Upon walking in, we were greeted by Carmine himself, who thanked us for coming and told us to thank anyone who may have recommend the restaurant. Our table was set with glasses and a plate of olive oil for dipping bread and a reserved sign on the table held our spot. I very much appreciated this, as most restaurants still make you wait about 10-15 minutes while they finishing wiping and setting your table. At Carmine's we sat down right away. Soon after, our waiter showed up with delish Italian bread and the cutest authentic Italian accent. We sat in an enclosed porch area by the window where the walls were decorated in old pictures and Italian memorabilia. It really felt like we were away at some authentic Italian eatery (even though I've never been to Italy). The atmosphere was fantastic!
We were then brought salad with homemade dressing, which was also delightful! It took a little while after our salad for the main course to show up, but the server was the ONLY one in the restaurant, so we cut him a break. The meal of the night was rigatoni with meat sauce and we ordered the 2 serving size. Boy, was that plenty! It could have fed up to 4 people.
Then the dining experience got rather unimpressive. The Rigatoni was not the best I ever had and the sauce was not super flavorful. It wasn't gross, I was just not impressed. After we were done eating, we sat for about 10 minute before our server took our plates and we told tell him we were too full for dessert. We then sat another 5 minutes before having to ask for the check. Who knows what happened, but our waiter then disappeared. After about 20 more minutes of waiting, Carmine came over and asked if were waiting for something and we told him the check. Well, then he left and never came back. Finally, we waived down a young girl, who appeared to be the bread delivery girl, and asked if she could find out what happened to our check. It had now been at least 30 minutes! As soon as she went through the kitchen doors, here came our waiter with the check. Our waiter told us thanks for waiting and we told him we understood he was busy. No one acknowledged or apologized for how long we waited and we didn't complain because we saw how busy this poor guy was. It seems they need to allow the hostess or Carmine himself to bring the check or take money, at least on nights like this.
We may have gone on a super busy short staffed night, but we will give this place another try, and do recommend others try it too! The best part of Carmine's really is the atmosphere. If you're looking to eat somewhere that makes you feel like you're out of the Tri-Cities, try Carmine's and let me know what you think!