Another '2 for $25' (Sunday and Monday evenings - shared app, salad or soup, entree, plus shared dessert for 2) night! Plus, cheap fancy drinks off their 'After 5' menu (5-7 app and drink specials). Great deal!
We've decided your overall experience at Carmel Cafe depends on your server and the items you chose. We had a server with an attitude problem last time and chose bad items, this time was like our first visit - great server and great choices.
App - warm spinach and artichoke dip with pita chips - typical warm spinach dip, very good.
Salad dressings were different this visit - Caesar dressing was outstanding, garden salad dressing tasted like pickling juice (way too much vinegar and fresh dill) - yuck.
Entrees: Steak Frites - solid and fries are straight up awesome. Salmon was great - large portion with Quinoa. The Steak Frite and Salmon are the best choices in my mind.
Dessert - can't pass up the Chocolate lava cake - amazing!
After hearing how great Carmel Cafe was, I went in with high expectations and was not disappointed! Â It was a busy Wednesday night around 6pm and we were seated promptly by a very welcoming gentleman who asked if it was our first time there and gave a thorough explanation of the restaurant concept and ipad menus. Â We wanted to get there early enough to try the 5 at 5 specials which is a great happy hour concept of certain small plates, drinks and wine for $5 from 5pm-7pm. Â We immediately began toying with the ipad. Â I love that you can look at pictures of every item on the menu and even order from the ipad. Â That did not in any way hinder the service. Â Our waitress was friendly and attentive. Â Several food runners came out with the food and asked if we needed anything. Â The manager even stopped by to make sure everything was good. Â
We ordered several small plated beginning with the shrimp and mango flatbread, followed by the Rustic Grilled Chicken Skewers, Steak Frites and Ravioli Verde (which is available on their seasonal menu). Â Everything from start to finish was absolutely divine with the ravioli being at the top of my list. Â I also ordered two of the cocktails: Â Italian Old Fashioned and Watermelon Granita. Â The watermelon granita was at the suggestion of the waitress. Â It was light and refreshing but just not my type of the drink. Â The Italian Old Fashioned was amazing. Â The perfect blend of Buffalo Trace Kentucky bourbon and peach jam finished with amarena cherries. Â YUM.
I would highly recommend Carmel Cafe to anyone. Â A fun, hip, trendy place that could easily become "the" place to gather after work with friends.
I went to Carmel Cafe once last year with friends but did not have a chance to return again until last night for their Wednesday night specials.
I love the atmosphere and decor inside the restaurant, it's got a great feel to accompany the delicious food. As everyone else has mentioned, the ipad menu system is an innovative idea and makes it easy to order more plates without having to wait for your server to return.
Since my friend and I had gone with the intention of trying the $5 small plates and wine/martinis list, that's what we looked at first. Sadly, the $5 small plates menu was actually pretty limited, with just a few flatbread choices, so we got the margherita flatbread and ordered from the regular menu for the rest of our meal.
The flatbread was fresh and tasty, with delicious mozarella and basil on top. We also ordered the chick pea fries with curry sauce, which was *outstanding*. Next, we tried an order of Nan's Goat Cheese. Yum, yum and yum. It's a scoop of goat cheese with mini toast, olives, garlic and roasted red peppers on the side. Truly delicious and definitely one of my favorites. We also ordered the moroccan lemon chicken, which was nothing special, just okay. Finally, we topped our dinner off with an order of seasonal canollis. They were a perfect ending to a delicious meal.
The service was good throughout our entire experience, as multiple servers stopped by to bring us our next plates and check in on everything.
I will definitely be back again.
I am in love with the iPad menus and how beautiful the interior is. This is the first place I've ordered off iPard menus from and I love the idea, I hope other places switch to this because it's fun and you can choose when to send your order to the kitchen/bar without waiting or fetching your waitress. If you 're not a fan the waitresses can help you order.
