Carino’s Italian Grill, which opened almost a year ago at 7050 N. Durango Drive, adds another name to the valley’s casual, moderately priced Italian restaurants, but a few of its items set it apart: lasagna, meatballs and tiramisu made daily in-house.
The menu is inspired by regional Italian dishes, but there are a few twists, says general manager Kevin Gardner.
There’s the Sicilian Firestick, an appetizer featuring a chicken sausage, cheese and jalapeno mixture wrapped in a tortilla and deep fried ($10.99), and the Timballo, a kind of spaghetti pie with lots of cheese ($13.99).
The restaurant, which seats 297, also offers an extensive kids’ menu, Gardner notes. The dining room is homey, while the open kitchen gives guests a view of the action.
The restaurant is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are not needed.
Specialties: Homemade 12-layer lasagna, $12.99; chicken parmigiana, $14.99
Appetizers: Italian nachos with pasta chips, chicken or sausage, mozzarella, black olives, jalapenos and Alfredo sauce, $8.99 or $13.99 for family size; baked stuffed mushrooms with spinach, cheese, tomatoes and garlic topped with a lemon basil cream sauce, $8.99
Soups and salads: Italian roasted potato soup or Italian chili, $2.29 with entree or $5.49 for a bowl; Italian wedge salad with iceberg lettuce, roasted garlic, tomatoes, candied pecans and apple slices topped with ranch dressing, $6.99; fresh caprese with mozzarella, tomatoes, basil glaze and olive oil, $6.99
Entrees: Spicy shrimp and chicken with sundried tomatoes, sliced mushrooms and penne pasta served with a Cajun pepper Romano cream sauce, $15.99; Jalapeno garlic tilapia pan fried with garlic, tomatoes and spinach in a lemon butter sauce served over angel-hair pasta, $14.99
Desserts: Tiramisu, $6.99, and apple skilletini, sliced cinnamon apples wrapped in a pastry shell, topped with hot caramel and served with vanilla ice cream, $6.79
By SONYA PADGETT