Carbone’s has a long history in Connecticut, with numerous beloved restaurants, and now, there’s another reason to sing their praises: BRUNCH. Carbone’s Prime, the newest in the family business, which opened in 2017, has recently launched a weekly Sunday Brunch menu and I’m kinda sort giddy about it..
Let’s face it, Brunch gives everyone a reason to party hard the night before, sleep in the day of said brunch excursion, and swim in a sea of carbs at the table. The new menu at CP’s hits every note and then some. As a matter of fact, when dining there on a recent Sunday, I was barely in my seat ten minutes before I overheard one of the fellas at a nearby table say, “This is the most unique brunch menu I’ve ever seen.” He was not lyin’!
It is extensive, with all the things you are hoping for when drowning the boozish from the night before, or just want to get away from B-flat pancakes and oh-too-perfect smoothie bowls. It is creative, earthy and has a really good balance of classic dishes with a little bit of flair. And if you are in the mood, their already popular raw bar and crudo is there for you; which might I add, is the swankiest raw bar I’ve ever seen. It’s long, sleek and, well... just swanky. It reminds me of the ultra, crisp clean settings you see at really great sushi spots. That’s where you want to eat raw fish, and a lot of it.
And, if it couldn’t be more convenient, the raw bar sits directly across from the Bloody Mary Bar, complete with more accoutrements than could possibly fit in one glass, like strips of bacon and celery, sausage and salami, every hot sauce known to peppers, let alone actual peppers, olives, carrots, and chunks of cheese. Or, if you’d rather not make your way to the back dining room for all that goodness, the Mimosa Bar will come to you. So, my non-acidic-liking tummy chose that route and hence, I proceeded to sip, ever-so-ladylike on a Peach Mimosa.
For actual Brunch dishes I tend to lean on the side of breakfasty plates. I’m kind of a Benny Broad, you see. Even ten miles away I was drooling for the Lump Crab Benny which was perfectly cooked, of course. The crab was so plentiful and fresh, I could almost feel my toes in the sand near the water where it was caught. And, let’s talk about that potato latke bed it sat on. What! Everything you want about a latke; it was crunchy to the max with the right amount of salt. CheeseWhiz, it was something! This is what you call Brunch lottery.
And yet, there were other things to cry out for. I dove into their Italian Poutine...yes, you read that correctly. It was warm and gooey in all the right ways, I kind of felt like I was cheating on my pals in Canada. Don’t make me choose.
Then there’s the short rib hash with meat that was melt-in-your-mouth tender. And, what’s a day without pizza? Uh, some might say devoid of all meaning? That’s right. They have a gorgeous wood-fired breakfast pizza selection with crust that’s light as air, as I had in their Franklin Ave with sausage and an egg on top. And, don’t worry, there’s even more, but a gal’s gotta breathe at some point. There’s still soups and sandwiches and salad and panettone and other confections. And, oh yeah, you can’t be PRIME without steak, so go ahead, snag a juicy hanger or filet. Vinnie Carbone and his brigade of talented chefs have got it goin’ on.
But wait, there was one more thing I had to try, even if I knew I’d be rolling out of there. I’m a sucker for real ricotta, and their housemade ricotta, with crumbled pistachios, and truffled honey, was worth EVERYTHING. Carbone mentioned that it has become so popular that instead of the toast it comes with some have asked for it as a breakfast pizza. It was most definitely drool worthy. Perhaps, it should even be sold as a thing, like in bottles or buckets.
When I asked Carbone (3rd generation) about Prime, the newest iteration amongst the already successful line of restaurants, he really beamed with pride over the place, the reception it has received, and his talented crew. He added, “I really wanted to create a place where my wife and I would want to have a date.” Romantic, yes, and very, very true.
Carbone’s Prime is just dressed up enough to feel like you are going out, but not so much that you feel like you are out of place if you are not the fancy sort. With several rooms to stretch out in, a bountiful menu that will really satisfy, and service that gets high fives all around, this just might have to be your next, and regular, brunch spot.
Brunch Every Sunday, 11am - 2:30pm
838 Cromwell Avenue