I tried some of the Happy Hour dishes and thought they were pretty good for the price. I really like the Mezze Platter which is a great way to share and try different spreads. I also tried other dishes off the regular menu and was very pleased with them. Really good food but they can be a bit more pricey for the amount of food you get. It's a wine bar after all so that is expected.
I love the warm and comfortable environment set up at Carmel. There's booths which felt very private and there's also lounge type chairs to sit and chat with others. I had a good time here and think it's a good place to casually talk while dining on good food.
I really liked the Muhammarra spread which is roasted red peppers, walnuts and pomegranate. The Braised Short Ribs was excellent! It was very tender and went very well with the polenta that's served with it. The french fries was pretty good too, it was crispy on the outside yet had a very nice soft innard.
What a wonderful little Mediterranean restaurant! Â The iPad menu made ordering a breeze! Â The food was delivered quickly and was absolutely perfect! Â The price is very reasonable for the quality of the food and service. Â If your into small plate dinners, this is the place. Â Be sure to try the warm marinated olives. Â Enough to share and spectacular in taste. Â This place will be on my list of favorite restaurants in the Tampa Bay area for sure.Review Source:
I finally tried this place and am happy I did. I love the atmosphere and that the menus are iPads. While I'm not normally a huge fan of tapas I thought these were unique and tasty. We ordered a variety of items and the baked brie and chickpea fries were divine. The service was quick and I can't wait to go back and try more items.Review Source:
The best. Â From the food to the staff, they're the best. Â The lamb lollipops are exquisite. Â If you aren't tech savvy enough to figure out how to order with the ipad menus, just have the staff do it for you. Â I love the fact that when I put in an order, it seems like just minutes later the food arrives, so make sure not to order everything all at once... unless you want it all at once!Review Source:
The food was delicious and the iPad menus were really cool!
I liked all how you could view the menu on an Ipad and flip through and see pictures of what you were ordering before you decided. I didn't realize you placed your order on the iPad too! that was really neat!
There were a ton of food choices and everything looked really good. I chose the 1/2 soup and 1/2 sandwich. I had the tomato bisque as my soup, which was really good, and the grilled chicken sandwich, which was also amazing. The sandwich was pressed and so full of flavor. The chicken was really moist and so good.
For dessert we had pumpkin cannoli, which was an amazing seasonal treat. A lunch for two, including one glass of wine, two lunch entrees, and one dessert was all under $30. Not a bad price for such a nice restaurant with delicious food. I would definitely recommend Carmel Cafe!
I returned here for our Anniversary Dinner on Oct 25. Calling ahead, I spoke to Chance, the Manager, Â and requested the best table in the house. (NO, I won't tell where! :P) Â He offered several amenities and was quite ready to make the evening special for us. Chance was at the door as we entered and seated at us at "my table." Alyssa, our server, was delightful and most helpful. Â
We ordered a fave Washington Hills Late Harvest Riesling and a Chickpea Fries appetizer to excite! Chance visited us, asked about the wine, left and brought back a few other similar wines to taste. The one that stood out was a 2010 Chateau de Valmer Vouvray from France. It was so refreshing with an exciting finish! The fact that we were given a personal wine tasting just added to the occasion.
Relaxed, we were ready to order dinner. We choose the Basil Grilled Salmon with quinoa, and topped with a kalamata olive tapenade, the Spinach Gnocchi in a Parmesan cream sauce, and their simply delicious Roasted Vegetables. All served Tapas style, I recommend it as the right romantic touch to set any mood!
What better way to close the evening then to share a Warm Poached Pear drizzled in salted caramel, and shared the plate with Â a side scoop of vanilla ice cream. A Â richly roasted cuppa closed the evening!
I lived in the DC Metro Area most of my life. The pretentious atmosphere of most restaurants there constantly irritated me. NONE of them have it quite as right as Carmel. Yes, I gave it 5 well deserved stars and I will dine here much more frequently in the future! Thanks to everyone at Carmel for an exceptional evening!
I'd been here before, but it was a company party with a limited menu selection. This time I was able to order anything off the menu, which is kind of important in order to really write a review.
