Chicken wings at a pasta place? Sometimes you stumble into something so completely unexpected that it takes you by surprise and knocks your socks off. That’s exactly what happened on a recent trip to Carmine’s in Chinatown, yielding some of the most unique wings I’ve ever had. These aren’t your grandma’s chicken wings! Well, maybe your Italian grandma’s wings.

Carmine’s Spicy Scarpariello Wings are an Italian tribute to the chicken wing that delights the tastebuds with fresh herbs, citrus, garlic, and a buttery hot sauce. Carmine’s completes their Italian version by pairing the wings with raw fennel and a Gorgonzola cheese dressing for dipping. Though labeled as spicy on the menu, I’d rank them no higher than a mid-range medium. And that’s exactly how I like my wings! If you’re looking for wings that are unlike your typical run-of-the-mill wings, I’d suggest giving these a try!

How they rate: Carmine’s Spicy Scarpariello Wings Review

Texture

The wings were pan-fried and had a decent crunch despite sitting in a pool of sauce on the plate. If the sauce were a little thicker, the wings might have held up a touch better, but they were still very enjoyable.

Sauciness:

This is interesting. Carmine’s scarpariello sauce is very thin compared to what you would find on most wings. As thin as the sauce is, it still coated the wings well. There was quite a bit of sauce in the bottom of the dish which presented an optional DIY sauce level. There were a lot of herbs on the wings including fresh the rosemary, sage, sliced garlic, and red pepper flakes.

Flavor:

This is definitely not a flavor you’d expect on wings, but it really was a refreshing change. Scarpariello is a sauce made from chicken stock, butter, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. There was a lot of depth to the flavor of these wings. The rosemary was very prevalent in each bite, even when there wasn’t any visible. Lemon was also on the forefront. I asked one of our servers about them, and she told me that their wings spend 24 hours in a chopped herb marinade of rosemary, sage, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Afterwards, they’re pan fried and tossed in the sauce along with the herbs. Although not typical in your everyday scarpariello sauce, Carmine’s adds cayenne pepper and hot sauce to bring in the heat.

Start to Finish:

These were enjoyable throughout. I think the citrus was key. It was a unique flavor. I wanted to savor each bite.

Accompaniments:

I really like what they did here to keep with the Italian theme. I’m not a huge fan of fennel, which tastes a lot like anise (or black licorice). Fennel is a cousin to the carrot.  It has a crunch to it, but less so than fresh celery. The Gorgonzola cheese dressing was a wonderful variation of blue cheese fitting to the dish. Though I love Gorgonzola, I did find it a bit too overpowering on the wings, even when used in moderation. Still, I found both a neat twist to the dish.

Have you had these wings yourself? We want to hear from you. Leave your own review below!

Carmine’s Restaurant

Open Daily from 11:30am-10pm

Other Menu items I love:
Carmine’s Salad
Fired Calamari
Stuffed Mushrooms
Baked Clams