going back to carino's

Yesterday was the 27th of the month, so as part of our monthly tradition, we ate out.
We had planned to go to Wafi City so that we could also watch their Lights and Sounds Show after dinner at Planet Hollywood, but since Caila had a slight fever (maybe due to another tooth coming out), we opted to have dinner at Carino's located at the back of Deira City Centre. They have branches in BurJuman and Dubai Festival City, but we specifically chose this branch because this is where hubby and I had our first date on the 27th of May almost 6 years ago.

We arrived early (around 7pm) and we were the only customers. Once we were seated, the waiter (sorry, I forgot his name) immediately gave us the menus, as well as some crayons and the Kids Menu which also served as an activity sheet for Caila...and a cup of fresh orange juice for her for free! That was just the beginning of our experience at Carino's.

Before taking our orders, the server gave us their delicious starter bread and olive oil with garlic dip (this is free). I always enjoy eating their bread; it’s soft and the dip suits it perfectly, so you can guess I was really pleased when he gave us another loaf of bread almost before we had finished the first one.

Anyway, we ordered their Combo Appetizer (fried calamari, fried mozzarella, and Sicillian fire sticks, with marinara sauce and ranch dressing), Chicken Parmigiana with spaghetti on the side (this is always a must for us when we eat at Carino's), and Steak Italiano. For the drinks, hubby had refillable Coca-Cola (or was it Pepsi?), Ate Cel had lemonade, and I ordered Triple Sanza (a layered cocktail of strawberry, banana and mango). As usual, their servings were huge and yummy! We enjoyed every bite. Of course, we couldn’t leave the restaurant without ordering their New York Cheesecake, so once we had enough of the regular food, we ordered a slice. He casually asked if there was any occasion, so I just mentioned that it was our monthsary and our daughter’s month-birthday (not that I thought he’d understand, but well, he asked, and those were the answers that I immediately thought of).

Imagine our surprise when the server came to our table with some other waiters singing the “Happy Birthday” song, holding the plate with the cheesecake and candle on top. It was really nice. Caila, on the other hand, was shocked (or maybe she was shy from the attention). She wouldn’t blow the candle, so hubby and I blew it for her. After the waiter left, we started devouring the cheesecake. It was absolutely yummy; nothing at all like the other cheesecakes in the market. They didn’t have any blueberry or strawberry toppings, but the chocolate topping was good enough. We were already full but our dessert was gone within minutes...that’s how delicious it was.

Since there were still some leftovers of the appetizer, parmigiana and steak, we asked the waiter to pack them for us to take home. Before he left our table, I asked him how much the starter bread was. When he answered that it was Dhs5, I just said “Oh.” And then suddenly, he told me he would give us another one to take home. Yay!

We had a great time at Carino's, and we’ll definitely go there again. The waiter’s attentiveness and service was excellent; the free orange juice, additional and free bread, and happy birthday song were bonuses. What really made it special was hubby and I were able to celebrate our monthsary at the same place we started out as a couple 71 months ago.

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