We started with the Mini-Mezze plate, Â which had 3 kinds of hummus. This was very flavorful and had pita wedges as well as assorted vegetables. Then we had the chick-pea fries which came with 2 kinds of dipping sauce. The curry sauce was delicious.
We finished by splitting a Margherita flatbread pizza. The crust was crispy, and the ingredients were fresh. Very good.
We got there when it was still happy hour so our martinis and first two plates were only $5. That's pretty solid.
They give you an iPad to place your order. The server still explained the specials, and answered questions, but it really speeds up the ordering process. You click on an item for more info, read about, and place your order. It's very easy to use. More importantly, the server was still very attentive and we never felt abandoned. We also paid our bill directly on the iPad. Pretty cool.
The food is good, the atmosphere is trendy, and the service is good. We both had a couple of drinks and dinner and our bill was only $50. Not bad at all.
Last night I tried Carmel Cafe for the first time. The atmosphere is nice and laid back and I thought that the decor of the restaurant was very nice. The comfy chair seating area in the center is a nice touch to invite people to just come and hang out.
Carmel Cafe has an iPad ordering system, but they provide normal menus for patrons who do not wish to use the iPad. I was really happy to see that they have a large specialty cocktail menu, as I am not really a wine/beer girl. I tried two of the specialty cocktails...the Skinny Pomo-Tini and the Blueberry Caipirinha. Both were delicious and the Caipirinha was super strong. I actually added a little water to it after a few sips. But I'm not complaining...strong is better than weak!
My friend and I ordered the Mezze Platter to share, and really enjoyed it. The baba ganoush was our least favorite item on the platter, and of the spreads, the edamame hummus was our favorite. Our most favorite thing on the platter, however, had to be the crispy fried feta. It was divine.
We did have a bit of a problem with our entree order. I thought I had ordered the basil salmon on the iPad, but then the server brought crab cakes. I'm not sure if I made a mistake with the iPad (although I do have a photo that sort of makes it seem that I selected the correct thing), but regardless, the server eventually corrected the problem and brought the salmon. Of course, by then my friend had almost finished her entree and my side order of roasted veggies was cold. Still, the basil salmon was good, although I didn't think the basil flavor was very prevalent. The bed or quinoa that the salmon came on was awesome. I did really appreciate the fact that there was an option to order a small portion of the entrees, rather than a large portion.
All in all, I'd say that the cocktails were fabulous, the food was good, the atmosphere was really nice, and I'd go again.
I took my sister here for a much needed evening out for an appetizer and wine - everything was delicious, and the use of iPads for ordering and payment was inventive and fun. Even with the iPad the service didn't lack and we felt well attended to by our server.
We had the Mezze Platter a " trilogy of edamame hummus, Muhammarra and Baba Ganoush, crispy fried feta cheese, marinated artichoke hearts, Peppadew relish and grilled pita" (description via their menu). We thought it was fantastic and even took the remaining of the dish home Â - and it was just as good the next day. I also had the red sangria which was delightful and refreshing
My only regret is that we came after dinner just for a drink - everything looked and smelled delicious!
They had table seating inside and out, and very comfortable lounge seating. I certainly recommend a stop in!
OK well I have reviewed their location on Dale Mabry in Tampa. So it's only fair to review this location.
Food was very consistent between the two locations. What made this location stand out was the service. Our server was very nice and on point all night. Even with the order system, she was always filling water glasses and checking to see if we were alright.
I will be going to this location more than the closer one to me in Tampa.
We went for the 2 dinners for $25 Sunday special. The spinach artichoke dip was delicious, as was the tomato basil soup. Â The Caesar salad was so overdressed and overloaded with cheese that it was inedible. All of the main courses that our group tried were wonderful. The standout dish was the salmon.
Wine selections were extensive and unique.We had a buttery Chardonnay.
Three of us shared the molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. It was even better than it sounds. The waitress jokingly asked us if we wanted to lick the plate. All of us were thinking, "how did she know?"
