Restaurant Review Roulette: Carini

Another week, another review of a restaurant that I may never visit.  Oh, the glamorous life of a restaurant reviewer!  Seriously, I know Greg Cox’s primary objective is to be a consumer advocate.  He’s trying to help his readers make dining decisions, but for god’s sake, wouldn’t it be maddening to have to go to middling places day after day?  Places that are new not in concept or cuisine, but only in name?

This week’s subject: Carini, an Italian place in Cary (warning: home page has music that cannot be turned off).  Now this is the exact type of restaurant I look for in unfamiliar towns when I’m trying to line up a team meal for one of my kids’ soccer teams during a tournament.  I want the tried and true Italian-American menu, with lots of inexpensive pasta offerings and the availability of pizza.  There are thousands of places like this across the country (maybe even the state), and rarely does one stand out, on either the good or the bad side.  But this is not the type of place I generally want to visit on a night out in the Triangle.  I’m sure it’s just fine — but that’s the problem.  I want more than “just fine” when dining in the area.

I don’t know the history of Carini.  I don’t know the owners.  I don’t know how long they’ve been around.  I don’t know what type of pizza they offer or whether their red sauce is piquant or sweet.  I don’t know if their desserts are made in house or purchased from a supplier (I suspect the latter based on the pictures).

What I’m pretty sure of is that you can probably get a very reliable meal at Carini, just like most other Italian joints.  I base this on a couple of diner reviews floating around the internet.  It’s not great and not bad.

So, I’m guessing it gets 3 stars.  Not great.  Not bad.  Here are this week’s odds:

5 stars — 150 to 1

4.5 stars – 80 to 1

4 stars — 14 to 1

3.5 stars — 3 to 1

3 stars — 2 to 1

2.5 stars — 3 to 1

2 stars — 7 to 1

1.5 stars — 25 to 1

1 star — 45 to 1

If website design were part of the review, I would have given the place less than 2 stars, but even Greg Cox doesn’t use that in his process.  How many stars do you think Carini will get?


Edit — July 2, 2010: As predicted, Carini received 3 stars.  No, it’s not that I’m that good in predicting what Greg Cox will do, it’s just that this restaurant was so predictable.


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