Carrabba's Italian Grill was founded in Houston by Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola in December 1986. Both men have extensive restaurant experience and belong to one of Houston's most successful restaurant families. Many of the recipes on the restaurant s menu are those of Mandola s mother and sister. Mandola has preserved the Italian authenticity of Carrabba's food by traveling the world in search of unique Italian dishes and by taking numerous trips to his grandparents' native Italy. After many travels to the Houston area, Carrabba's caught the attention of Aussie-themed Outback Steakhouse owners. A joint venture partnership was formed in January 1993. Under the joint partnership, more than 10 more locations were opened in Houston and in Florida. In January 1995, Outback acquired the rights to develop Carrabba's nationwide. There are now more than 200 Carrabba's Italian Grill locations throughout the United States. The restaurant s menu includes a variety of items, such as appetizers, soups and salads, grilled dishes, pasta specialties, Italian classic dishes, wood-fired pizza and Italian desserts. Carrabba's Italian Grill maintains a location in The Woodlands, Texas.