Sun-Thu, noon-11pm; Fri-Sat, noon-midnight
A, C, E at 42nd St.-Port Authority Bus Terminal
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
40th St. to 55th St., Seventh Ave. to Eleventh Ave.
In keeping with its romantic name, Cara Mia's bright white and brick walls radiate the warmth of southern Italy. Decorated with wine bottles, Italian maps, advertising posters, and brightly colored plates, the relatively narrow interior manages to be cheerful without being cutesy. Tourists and others who find themselves in need of a good, hearty meal in the Theater District help ensure that the 30-odd tables are often filled at night, especially before the curtains go up on Broadway. Cara Mia's menu emphasizes the classics from Italy, so don't come here looking for much in the way of Italian-American red sauce. What are strong here are simple pasta and seafood dishes, as well as preparations in which veal or chicken star. The fried calamari is a good way to start things off. The large pieces are served in a heaping mound, and the breading is thick but not heavy or damp—the downfall of so much subpar fried squid. Entrées here can be a little uneven, with some of the meats a little overcooked. Sauces, however, are all well executed: The thin veal slices in the Scallopine al Limone are covered in a buttery sauce counterbalanced by a refreshingly acidic sauce that goes especially well with the roasted potatoes served on the side. Be sure to consider the housemade pasta specials, which may include spinach ravioli stuffed with ricotta and served in an asparagus sauce.Recommended Dishes
Calamari arrosto, $13.95; scallopine al limone, $19.95