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Mark Antonation

Carmine's on Penn

Carmine's on Penn has held down its corner of Pennsylvania and Bayaud since 1994. When the restaurant opened, it was intended as a place where big groups could converge and enjoy themselves without thinking too much about what they were eating — ordering big platters of Italian food served family-style. Parties still come for that experience, filling the bar, the dining room, and a patio that's sealed against the elements by heavy canvas. And quantity continues to rule: The kitchen remains devoted to the idea of putting out a roster of enormous dishes, cooking up red-sauce Italian classics and such accoutrements as minestrone. Be careful when you order: The portions are so large that it's easy to overload on this food (though many of the plates are now available in a smaller two-person portion), and many of the recommended dishes do not come cheap.

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