Italian restaurant opens doors, ‘excites’ public with cuisine

Italian restaurant opens doors, excites public with cuisine

Italian restaurant opens doors, ‘excites’ public with cuisine

For individuals with the occasional marinara, pasta and Parmesan cravings, a new restaurant has opened to satisfy the desire to eat Italian cuisine.

Johnny Carino’s opened its doors Sept. 19 at 137 N. Range Line Rd. in Joplin and had success the first day.

“Opening day went extremely well,” said Todd Merrill, manager of Johnny Carino’s in Joplin. “Out of the 13 restaurants I’ve opened, this is the smoothest I’ve seen. It set the Johnny Carino’s record in sales for opening day.”

Merrill, who is from Grove, Okla., has past experience opening restaurants for Applebee’s and T.G.I. Fridays before he received a call to open a Johnny Carino’s.

He said the goal for himself and the management is to set the standard among the other Johnny Carino’s restaurants. He wants them to see what they’re doing as an example for other stores to follow.

When it comes to customer service, the Johnny Carino’s team has it down to the “flawless and passionate execution of every detail on every shift by every member to ensure that absolute guest satisfaction is our highest priority.”

He said the staff is a good group that has done very well thus far.

Their service has already made a mark on customers.

“The servers were friendlier and the food came quickly,” said Lucy Galloway, sophomore mass communication and psychology major.

She said the restaurant has an upbeat atmosphere, and she went back to it Wednesday night.

“The food is delicious,” Galloway said. “I recommend the Italian nachos.”

Mike Baca, sophomore, agreed. Baca is a vegetarian, and he said he has there is hardly ever good vegetarian food at a restaurant. However, once in a while he finds a good restaurant.

“The food I would say is absolutely delicious,” he said of Johnny Carino’s.

On the menu, appetizers are $4.99 (bruschetta bread) to $7.49 (spinach artichoke dip).

Lunch specialties range from $5.99 to $7.99. Merrill said his favorite dishes are jalapeno garlic tilapia ($7.99) and spicy shrimp and chicken ($7.99). Pasta starts at $7.99, and pizza is $6.99 and up.

Dinner specialties range from $9.99 (eggplant parmigiana, baked cheese tortelloni) to $13.99 (seafood fettuccine with mussels). Merrill’s favorite is the timballo, a “hot skillet filled with spaghetti, marinated onions and peppers, mushrooms, black olives and pepperoni while baked in mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.

However, he said the lasagna ($10.99) and the stuffed mushrooms ($6.79) have been the most popular with customers so far.

To finish it all off, the dessert includes tiramisu, cheesecake, cannoli and Italian chocolate cake all $4.99.

Merrill said the busiest hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.

Johnny Carino’s is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“Everyone I’ve talked to is excited about having a different restaurant in town,” Merrill said. “From what I’ve heard, the food is outstanding.”

He said the public is excited to see something new.

Carino’s can be reached at 206-9090, and for curb side service, call Carino’s at 206-9092.