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Review preview: Carmine's on Penn

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I love the dizzying pace at which restaurants open in this city, bringing us new culinary visions and new gastronomic possibilities from new (and sometimes not-so-new) chefs. But there are times when nothing beats a good old neighborhood joint, a place that's settled into its surroundings over the years, an eatery that caters to a regular clientele with a familiar menu and remains a nostalgic constant in the whirlwind of change.

I was craving constancy -- as well as dinner -- a few weeks ago, so I headed to a spot that over the last fifteen years has build a reputation as a solid neighborhood joint: Carmine's on Penn.

Over the course of several evenings, I ate my way through the chalkboard menu of Italian classics, which includes big servings of minestrone, veal marsala and spaghetti marinara. And I do big: Each dish at Carmine's feeds at least four adults.

But is bigger always better? After a decade and a half, is Carmine's still a neighborhood joint you'd love to find in your neighborhood? Find out tomorrow when the review is posted here.

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