement.  It was situated right by some little closet-like room, where from my seat, I could see a yellow industrial mop bucket with a mop in it and the clay-colored tiled floor with black grout.  It reminded me of a floor from the 80’s, like you would see in Pizza Hut or something.  The ambiance was a little ‘off’ from the Old World Italy (or something like that) they try to recreate from my seat! 

First up was the soup, and I really do enjoy the Zuppa Toscana.  It has sliced potatoes, sausage, and some greens in a white broth.  While I was there, I heard some customers raving about the new Chicken and Gnocchi soup with chicken, dumplings, and spinach.  I did not try it though.  I also had breadsticks with my soup.  The breadsticks are plain, and they are best eaten with other parts of the meal.  For instance, I really enjoy dipping them in a bit of the broth from my soup, and they are also good when I use the sauce from my meal to dip them in.  For some weird reason, one of my favorite places for bread sticks is the fast food Italian place, Fazolis.  They are so buttery, and when they come out warm, they almost melt in your mouth, delicious! 

My meal was the Fettucini Alfredo.  The pasta was cooked to perfection, and the alfredo had a nice, creamy taste to it.  It was served nice and warm.  My only complaint would be that I only had about two bites of my soup before the meal came out.  Therefore, I didn’t even get to enjoy most of the soup.

I happen to like a plain Fettucini Alfredo without meat or anything, but you would have to ask if you were interested in getting anything added to this dish.  It does not list anything available for add-ins such as broccoli or shrimp or chicken on the menu.

Make your own Fettucini Alfredo at home with this recipe from Kraft!  It only needs 8 ingredients, or which half you probably have around your kitchen.

Macaroni Grill Review – Carmel

November 15, 2008

Restaurant: Macaroni Grill
Location: Carmel, IN
Address: 2375 116th East  Carmel, IN 46032
Menu: Macaroni Grill Menu (dinner menu for Carmel location, lunch menu also available)
Type: Italian
Loyalty Program: Mac Pack (Sign up on home page.  It says that you’ll get a free appetizer and other things.)
Today’s Meal: Bread and Oil, Create your Own Pasta of Four Cheese Alfredo Sauce, Capellini Pasta, Caesar Salad, and Soft Drink
Cost: About $16

Today I went to Macaroni Grill for lunch, and I immediately was seated.  A few minutes after being seated, I received my drink I had ordered as well as the complimentary bread loaf.  Here, they pour some Extra Virgin Olive Oil on a dish and grind some fresh pepper into it for dipping the bread.  Throughout the course of the meal, I requested two additional loaves of bread as it was so warm and fresh when it came out that I kept wanting more. 

I typically order off the Create Your Own Pasta menu when I come here.  They have other dishes that are quite good, but I really like a cheesy type of Fettuccine Alfredo which is what I can order off this menu.  You ask your server for a Create Your Own Pasta Pad, and you mark which type of pasta, sauce, meat, or extras that you want.  Some of the items are complimentary, while others cost more.  The menu denotes which costs more. 

First I got my Caesar Salad, and I must say that it is one of my favorite Caesar Salads out there.  The dressing and the croutons are just perfect to me.

The food came out at a perfect time after finishing off the salad, and it was really warm.  The sauce that I got on my pasta was four cheese Alfredo (which cost an additional $2), and I really like it.  When you are served your food, they ask you if you want freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and I always get that as well.

It was a great experience at Macaroni Grill.  The server was very polite, kept drink refills going, and was knowledgeable about the menu.  The food was equally as delicious.

Find a Macaroni Grill menu or location near you!