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Mama Carolla's Old Italian Restaurant - 29 Reviews - 1031 E 54th St, Indianapolis, IN 46220-3219, Indianapolis, IN - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (317) 259-9412
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Mama Carolla's Old Italian Restaurant

1031 E 54th St, Indianapolis, IN 46220-3219
Indianapolis, IN 46220
(317) 259-9412
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I went here with my girlfriend for our anniversary. The food was just excellent. Best italian I've ever...


Food is very good. Wait staff is at best indifferent, the hostesses are less than indifferent they are well below average, rude is the term. The interior is quite loud so if you...

Best Italian in Indianapolis 10/2/2011

I went here with my girlfriend for our anniversary. The food was just excellent. Best italian I've ever... more

Best Italian in Indianapolis 10/1/2011

tylerh Provided by Partner
I went here with my girlfriend for our anniversary. The food was just excellent. Best italian I've ever had. People who give it bad reviews probabl... more

Best Italian in Indy! 5/5/2011

I am very disappointed to read such poor reviews for Mama Carolla's. I am Italian and it is my favorite place to go for Italian food! I have never had a bad meal there. Their canoli is awesome! Let me clarify some earlier complaints: I don't see it as romantic, but if you have ever been to a real Italian dinner, it is loud! To me, this is more casual style dining, but it could very well be cozy on a weeknight. If you go on the weekeind, it is crowded and you will have to wait (like every other restaurant in Indy), but I have never waited more than 20 minutes. I believe that the food is worth the wait! The prices are very reasonable. Just recently, at another ""upscale"" Italian restaurant in the Geist area, we had reservations and STILL waited 30 minutes. more

Worst experience I've had 3/19/2011

This place is terrible. The service was slow, the staff (hostest and waitress) were exceedingly grumpy and the food is only so, so. more

Best Italian in Indy 7/2/2010

Great food, service and wonderful atmosphere. Is great for a group or a romantic date. We are always happy with are experience here. The Rosemary Chicken Lasagna is to die for! Pros: food and atmosphere more

My Favorite Restaurant...EVER! 8/27/2009

This is my absolute favorite restaurant in the entire Indianapolis area. There is nothing I don't like from the menu, and the nightly specials are always fantastic. I feel like the staff has worked there forever...which makes them very knowledgeable; they even recognize me as a return customer! True, is does get pretty crowded, especially on the weekends, but that just makes me feel like I'm a part of the action! To the people who commented that it was too loud, I would suggest they try a less popular location. Mama Carolla's is popular for many good reasons. Pros: Excellent food, awesome atmosphere, friendly staff Cons: You may have to wait...but it's totally worth it! more

Had a great experience here! 6/10/2009

I took my wife to Mama?s last night and had such a great experience I thought I would get online to write a review. It was are first time to the Restaurant and being that I have worked in the service industry for many years before earning my degree I put myself at the mercy of our Server. I asked him for a wine recommendation. I was looking for a good Pinot Noir and they had 3 or 4 to pick from. I took the servers recommendation on the Chehalem Pinot Noir. It was excellent and reasonable. Then I asked for a appetizer and he suggested the artichoke fritters witch were amazing! Now it was time for the main coarse. I went with the special veal cannelloni and my wife had the chicken rigatoni. We shared our entrees because they were both so excellent. We did not finish our food because we decided to save room for desert. Our serve recommended the tiramisu and just like everything else he recommended it was amazing. My wife and I will definitely be returning and if you are thinking Italian you should check it out. Pros: Wonderfull place. Cons: NONE. more

Not so Romantic - My own Home is Better! 5/14/2009

I was told I couldn't pass up a meal at Mama Carolla' after living in Indy for almost a year, I tried it. Unfortunately, I tried it ona special husbands B-day. They knew it was a special occassion but never acknowledged it. They sat us by the front door where people kept going in and out all night and where we received a blast of cold air each time. This also happens to be by the fireplace as well. I know...fireplace, sounds romantic....NOT! This is the congregating point for all patrons waiting to be seated. Therefore, they were standing right next to our table. Quite frankly, this restaurant was not at all what we expected and we could have easily gotten up and left and they would never have known as the service was also not that great. Chairs were uncomfortable and it was so loud that we had to move closer at the table to have a conversation. Save your money....this place is pricey too, service is bad and definetly no romantic!! Pros: Food is good but not excellent Cons: Loud and extremely crowded more

My definition of intimate/romantic must be different .... 5/2/2009

When trying a new italian restaurant, I generally order a basic pasta dish with tomatoes and olive oil. (Quality of food can be masked if it is smothered in cheese, marinara sauce or loaded with spices.) The tomatoes were under-ripe and were reminiscent of soggy cardboard (as are all under-ripe store bought tomatoes - nothing at all like a ripe roma or home grown tomatoe from the garden. Even canned tomatoes would have been better in this dish). I was quite disappointed with my entree especially because this is a very basic italian dish. Having said that, sampling other entrees at the table - most were quite tastey and the asparagus appetizers were wonderful. The bread was okay - not bad but we have had much better; the salads were small - but ample food overall. The other 3 diners in my party enjoyed the food. Pros: most of food is very good/ reasonable prices Cons: packed in like sardines, noisy sardines more

