Pre-Wicked Dinner at Carmine’s

A few months before our girls weekend, my friend Carolyn bought tickets to Wicked when a co-worker offered up a group rate/package that he planned on buying.  She got four on the good chance that my best friend Alison and I would be up for doing a girls night for Alison’s 30th birthday.  As soon as we both learned that there were Wicked tickets involved, we were IN! (Of course we would have been up for a girls night but going to Wicked made it even better!).  We planned the weekend and invited our good friend Jenny and counted down the weeks to the big night.  We planned to meet at the hotel a few hours before the show, to get ready and headed out for dinner and some drinks.  Carolyn had heard good things about a family-style Italian restaurant in the Penn Quarter so we booked a reservation about about 2 hours before the show.

Unfortunately, that night, we were running late! Once we grabbed a cab, we knew we’d be late and called the restaurant about holding our table (which they were able to do since our reservation was still pretty early).  In addition to us running late, we then hit TONS of traffic as a fraternity was having its annual convention in the city and there were thousands of men headed to various events.  By the time we made it to Carmine’s we knew we only had time for appetizers and drinks (barely!).  Luckily, we were seated immediately and our waitress was great.

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The menus are posted all over the restaurant up on the wall so we quickly chose three appetizers to share.  First out were drinks of course.  I ordered an alcoholic Arnold Palmer (I know it has another name….) which was iced tea, lemonade, and Sweet Tea vodka.  I’d been interested in seeing what it tasted like as I like vodka and I like iced tea/lemonade. It wasn’t my favorite drink, but it was well made.

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Our appetizers came out as they were ready so we dug in to the first item as soon as it arrived – Carmine’s Salad.  It was mixed greens, onions, olives, tomatoes, and feta tossed in a vinaigrette.  Definitely a good choice to go along with our other two items. 

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The second item out was the fried zucchini.  Alison modeled for the camera HOW BIG the dish was (the other items were this big as well).  How in the world could four women eat this much fried zucchini?? It was tasty though!

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Last out was the artichoke.  My girlfriends love artichoke and though this appetizer was done VERY well.  I personally can’t stand artichoke (I like it mixed in with my spinach dip, but that’s it) so my judgment doesn’t count here.  I did try it, however, as I constantly retry items I don’t like just in case my taste buds have changed since the last time.  Unfortunately for artichoke (but fortunately for my friends? more for them!), my tongue still doesn’t like it Smile

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We had lots of leftovers but didn’t take them with us since we were headed to a show.  The entrée items looked good so hopefully one of these days we can go back and try a less rushed dinner.  The service was good, though, and we enjoyed what we did have (and appreciated them working with us on our time crunch!).

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As soon as the bill was paid, we jumped in another cab and headed to the Kennedy Center! Oh how I love the Kennedy Center SmileWe made our way to the theatre and found our seats with a few minutes to spare (and relax).  Unfortunately, shortly before the show I had learned the news of the loss of my friend, so I wasn’t able to enjoy Wicked as much as it deserved.  However, every part that I paid attention to was amazing!! From the costumes to the stage to the cast to the acting and singing… I loved it all.  The Husband’s on board with seeing the show one day as are my girlfriends for seeing it again so I’ll keep my eye out for it traveling close to home or perhaps we’ll make a trip to DC!  I can’t wait!

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