Thanks to other reviews on YELP, we knew to not order using their IPad and to not use credit cards. Luckily, we caught a large error in the bill, which was promptly corrected by the waitress.
In summary, drink the wine, eat the cake and bring cash!
I would have given this place 5 stars if I was just measuring the coolness factor - they use iPads on each table for taking orders! All you do is scroll through various parts of the menu and tap to order. Very neat! The food was good. I had the Moroccan chicken with a side of veggies and yogurt mashed potatoes. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't delicious either. My husband got crab cakes and they were wonderful ... even better than the ones we had in Baltimore! The dessert was fantastic ... a warm, chocolate melting cake and vanilla bean ice cream. Just thinking of it now makes my mouth water!Review Source:
Went there for date night on a Saturday night. Was sat rather quickly (it was a rainy night) and was served by Cory. Cory was a great server, there when we needed him. I chose the prix fixe menu with a ceasar salad, spinich dip (had a bit of a kick to it) my favorite steak frites (SO GOOD) and pound cake w/ strawberries. SO GOOD! Will be back! Thanks Cory!Review Source:
I have to say, with all of the rave reviews I've seen about Carmel Cafe, my experiences have been just "ok."
I think the atmosphere is great, and the fact that you can order and pay via iPad is a cool concept. However, I think the iPad ordering does take away from the service. Both times we've dined at Carmel, we've felt a little ignored by the staff, and somewhat confused as to who to ask for help if we had questions or needed service. The food itself is tasty, but I think in comparison to other tapas restaurants (like Ceviche), the flavors and price are just so-so.
Also, after paying for our meal with a credit card on the iPad, our credit card number was used fraudulently the next morning. We have no idea if it was because of the iPad (it probably is impossible to actually find out), but when we notified the management about the situation, the owner called me and, in a nutshell, tried to make me feel bad for bringing it up (and causing him to spend money to look into the situation, which I never asked him to do - I just wanted them to be aware in case it happened with other patrons). He never apologized or asked if there was anything he could do...he just told me that it wasn't their fault. Honestly, it put a bad taste in my mouth to be treated that way, so I am not sure that we'll be heading back to Carmel Cafe in a hurry...
Not sure what all the hype is about. I think my expectations were too high and it just didn't live up to them. It was all perfectly passable, it just didn't excite me.
We had the Roasted Red Pepper Spread (good), Warm Marinated Olives (we didn't dig the warm olive thing), Yukon Gold Yogurt Mashed Potatoes (bland), Mac n Four Cheese (bland and charred) and Seafood Gyros (yummy). The service was good until the end (more on that in a moment) and the interior was really beautiful. It's an upscale setting and would be good for date night.
I had seen other reviews mention the I/Pad as a drawback, but to me that was the best part of the whole experience. It was fun to scroll through and look at pictures of everything. And I liked the fact that we could have food come out at different times by ordering something from the I/Pad while still working on the food in front of us.
In fact, I was having so much fun on the I/Pad, I decided to pay that way instead of paying our server (which was also an option). I followed all the steps and the system told me I was all finished. Then I noticed that it said I still owed $5 which wasn't possible, because the amount charged to my card was clearly the correct total plus tip. We flagged down a server and asked what was going on. She wasn't sure and proceeded to ask several other employees who also didn't know. At that point she went to look for a manager and was gone for what seemed like a really long time. When he finally came out, he was at a loss too, and said the I/Pads are still a work in progress. He was nice and apologetic, though.
I may be persuaded to give Carmel Cafe one more try, but I'll definitely be paying the old-fashioned way!
Who knew such a hip place in Clearwater existed?
Tucked back from the street, I almost missed it
Luckily one of my friends tipped me off and was there to assist
making her jump to the top of my Christmas list!
For Carmel Cafe has won over my heart
everything is wonderful, where do I start?
The menu is tapas style that you order off an ipad
with detailed pictures and lists, it's totally rad!
