Thursday, December 3, 2015

Carrabba's Italian Grill

Earlier tonight, we had dinner at the Carrabba's Italian Grill in Oviedo.  We have had several good dining experiences there since moving to Orlando, but we haven't eaten at Carrabba's in probably three or four years.

Carrabba's recently expanded their gluten free options with the addition of casarecce gluten free pasta, and modified their signature grill-baste to make it gluten free.

Carrabba's Italian Grill does not have a separate gluten free menu, but there is a small "GF" symbol next to dishes that are naturally gluten free.  Dishes that can be modified to be gluten free include the Caesar salad (minus the croutons), Mama Mandola's Sicilian Chicken Soup (without pasta), and seven different pasta dishes with the use of gluten free casarecce pasta.

You can view all the small plates, appetizers, soups and salads, and entrees on Carrabba's gluten free menu here.  When placing your order, let your server know that you are ordering a gluten free menu item, and I always make sure to add that I have celiac, and ask if my order will be marked as an "allergy."  You can read about the protocols Carrabba's follows to reduce cross contamination on their website here.

My husband very sweetly agreed to split two gluten free dishes with me.  We ordered the Linguine Positano featuring Carrabba's new gluten free casarecce pasta with wood-grilled chicken, crushed tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil.  I thought the dish was super flavorful, and especially enjoyed the addition of the wood-grilled chicken.

I also loved our second entree, the wood-grilled prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin medallions with a port wine fig sauce.  The pork was incredibly tender, and perfectly paired with the slightly sweet fig sauce.  My broccoli was cooked a little more than I prefer, but it was nicely seasoned.  I enjoyed both of our entrees so much, I would definitely order them again.

December 11, 2015 Update

Last night, we were in the Oviedo area around dinner time, so we decided to go to Carrabba's, because we all enjoyed our meals there last week.  My husband and I shared two dishes again, but this time, they split them in the back for us, so in the pictures, you are seeing half portions of our meals.

For a pasta dish, we chose the shrimp & scallop alla vodka, which features Carrabba's gluten free casarecce pasta with sauteed shrimp and bay scallops tossed with basil in a tomato vodka cream sauce.  Our pasta was perfectly al dente, and the sauce was super flavorful, but there was not enough of it, so we asked for a side of extra sauce.  With a little added Parmesan and sauce, this pasta dish was really delicious.

My husband wanted to try the chicken marsala with wood-grilled chicken topped with mushrooms and Carrabba's Lombardo Marsala wine sauce.  The chicken was was nice and tender, and seasoned perfectly, and I ate every bite with mushrooms and that incredible sauce.  We chose a side of mashed potatoes to go with our entree, which were good, but the chicken was the star of the show.  Two weeks in a row, we had two incredibly delicious entrees at Carrabba's.  I am sure we will be back again soon.

December 28, 2015 Update

Yesterday, we had lunch at the Carrabba's Italian Grill in Oviedo, our third visit this month.  My husband and I shared two entrees again.  For a pasta dish, we chose the Fettuccine Carrabba with gluten free pasta, Alfredo sauce, wood-grilled chicken, sauteed mushrooms and peas.  Our pasta was al dente and perfectly sauced, and needed no additional cheese.  We both enjoyed it, but I think I prefer the other pasta dishes we have tried at Carrabba's.

The wood-grilled prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin medallions with a port wine fig sauce were just as good as the first time we ordered this dish, and the broccoli was nicely seasoned with lots of garlic.

Carrabba's is using a non-GMO gluten free pasta I usually have in my pantry, Garofalo casarecce, an Italian pasta made from corn, rice, and quinoa.  In Orlando, I have purchased it at Bulk Nation on Colonial Drive, but it is also available online from

For dessert, Carrabba's offers vanilla and chocolate hazelnut gelato, and raspberry sorbet.

My friend Amanda from Eating Out Without has a gluten free and dairy free review of Carrabba's on her blog, which you can view here.

Locally, Carrabba's Italian Grill has restaurants in Oviedo, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, and in Orlando on International Drive, Sand Lake Road, Kirkman Road, and near Orlando International Airport.  You can view their store locator on their website here.

What are your favorite gluten free options at Carrabba's?


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