Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Carrabba’s Italian Grill – Knoxville Tennessee

Time for another decision for dinner… For some reason, probably because we prefer local restaurants vs. chains, there are a couple of area restaurants where we’ve never eaten.  Time to break through that bias!

This is Carrabba’s Italian Grill on North Peters Road in Knoxville.  Carrabba’s restaurants date back to a family run operation in the Houston area that was founded in 1986.  The family still operates 2 locations in Houston but  Carrabba’s (the chain) actually has about 250 restaurants in the USA.

As is our tendency, we arrived early before ‘normal’ patrons began filtering in for dinner.  The restaurant has a nice ‘feel’ to it and there is plenty of room between tables.

We took this photo a little later on… Note the number of folks seated at the counter watching what the prep staff and cooks/chefs are doing.  FYI, yes there is a wood fired pizza oven just to the right of center in the photo.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill is part of a much larger corporation.  It is just one division of Bloomin’ Brands Inc., a company that reported $4.2 billion in sales for 2017.  Other restaurant brands under this umbrella are Bonefish Grill, Flemings Steakhouse and Wine Bar and Outback Steak Houses.  Bloomin’ Brands operates about 1,500 restaurants in 48 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and 19 other countries.  Check out their website at

We started out with a couple of appetizers.  These were the Calabrian Roasted Wings. ($10.99) The wings are seasoned with spicy Italian peppers and they’re served with gorgonzola dipping sauce.  They were a very nice change from typical wings and the dipping sauce went well with them…

Laurie chose the Mussels in White Wine Lemon Butter. ($11.99) There were so many mussels that I ‘had’ to help her with them!  The Prince Edward Island mussels were steamed in white wine, basil and a lemon butter sauce.  While they were very nice, we thought that a bit of garlic would have been an improvement…

This was Laurie’s Italian side salad that came with her entrée.  It was composed of mixed greens, garden vegetables, Kalamata olives and an Italian vinaigrette dressing.  Very tasty and fresh…

For my side salad, I chose the Caesar with romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing.  I was happy with my choice and I actually could taste the anchovy that is left out of so many faux Caesar salads!

Laurie’s entrée was the Veal Marsala…veal medallions sautéed and topped with mushrooms and Carrabba’s Lombardo Marsala wine sauce. ($24.99) For her side she chose the roasted asparagus and our helpful waitress Patricia, brought us copious amounts of parmesan cheese to kick everything up a notch.  Laurie really enjoyed her meal!

My dinner selection was the Parmesan Crusted Chicken Arugula. ($20.49) Sautéed pieces of chicken breast were crusted with grated parmesan and panko breadcrumbs and then topped with fresh arugula, tomatoes and parmesan cheese in a Mediterranean lemon vinaigrette.  It was a very satisfying entrée and I loved the roasted asparagus too…

We really enjoyed our meals at Carrabba’s.  The only negative is that it is a bit pricy for frequent dining… However, we will return to try other items on the menu.  The Knoxville Tennessee Carrabba’s Italian Grill is located at 324 North Peters Road.  Phone: 865-692-2223.  Carrabba’s website is at  

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for dinner!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Sounds like a fine experience. I finally learned how to grill shrimp by sitting at the restaurant bar and watching the pros do it.

  2. Really liked the looks of the mussels … made me a lil bit homesick, friend David … oh, well, you can't have everything cuz where would you put it, hmmm? Love, cat.

  3. Food all looks good, Dave! I could eat it all. Sounds like a good restaurant. Our son is headed this morn for England, Scotland and France on vacation. Made me think of all your great photos recently.

  4. Those Italian dishes look better than they do here in Italy David! The Calabrian wings look so good, and so does Caesar's salad. I just finished dinner but you are making me hungry again. You find the coolest food!

  5. Hi Dave, good post. When it comes to fast restaurant chains Carrabba's is pretty good but for the prices you can almost have a fine dining experience. I know I feel that way, when I relent to eating at Bonefish Grill one of the restaurants in this chain.

    Take care.