Best Italian in Indy 1/17/2009

This place is great. Its a nice little restaurant right off the Monon that makes you feel like youre really entering Mama Carolla's house. I have tried multiple things on the menu and have never been disappointed. The veal is great, the chicken lasagna is great, you really cant go wrong with Mama Carolla's. Not to mention the outdoor seating which is top notch in the summer time. The prices are EXTREMELY reasonable for what youre getting. It costs about the same as the Olive Garden but is as good as any Italian restaurant I've ever been to. Not to sound like a snob but I live in Chicago and there are plenty of great Italian restaurants here and Mama Carolla's is as good or better than every one of them...and half the price. Great for if youre visiting or want to take your girl out for a great meal. Cant say enough good things about this place. more

Food is good, staff is at best indiffrent, the interior sounds like a wind tunnel. 1/7/2009

Food is very good. Wait staff is at best indifferent, the hostesses are less than indifferent they are well below average, rude is the term. The interior is quite loud so if you are going go in the temperate season and eat outside. If you are going for pleasant conversation and an expectation of decent service there are many other places close by that are far superior. Dean Martin croons? Pleeeeeease if there was music the noise from the crowd was such that it could not be heard. Romantic if one considers it romantic to be seated virtually on top of the table next to you. The good point is that the next table cannot hear you whisper into your darling's ear as it is so noisy. The next table could not hear you shout into you darling's ear. Pros: food Cons: ambience, service, date spot, romantic, crowded, loud to the point of not being able to talk, shouting required more

Fantastic Italian without leaving rocky ripple 6/7/2008

I never post on reveiw sites, but i read a reveiw by a user named ""spencer54"" and it bothered me. The service at Mama Carolla's had never upset me. i have worked in many, many, resturants and on every visit I am treated above and beyond all my expectations for service. Never have i watied past when they tell me i will; and in addition to that I am a sous chef here in indy, and I enjoy the food everytime. I have never been let down. So I say to ""spencer54"" give it another go, and check out the menu... The food is good. Pros: The food is a never miss, and the service is just the same. Cons: No monday service more

Lively and invigorating 4/5/2008

We arrived on Friday evening about 6:30p and did have to wait about 30 minutes. We were able to spend the time in the bar where we easily found a seat and great conversation with the staff who recommended an excellent chianti wine. An appetizer of fried ravioli is recommended--very tasty! For the main course, I had the seared tuna with pesto which I would not recommend. I thought it would come with some pasta but instead came with only a red sauce. No matter, I still enjoyed the entree and mostly the environment. It is also one of the few italian places I know that serves wedding soup which was a little too salty. Overall, wonderful experience..I loved the decor. Ladies bathroom only accomodates one while the guys seems to be larger judging by the number of ppl I saw coming out. Pros: ambience and lots of menu variety Cons: Can get very noisy more

Great Place 11/9/2007

Wonderful place! Great atmosphere. Love the garden area! Pros: ambience, excellent food Cons: do not take reservations more

Very nice atmosphere 9/4/2007

We arrived on a Friday night at about 630pm and didn't have to wait at all - we were seated outside in the very nice garden setting. We were served quickly, meal portions are large and come with bread and soup or salad. Our server was friendly and helpful. The food was fine - nothing extraordinary but nothing to complain about either. The best part of my meal was the soup and bread. This is a nice neighborhood resturant. Pros: Atmosphere, location more

Avoid like the plague 8/31/2007

I had absolutely one of the worst dining experiences here that I have had in Indianapolis. They don't take reservations, which is the start of the problem. So we waited in the bar and had appetizers. But then people who arrived after us were being seated while we waited. When I challenged the staff on this they became belligerent, and when we were finally seated (half an hour after the time they told us the table would be ready) the waitress was pompous and unfriendly. I have never been so tempted to get up and leave a restaurant, but we stuck it out, ate the indifferent food as quickly as we could, and left. I have no idea why this place is still in business, and would enthusiastically discourage anyone from going there. Pros: Can't think of any Cons: The service more

Food was excellent 2/24/2007

This is a wonderful place to take a family or a date, very cozy. I went there with my family and we had a great time. My little girl (age 4, world's pickiest eater) loved the food, she ate a good portion of the shared meal (the servings are more than fair for two). The staff was very helpful and knew what ingredients were in the food, which made selecting, very easy. more

Great bar, even better menu 11/24/2006

This is an Italian restaurant for those looking for creative Italian dishes. The place is usually packed, which just shows how good the place is. Try the Veal Medallians or filet steak. The appetizers are wonderful, especially the fried ravioli and calamari (second to none). In all, I would recommend Mama Carolla's to every friend and even every's a unique and flavorful dining experience that should not be missed. Pros: Best Italian menu in town; these guys also know how to make a drink Cons: Expect to wait, but it's well worth it! more

Great experiance again 11/6/2006

Just ate at Mama's last night. Great food ,great service. Would recommend to anyone. I have never had bad food at this place. We did have a bad waitress one night but it did not detour us in going back as the food is heavenly. Pros: The food is great. Cons: parking is a little bad. more

Best Italian Restaurant in Indianapolis 5/7/2006

We go as often we can and love it. The have the best pasta in Indianpolis and don't forget the garlic cheese bread! I could spend a meal eating just that! more
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Menu for Mama Carolla's Old Italian Restaurant

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  • In Short
    The tone inside this rambling stucco villa with its green vines and red geraniums is defiantly old-world. The weekend regulars who crowd the bar, sipping on sloppy martinis until...

  • 5/17/2004 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon., Sun. CLOSED;Tue. - Sat. 5pm - 9:30pm
  • Payments:

    Discover, Visa, American Express, Master Card
  • Neighborhoods:

    Meridian-Kessler, Central Indianapolis