But the servers stay close just in case
you want a little face to face
they go above and beyond, the service is great
and the food is always delicous, big or small plate
There are multilple seating options for you to choose
I prefer the low couches to relax and enjoy my booze
Overall, I highly recommend it for anyone with a hint of class
Just please invite me, so I can join you in raising your glass!
Great atmosphere, tapas is always fun and the fact that there's no t.v.s is a new concept. Â Not sure about that one yet. Â I like the selection of wines and the bar staff is a warm and inviting crew. Â An IPAD on each table with menu and option to place your order is a nifty feature. Â We recently started to dine at Carmel for lunch. Â Quite impressed with the lunch menu. Â The Italian sandwich is my favorite.Review Source:
Super fun concept ... Â You are given an iPad upon arrival, which serves as your menu as well as the waitress. Â They do have a waitress to explain all of this and you can order the old fashion way, but why??? Â We ordered our entire dinner from the iPad and it goes directly to the kitchen. Â The tapas style dishes are usually served to the table within 5 minutes. Â Everything is great!!! Â Don't forget the chocolate molted cakeReview Source:
I was in from out of town visiting friends. Â My girlfriend who loves in Tampa choose Carmel knowing it would be the perfect place for a unique and delicious dinner. Â The whole iPad concept was great. Â It made it easy to get more information about the items especially for a group of three girls with different dietary needs. Â We tried the edamame hummus, seared tuna, quinoa, scallop special, chicken kabobs, a few other items. Â I loved every bite I had and will definitely be back next time I'm in town.Review Source:
Good food, but you must love garlic to really enjoy this place! Order as a table and share dishes here so you can get a taste of it all! App Platter is a must, try all the cheese you can & order the special if you can! Plus, bottles of wine are pretty inexpensive! Oh and you get an iPad to order with too (if you want a real person, they're there as well)!Review Source:
Good addition to the Countryside area. Â (The one in Carrollwood is also a good choice on that side of town).
Loved: The 3oz, 6oz, or 9oz wine pours. Â The attentive bartender on a crowded evening was also a nice touch and started the evening off on a good note.
Liked: The tapas. Â Especially the edamame hummus with veggie crisps. Â The rest of the tapas aren't quite as memorable, but they're solid. Â
Didn't love: Â Nothing too daring on the somewhat limited menu. Â More variety would be good.
Great place for a glass of wine and a bite to eat. Still haven't got past the appetizer menu as it's so good. Love the idea of a 3,6 and 9oz pour just in case you don't like what you ordered. Like the different wine flights they offer, makes for a very pleasant end to the day or start of the evening.Review Source:
My first time at Carmel, sat outside as a group Christmas (or something) party was happening inside. Very pleasant vibe to the place, we learned of the wine flight from the attentive and friendly server which by the way was a selection of white, not my usual, but thoroughly enjoyed. And those veggie chips combined with the edamame hummus....heaven!
This place may very well quickly become my to go place for wine and tapas. Looking forward to more....
This is a restaurant I'd love to return to again and again - a sure sign I need to give this place 5 stars.
The interior decor is classy without being too trendy. With a combination of tables better for dining and low couches perfect for splitting some wine and tapas, you can choose your preferred dining experience. Should the weather be nice, there are a few outdoor tables as well.
The servers are nice, attentive and knowledgeable. The food comes out quickly and the prices are more than reasonable for the portion sizes.
The menu (presented on an iPad - gimmicky, but fun) consists mainly of small plates, but you get a good amount of food compared to other tapas-style restaurants. I did appreciate that they have larger versions of some of the small plates in case you are hungrier and/or don't want to share.
The food itself blew me away. Everything tasted so good with perfect preparation and flavor combinations. We sampled the edamame hummus, ceviche, braised short rib, and basil salmon. I'd order every one of these again. My favorite was the braised short rib which came with a deliciously creamy polenta side dish.
I really can't wait to come back to Carmel to try more off the menu.
