By Brittany Llorente
JENSEN BEACH -- Carmine's Brick Oven Ristorante is a little bit Tuscan and a lot Italian.
From the moment you walk through the door, the smell of the brick oven greets you with the warmth of bread and herbs.
On the night my date and I visited, there was live music on the patio area. We chose to sit inside, but the music still wafted through the open doors and lent a romantic feeling to evening.
The entire experience was delightful and delicious from beginning to end.
The complimentary garlic knots are buttery and contain a soft center, crispy edge with a generous blend of garlic and parmesan.
When browsing through the long list of appetizers, our waitress, Tiffany Meltzer, guided my date and I to the mozzarella en carrozza. What I expected was cheese sticks with a side of marinara. What I received was entirely different.
Carmine's take on the dish is their own. The bountiful helping of mozzarella was wrapped and lightly fried in a crispy thin crust. This was then covered in a cheesy marinara sauce and topped with parmesan and herbs. It was delicious in every sense and was perfectly complimented by the house cabernet.
"Everything that I make is absolutely fresh," said chef Andres Podesta. "All of the noodles are made in house, and everything else is made at the time it is ordered."
The 25-year expertise of chef Podesta is seen in every dish that enters the dining room.
As an entrée, I followed the waitress' advice again and ordered the Chicken Scarpiello. The tender chicken and sausage was perfectly seasoned and delicious, served on a bed of penne pasta and tossed in a white vodka sauce. The accompanying red and yellow peppers were tender and accentuated the taste of the sausage.
My date ordered the New York Strip, which was served on a sautéed bed of mushrooms and potatoes. The strip was cut into thin sections and cooked to perfection.
The restaurant is also known for its pizza, which ranges from pepperoni to goat cheese and prosciutto pizza.
The food portions were generous and my dessert had to be taken home.
There I had a cannoli, one of the best I've ever eaten, with a sweet center and a crunchy shell drizzled in chocolate.
Carmine's Brick Oven Ristorante is located at 1319 N.E. Sunview Terrace, Jensen Beach. For more information, call (772) 334-3222.