What you need: something different to attract those big checks, a departure from the usual meat and potatoes.
Allow us to suggest meat and pasta.
Welcome to Carmine’s, opening for dinner tomorrow in Penn Quarter as your new spot to collect the maximum allowable amount under federal law.
This is what Little Italy would look like if it were known as... Big Italy. You’ll lead your high-powered contingent into a massive (20,000-square-foot) space, then set up in one of the plush red booths and take in the vintage photos of Italians on the walls. And occasionally, vintage Italians at the tables. (“Senator D’Amato, good to see you...”)
Also on the walls: enormous menu boards, spelling out the even more enormous shareable plates, like the 46-ounce Porterhouse Contadina, linguine with six tennis-ball-size meatballs and a spicy Lobster Fra Diavolo. They go nicely with one of the five-liter wine bottles, which get tapped at the bar before being carried to your table—a keg of Chianti, if you will.
Of course, you might want to be a bit more discreet about the cash you’re throwing around. In that case, reserve one of the nine private dining rooms, complete with fireplaces, flat-screens and a private elevator from the parking garage.
Private, Italian-style security is in the works.