Julian Barsotti’s new Italian-American eatery, Carbone’s is as hot as the meatballs he serves right now. Carbone’s joins the popular dining row at The Shops of Highland Park next to La Duni Latin Kitchen & Baking Studio, Nosh and Asian Mint on Oaklawn. We’re fans of Barsotti’s first venture, Nonna and when we heard, he was opening a casual over-the-counter Italian cafe, Ittybittyfoodies visited in the first week (twice).
The airy contemporary space is part cafe, part deli and part store. A freezer in the back stocked with fresh pasta and sauces let’s customers take home dinner for the week.
On the first visit, I tried their much talked about meatball hero. The bread baked by local artisans Village Baking Co. was perfectly crusty on first bite with a dense chewiness on the inside to hold the meatball sauce without the soppiness. And if I had an Italian nonna, I bet her meatballs would taste just like these.
My dining company and mama of two ittybittyfoodies herself, Melissa Wright of The Lab Lakewood liked the Cuban sandwich that she had especially the “crunchy bread,” she says.
Still wanting more, I brought the family back the next night for an early dinner. We started with a stellar antipasti of cured meats (mortadella, prosciutto Americano & soppressata) with plump green marinated olives.
The marinated baby beets salad with Maytag blue cheese and apples were as delightful as it was colorful.
Lollo chose the spaghetti and meatballs and made a wonderful tomato mess on his face with all the slurping he did that night. He loved it. We ordered porchetta for our non-cheese eating Pikelet. The boneless pork loin wrapped in pork belly was slow cooked for hours. The meat was tender and delicous albeit slightly spicy but that didn’t deter Pikelet. In contrast, the dish was accompanied by a side of tough brocolini rabe.
Desserts too, pleased the family and were engulfed in a matter of minutes. The lemony Italian ice had a lovely tang and the tiramisu presented in little jar was one of the best we’ve had in Dallas.
The perfect balance of lady’s fingers and dense, sweet mascapone and topped with indulgent chocolate shavings made Pikelet declare tiramisu one of his favorite desserts.
We’re always looking for places that not only have great food but is also fast - Carbone’s is a wonderful option. The staff were eager to help and were quite knowledgeable despite the newness of the place. The portions however are small and prices, on the high side especially for a place that has over-the-counter-service. Dive Coastal, our other favorite Park Cities over-the-counter eatery, with big ticket prices at least has hefty portions to match.
Click here for more info on Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine.
Till our next Happy Meal!
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ITTY BITTY INFO:
- Food: Fresh ingredients, fantastic Italian/American cuisine.
- Ambiance: Contemporary and friendly
- Service: Counter service
- Kid Friendliness:
- Itty Bitty Foodies Tip: Take home pasta/sauces for the week’s dinner
- Parent Foodies Tip: Fine wines that you can buy from the store