Mama Carolla’s–one of Indy’s longtime BEST Italian eateries

Everyday this week, I’ll be posting short reads on some of my favorite Indianapolis restaurants for seafood. This is post one of 10. If you get a chance to visit, or have a place you think I should check out, drop me a line—I’d love to hear from you!

Mama Carolla’s is one of the first restaurants I visited when we moved to the Indianapolis area—and to this day, it’s still one of my favorite places for authentic Italian food. The restaurant itself is a Mediterranean stucco home nestled in an eclectic neighborhood on Indy’s north side. The patio is my favorite place to have dinner … complete with Roman statues, small gardens, and string lights, it makes you think you’re in an Italian village. Inside, the tables are covered with lace cloths, akin to something your great grandmother may have crocheted … especially if she were Italian.

If I had to describe Mama Carolla’s in one word, it would be “homey.” Because honestly, it feels like you’re part of one big family when you sit down for a meal.

The Food

Yes, yes … Mama’s serves a divine manicotti and a lasagna that’s unlike anything you can make at home—they even make a chicken lasagna that I haven’t had, but I’ve heard it’s to die for—but, for all you seafood lovers, the options are almost endless. My go-to meal is steamed mussels (off the appetizer menu) and the Pomodoro—a simple but flavorful pasta dish made with fresh tomatoes sauteed in olive oil, garlic and basil … but, I also LOVE the misto mare; linguine mixed with shrimp, scallops, clams, squid, and crab in a spicy red pepper sauce. Another favorite is the eggplant puttanesca with portabellas, capers, olives and crushed red pepper flakes. Oh, and the linguine with clams, mushrooms, Parmesan and a splash of Crown Royal.

Bottom line: Mama’s is a restaurant that absolutely EVERYONE who lives in Indy has been to at least once. Well, maybe not everyone, but a large percentage of people have visited the little house, and a large percentage return, over and over again. It’s a must for all Italian seafoodies ; ) |

Coming up NEXT WEEK on the blog … perfect oven-baked salmon and lobster thermidor. Want more from The Midwest Mermaid? Be sure to follow along here, and on Instagram for all the latest in seafood news and chews | @shaunanosler

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DISCLAIMER: I’m a writer and an editor. And I try my best to make sure every post is articulate and free from errors. However, being that I edit my own work—and it’s next to impossible to properly edit your own work—I admit, occasionally there may be an error or two I miss. But doing so doesn’t make me an idiot so don’t be mean. Just smile, pat yourself on the back for finding an error and be glad you’re not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes … yes, even mermaids slip up every now and then. xoxox

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Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So my blog, Seafood is The New Black, is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. And over on Seafood in the Circle City, you can read up on my favorite Indianapolis restaurants that serve seafood, and serve it well. As you read along, you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—and some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.

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