Restaurants + Cocktails

It’s simple: dinner is dinner.

Unless, of course, it’s made from scratch and served by someone who cares about the fact.

Welcome to Carmine’s. The tiny slice of authentic Italian is owned and operated by Carmine, himself, and his wife, Florida. From the warm greeting you’re sure to be met with, to the vigilant service you’re sure to receive, to the insanely good (did we mention from-scratch?) dishes you’ll be served, this little spot in Cottonwood Heights is doing her mother country proud. The dining experience here is, to be frank, exquisitely Italian.

In the front of the house, Florida reigns supreme. She flies from table to table with the controlled vibrancy of a hummingbird, enthusiastically introducing herself and each course. The way she engages with and embraces everyone that steps through the door, it’s impossible to tell first-time guests from those she’s known for a decade. When you walk into Carmine’s, Florida welcomes you as if into her own home for dinner. Because, well, she is.

Carmine, however, spends most of his time behind the scenes, running the kitchen, but you can always catch a glimpse of him creating his masterpieces over the bar. Born and raised in Salerno, Italy, Carmine learned the basics of Italian cooking by observing family members and picking up their tricks, eventually became a pizzaioli (or trained pizza chef) before moving on to Utah. It took him seven years to learn English and become familiar enough with the new ingredients available to him stateside, but once he met Florida, in an Italian restaurant in Orem, all the pieces fell into place. The two officially opened Carmine’s last summer, just after their daughter Alessia’s first birthday.

Rest assured that every dish we sampled at the eatery was full of flavor and cooked to perfection, but a few of our favorites included the burrata with prosciutto and melon, the salmon ravioli in lobster sauce, and the carbonara pasta. Better still, the portions were large enough to accommodate the family-style sharing that we quickly realized was absolutely vital.

And what can we attribute to the deliciousness of these dishes? “It all starts with the ingredients,” says Carmine. “We make everything from scratch. Our sauces, bread, pasta, even the cheese. That is the Italian way. Good ingredients make good food.” But the way Florida tells it, it takes slightly more than that. “Cooking is like art,” she says. “You have it or you don’t. And Carmine has it inside his heart.”

Hear, hear, say we.
And the proof is in the prosciutto.


Similar Posts

We like to share new stories, and it seems you like to read 'em. Here are some more we think you'll like:
Return to all Stories
Daryl Dobson
Restaurants + Cocktails
Top 5 Sandwich Shops in SLC
11/6/2018 | Katie Bald
The sandwich: a layering of delicious foods, sliced thin and folded up into an edible envelope. None among us is a stranger to this, lunch’s love letter to us all. Nothing beats the joy that a perfectly-executed sandwich brings to even the stuffiest of grown-ups. Here are a few of our favorite…
Read More
Kerri Fukui
Restaurants + Cocktails
11Hauz | Jamaican Sensation
10/31/2018 | Camilla Granasen
Sure, snow is already starting to appear on the mountaintops and east benches, but we’ve recently discovered a way to hold onto summer’s sunshine for a while longer. Just a dash from SLC, Park City’s 11Hauz is cooking up the freshest, most authentic Jamaican we’ve yet to find stateside...
Read More
Nick Neuberger
Restaurants + Cocktails
Top 6 Spots for Late-Night Bites
10/16/2018 | Ryan Holbrook
Whether it’s because of an anatomy-test fueled all-nighter, a late shift at work, or a slightly boozier situation, after hours fare is usually a veritable lifesaver. From greasy spoons to local bistros, these SLC spots are all serving up reliable, replenishing late-night grub…
Read More


Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter!

We need to talk.

It'll be fun. You've got questions, and we can't wait to answer them. Don't hold back--getting down to brass tacks is kind of our thing...