Small Plates: Eat out family style at Carmine’s at Caesars Palace

Carmine’s, founded in New York more than 20 years ago, opened an outlet at Caesars Palace this month. The 750-seat Southern Italian restaurant has the traditional decor of its sister restaurants in New York, Atlantic City, Washington, D.C., and the Bahamas, such as high ceilings, antique chandeliers and black-and-white photos of Southern Italian families to which Carmine’s culinary tradition traces its roots. Here’s a sample of the menu:

(Note: Prices are for family-style dishes that serve four to six.)

Appetizers: Caesar salad, $25.95; garlic bread Parmigiana, $15.95; stuffed artichoke, $19.95; zuppa di mussels, $19.95; baked clams, $26.96, fried zucchini, $19.95

Pasta: lasagna, $34.95; giardiniera, $31.95; pasta with red or white clam sauce, $32.95; rigatoni with sausage and broccoli, $29.95; pasta with Bolognese meat sauce, $29.95, pasta with meatballs, $32.95

Meat, etc.: chicken saltimbocca, $33.95; veal marsala, $37.95; veal Parmigiana, $38.95; salmon oreganata, $46.96; shrimp scampi, $35.95; shrimp fra diavolo, $35.95; porterhouse pizzaiola, $80.95

Desserts: Italian cheesecake, $23.95; tiramisu, $23.95; bread pudding, $19.95; chocolate torta, $16.95; fresh fruit platter, $17.95

Hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays and Mondays and 11:30 a.m. to midnight Tuesdays through Fridays. For more information, call 473-9700 or visit



1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, smashed

½ teaspoon coriander

¼ teaspoon cumin

1½ cups prepared black-eyed peas (or 1 can, drained)

½ teaspoon hot sauce

Juice of ½ lemon (about 1 teaspoon)

1 tablespoon tahini

½ teaspoon hickory-smoked sea salt

¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper

In a medium pan over medium-low heat, combine the olive oil, garlic, coriander and cumin. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the garlic has softened. Add the contents of the pan to the work bowl of a food processor along with the black-eyed peas, hot sauce, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

Serve with toasted baguette or pita chips.

Serves 4 (makes 1½ cups).

— Recipe from “The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook” by Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence (Nelson Books, $24.99)

— Heidi Knapp Rinella

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