Carmella’s (Appleton)

11 Nov

Every once and a while I feel compelled to write a review on a place other than Milwaukee. This time it is in Appleton, WI. I often gripe that there isn’t really a great Italian restaurant in Milwaukee. And I stick by that. In my opinion, they are, at best, pretty average in this city. Sorry readers, I know some of you may not agree, but I am pretty picky when it comes to Italian. At least now I know where to go when I need a fix and not have to drive to Chicago or Sheboygan (Stefano’s). Just drive to Appleton and hit Carmella’s for lunch or dinner.

I will keep it short since many of you may never end up in Appleton, but if you do this place is a must. They have a fantastic wine list. Not the usual labels you find at restaurants around here, but some interesting options at a very reasonable cost and a what I call “the Fox River Valley pour”. No measuring wine in exact ounces here! They have a really nice selection of meats and cheeses, salads, antipasti, small plates and larger plates. The calamari with a spicy marinara and a garlic aioli on the side was to die for.  I had my absolute favorite dish in the world, veal francese,  and it was the best I have ever had. Not exaggerating.  It was served over linguine with a lemon butter white wine sauce that was sublime. Yes, I am going to use that word. And, the seared scallops on a bed of mushroom risotto was superb.

Next time I go back I will be hard pressed not to have the exact same meal, but I need to try the tenderloin carpaccio with arugula, pine nuts, parmesan and truffle oil. And the parpadelle pasta with chicken, wild mushrooms, roasted tomatoes in an asiago cream sauce. And definitely affogato. Once of my all-time favorite desserts that I simply did not have room for after the meal.  Espresso with hazelnut syrup and vanilla bean gelato. Yum!

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3 Responses to “Carmella’s (Appleton)”

  1. Rexford Stearns November 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    Very nice.

  2. Jeff Amstutz December 11, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

    We couldn’t agree more! Great review. Carmella’s is truly one of the gems of the Fox Valley. The ariana (chicken breast, crispy eggplant, prosciutto, asiago, marinara with linguine) and the saltimboca are also fantastic. The desserts are also homemade and the Grandma’s (Carmella’s) Chocolate Cake with espresso scented icing is to die for! The wait staff and owners are fantastic. They tend to be busy especially on the weekends so call ahead and put your name on the waiting list. It’s right by the Fox River Mall so you can always do a little shopping if it’s a long wait. Or just belly up to the bar and enjoy some great wine.

  3. Marsha Dawson December 12, 2014 at 2:51 am #

    Fortunately I live in Appleton and been to Carmella’s quite a few times. Always have had a great meal.

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