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Chef Mario Carbone Shares His Go-to Dish with American Express (Hint: It’s Off the Menu but He’ll Make It for You!)

May 8, 2023


Photo: Courtesy of Omar Vega for Carbone Beach

Global Dining Access Chef Mario Carbone is setting the record straight here and now: There is no secret sauce to the success of the New York restaurant CARBONE. The connection it builds with its customers makes it the must-go destination that it has become.

“There are no secrets to CARBONE’s success. Our brand of refined nostalgia resonates with a very wide demographic of people,” said Mario Carbone, Co-Founder of Major Food Group.

The Italian-American restaurant, operated by Major Food Group (MFG), is not only known for the Spicy Rigatoni, but also its busy notify button for the sought-after waitlist on Resy’s reservations app.

Amex Card Members, including Platinum Card and Centurion Members who were first to receive exclusive ticket access, had the opportunity to  join the second annual American Express Presents CARBONE BEACH dinner in Miami Beach, Florida. Every dish was curated and prepared by Mario Carbone himself where guests could enjoy some of the restaurant’s most talked about dishes first hand including paper thin sheets of beef with black truffle & hazelnut, ravioli bursting with lobster in a vermouth & cream sauce, scampi-style colossal prawns, among others.

Photo: Courtesy of Omar Vega for Carbone Beach

As part of the immersive experience which took place May 4-7, 2023, guests indulged in a 4-course meal of the restaurant’s signature dishes - all from the beachside venue with a breathtaking view of the ocean and performances by top musical artists including Diana Ross, Gipsy Kings, and Ms. Lauryn Hill.


Photo: Courtesy of Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for American Express Presents Carbone Beach

In a recent interview with American Express, Mario Carbone ‘dished’ on his favorite foods. that you can find him ordering, the unexpected origins of his signature rigatoni, and how Miami continues to inspire this event with Amex:

Carbone has become known for the Spicy Rigatoni, is there a story how this came to be?

Carbone: The Rigatoni was one of the last additions to CARBONE’s original menu as we were in need of a vegetarian pasta option. My idea was to create a cheeky pizzeria-style pasta dish that could be elevated to CARBONE’s standards. Little did I know that the Spicy Rigatoni would become a huge hit and take on a life of its own.

Do you have any favorite dishes?

Carbone: For me, it's the simple dishes. I eat the chopped salad daily and for mains, I often make myself a veal Milanese which does not appear on the menu, but we will make it for anybody if they request it.

Why is it important for Carbone to create special experiences for consumers including Amex Card Members?

Carbone: We strive to offer our guests an unforgettable experience that goes beyond just dinner at all our establishments. CARBONE has always embodied this ethos. Our goal is to provide a one-of-a-kind experience to every guest, through exceptional cuisine, ambiance, decor and more. Whether you're an American Express Card Member or regular patron, you can expect an unparalleled experience.

What do you love most about Miami, and how does this destination help set a vibe?

Carbone: Miami’s energy is captivating to me, and I find myself instinctively drawn to its unique mood. When producing an event of this magnitude, I strive to capture the essence of this city’s energy and infuse it into the experience.

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