Following my husband's death in 2008, I moved from Tennessee to Florida to look after my parents. Now I'm living in a retirement community, making friends and trying new things. The most fun I've had has been ballroom dancing. So far, I've taken intro lessons in all the dances and now I'm starting intermediate. I hardly have time to read anymore but I manage four or five dances a week!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dinner at Carmine's Cafe

Dennis and I had dinner at Carmine's the other night.  It was our first time and was a delightful surprise.  Outwardly it is an unassuming restaurant in a little strip mall about three minutes from where I live.  In fact, I've never noticed it before.  But a couple of women were talking about this wonderful meal they'd had at a local restaurant so I asked them where it was.  Imagine my surprise to learn it was so close by.

Anyway, when we arrived there were a couple of children running around outside and as we neared the entrance, the little boy banged on the door and yelled "There's someone coming!  Unlock the door!"  We were wondering what was going on.  Turns out there were three kids playing and one of them had locked the door on the other two.  I imagine their parents were just a tad embarrassed.  *grin*

We were seated at a very nice table for two along the wall and immediately given menus.  Then the accordionist began to play.  This gave the place an authentic atmosphere and Den became quite nostalgic.  His two uncles used to play the accordion.  So he tipped the accordion player to "serenade" me.  Later he asked the man to play "Spanish Eyes" so we could dance a little rumba.  *sigh*  It was soooo romantic.

And there there's the food.  Although there were a number of dishes in the menu that appealed to us, we decided to go with the two specials.  Angelo, the owner, served our meals, himself.  Since it was a little slow and because we were new, he spent a little while chatting with us.  The food was fantastic.  Den ate all of his (and regretted it later) while I saved half and ate it the next day.  The portions were quite generous.

When we arrived there was only one other couple in the restaurant but by the time we left, four other couples had come in.  It's not a large establishment so it has a nice, intimate feel and everyone who came in after us was greeted like a regular.  This is a well kept secret in SW Ocala and it could very well become our favorite place to dine.

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