Great atmosphere (except a little noisy - wish they had better sound dampening). Â Incredible wine by the glass list (in 3 or 6 or 9 oz pours!). Intelligent, informed wait staff, iPads a little gimmicky but a cool attempt at moving forward. On to the food, tonight we just had tapas. Â Crab cakes (okay they should be called crab cupcakes as they are small), very good, lots of crab. Shrimp Ceviche, not the best ceviche I've ever had, but pretty tasty. Â Would like to see them locally source hogfish which is amazing as ceviche. Â Roasted Vegetables - bringing down the house. Â An incredible selection of roasted veggies. Â Nothing crazy, but wonderfully tasty. Â Great experience overall.Review Source:
So I found this place via Yelp, and when we were chatting up the bartender during dinner, I told her I'd Yelp, so here I am (3 weeks late). We were in town for a wedding in Clearwater, and completely over eating at the places on our little strip of beach land. We wanted something fun and tasty, and here we went.
I don't drink wine (I know, I suck) but my parents do, so they were beyond thrilled about the wine bar part of this place. My dad also may have become an ipad addict while playing with their nifty ipad wine list.
The food was soooooo delicious. I'm a vegetarian, my parents are not, so when you can please both crowds, that's automatically a win. I love tapas places, as I can never decide what I want to eat, so when I can just order small versions of everything, I'm a fan! Started with edamame hummus and these AWESOME veggie chip things.. they were light and airy and I probably would have stolen many plates of them.
We also ate: mac and four cheese (feed me this in large quantities), basil grilled salmon (my mom, a self-professed kalamata olive hater, loved the kalamata tapenade), meatball lollipop pomodoro (dad was a fan, mom who hates veal was not), red & yellow beet salad (can't go wrong!), pistachio apricot quinoa (kept this to myself!) and a few other plates I can't remember.
We loved the employees (the manager introduced himself, and although we were eating at the bar, the two employees back there were attentive without being in our faces the whole time), loved the food, loved the wine, and left with a pretty low bill, considering all the things we ate and drank. Thanks Carmel!
The restaurant has good wine, good food, good service and good atmosphere.
I heard the owner of Outback opens this cafe to bring a different dinning experience to the younger crowds. The cafe directly faces Bonefish Grill on the other side of McMullen Booth. If you like Bonefish you will like this one as well. It is actually a tapas and wine bar. Food are served in small and large size so guests can choose to share different dishes or order individually. Same on wine, you can choose to have 3oz, 6oz, 8oz... or just have a bottle. For wine drinkers, it is great to taste different wine to match the food. Both food and wine menu are very interesting and with varieties.
Crowds are young, vibe, fashion and full of energy. Ipads are used for ordering food directly on your table.
It lost 1 star because I didn't care about their live music. I just had my doubts how does American Country Music fit into the air. Carols Santana's music are more likely to fuel the atmosphere! Or just simply modern Jazz will do the magic.
Nonetheless, I like this restaurant. If you haven't tried, check their website, make reservation and bring friends. You will have fun there and enjoy plenty of eye candies.
I visited with a large group before a show and we liked it a lot. Â The atmosphere was cool, the price reasonable, the service was great & the food was delicious! Â I would have given 5 stars if portion size was a little bit bigger.
Â We had the shrimp stuffed with the mashed potatoes( I cannot remember the name). Â It was amazing! Â Also, one of our dishes was the Cheese Bundles and they were delicious...I like hot and spicy but it was a little too hot. Â My lips were burning for an hour and a half after leaving. Â All in all a satisfying meal!
This restaurant just opened so my wife and I decided to check it out with some friends last Friday night. When I walked in I told my wife that this is the place we have been waiting for. This place has a really unique, cool vibe. They had live music, a great group of people at the bar, and lots of seating options including couches. To our surprise they offered us the option of reviewing the menu on an iPad - very cool!
A few of our favorites were the lamb and veal sliders, the shrimp ceviche, and the ahi tuna with edamame hummus.
Definitely check this place out, you will not be disappointed!