In the heart of Dr. Phillips lies a hidden gem, a traditional Italian restaurant with a twist – Cariera’s by Castelli. During the week, tourists and regulars alike enjoy the traditional Venetian atmosphere and superb dining menu, but when the weekend starts on Friday, Cariera’s is filled with scintillating live music and fun times for the entire family.
Less than a year ago, Cariera’s was purchased by new owners and remodeled to include more comfortable dining chairs, new tableware, an updated wine list, renovated restrooms and several new menu items to add to the restaurant’s already popular menu options. The restaurant walls are decorated with authentic Venetian masks along with digital picture screens that rotate classic pictures and those of some of Cariera’s regular customers. Eat there often enough and you, too, can add your picture into the mix.
Cariera’s by Castelli has been family-owned since its establishment in 1975, and that tradition has not changed with the new owners: two Brazilians and one Argentinean, who came from Italian families and grew up in the kitchen. All three of the new owners have decades of experience in the restaurant industry, including several other successful restaurants and the best Italian chefs in all of Orlando. Even with all the changes, you will find that most of the menu items have stayed the same, with only a handful of new dishes added to the menu. Why mess with perfection, right?
The menu at Cariera’s is filled with delectable items cooked with the finest and freshest ingredients available. For starters, they recommend a traditional favorite – calamari, squid fried to perfection and served with a tasty marinara sauce for dipping. If you want to head straight to a main entrée and you love pasta, try the fettuccine with a vodka cream or Alfredo sauce or the chicken penne (a staff favorite). Cariera’s serves a wonderful Lemon Mahi if fish is what you love to eat, and we heard the Veal Cariera’s is to die for. If you are looking for something new, the owners suggest the Shrimp di Napoli or one of their other gourmet pizzas with ultra thin crust. Other menu items include signature pasta dishes, seafood and a good selection of dessert options. Additionally, Cariera’s offers several of their pasta dishes and their flat breads as gluten free options. Wash all that down with the Godiva Shake (named for the touch of Godiva liquor they add to this new favorite). Just need a drink and a great atmosphere? Hang out in the separate bar area and try either the Tiramisu or the Bada Bing Martini – magnifico!
If you’re in the neighborhood, why not stop by Cariera’s by Castelli? You’ll be glad you did. Cariera’s is located at 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd. in Orlando 32819.