Seattle >Food & Dining > Carmelita
7314 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810347.681923 -122.355283
5-9p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday; 5-10p.m. Friday-Saturday
Neighborhoods: Northwest Seattle, Northwest, Phinney Ridge
Awesome food Awesome food. – One of the best restaurants in Seattle.
Not good. – When visiting a place, sometimes you make the mistake of assuming that a place might be good based on the fanciness of the menu. This is one of those places.
Although the menu is definitely fresh and new. None of the flavors I had seemed to pair well together. It was a huge disappointment.
Fortunately, Seattle is full of vegetarian options (especially up in the U district). As a vegetarian, I would not recommend having a meal here, our palates don't agree.
Overpriced, mediocre food. Bad service. – My husband and I went on a weekday for dinner. It wasn't busy and we were seated immediately. Then we waited for fifteen to twenty minutes before anyone greeted us at the table. It took FOREVER to get anything. We ordered an appetizer, it took 30 minutes. This might be acceptable at a busy restaurant on a friday night. Not for a slow weekday. We were there for upwards of an hour before our dinner arrived. No one came to check to see if the food was acceptable. After we ate we sat for a long time before flagging down another server to get our check. Then we waited for an additional 15 minutes before that came. However, as soon as we got the check, our server became attentive, smiling and quickly bringing us the receipt. A sure sign of bad service is when everything you want takes forever to get to your table, but when you put the credit card on the table, the server perks right up and you get your receipt to sign in record time.
Now the food.. The appetizer was very good. It was a lavender dusted cheese plate with honey. That was the only good thing about the entire meal. My husband's food looked like it had come from a TV dinner, and my stuffed pasta consisted of a tiny amount of pasta and a HUGE plate full of sauce. I can deal with tiny portions if the food is good enough to make you want to savor it. Not in this case. It was on par with anything you'd order at the Olive Garden but with about 1/3 of the portion for 3x the price.
If you want good gourmet vegetarian, go to Cafe Flora. You'll be glad you did.
Disappointing. – We chose Carmelita for my husband's birthday dinner because our past experience of healthy and very sophisticated food at Carmelita. This time however, the food was rather mediocre quality. Roasted cauliflower fritters were deep fried; fast food quality but about five times more expensive. The menu did not say that it was deep fried, I would not order it. Pumpkin risotto cakes tested like it had sugar added. I felt cheated of my expectations for the dinner, not mentioning that we paid a lot of money for our disappointment. Never again!
Wonderful! – My husband and I decided to spoil ourselves our last night in Seattle and we were not disappointed. It is beautifully decorated and the ambience is perfect for a romantic evening. The Cheese Plate appetizer is divine! The Leek & Gruyere tart is delicious and the Paella is very flavorful. I also recommend the Spiced Berry iced tea (herbal). This is definitely not a good place for families with children. It is, however, a great date spot.
Vegetarians and carnivores feel at home in this funky, art-infused sanctuary. – The Scene
Judging by the complex menu names and professional service, one might expect a stuffy, high-end restaurant. But patrons from the Greenwood neighborhood arrive casually dressed to this comfortable meatless haven, and the pretension meter runs low. The menu can be overwhelmingly complex, but the accommodating servers assist first-timers; questions from picky eaters are welcome.
The emphasis on fresh produce results in a frequently changing menu, and multiple courses are always recommended. Diners can begin with a bowl of the "cappuccino-style" mushroom soup, which runs smooth while the flavor stays intense. The rush of flavor from the pan-fried chickpea croquette sets the tone for the rest of the evening. The crisp, grilled corn-polenta cake is a standout entree, topped by a tower of rainbow chard, cherry tomato relish, baby zucchini, sweet corn puree and a lush avocado vinaigrette.
Hits: The leafy patio in back is the perfect spot for a summer night out, while the dining room is elegantly understated.
Misses: The dishes can be inconsistent; some are knockouts, some lackluster. Ask the server for their favorites and they will steer you in the right direction.
Sooooo good – This is one of the best restaurants in Seattle. The staff is friendly, professional, and knowledgable. And everything on the menu is to-die-for good. (And I am not a vegetarian.) Lovely patio as well. Eat here.
carmelita IS kid friendly – i'm a carmelita regular, and i was there that night, eating dinner, and you and your child were extremely disruptive. this went on for maybe an hour? your kid was having a total meltdown, and you were absolutely not willing to take her outside, as you claim. i was on the other side of the restaurant and i could hear you singing, something most of us don't do at loud volume in nice restaurants. i overheard the table next to me asking their server to ask you to stop singing.
did you even consider taking your food to go? stepping outside for a moment to comfort your child, perhaps onto the back patio, a more suitable place to sing?
don't blame the staff when you are the one who put them in an awkward situation. the only way carmelita could be more kid friendly is if they put in a play area.
Families should eat elsewhere. – The food was decent, though not what I've had there in the past, but I'll never return after the irritation shown by the staff regarding our 1 year old daughter. Though not perfectly behaved, we took pains keep her as quiet as we could, while the staff, clearly visible in the prep area from our table, gracelessly gestured in our direction, rolling their eyes and indicating their quick patience for a family trying to have a meal together. When we softly tried to sing to our daughter in an attempt to keep her in a good mood, we were told to "Stop singing, it's probably bothering the other customers." It was a brusque and inelegant way to get your point across, and certainly made us feel unwelcome. None of the behavior of our family seemed to us inordinately disruptive, and as parents, we're quick to take a meltdown outside to spare the other customers. In this case, the staff could definitely stand some etiquette lessons. If you have a family, I'd DEFINITELY consider another venue. Try Saltoro's further up Greenwood, they seem to love families and have excellent food.
Serious Decline in Food Quality – My husband and I--who dine out at least once each week--had one of the worst dining experiences ever at Carmelita's last Friday night. The meal began on a fine note, but when the entrees arrived, the meal fell apart.
I had ordered the semolina gnocchi, at the suggestion of our brusque server. After taking a few bites, I realized that there was no gnocchi on the plate; I was eating mush. I asked the server if the gnocchi was always served this way, and she informed me that no, the prep staff were having trouble making the dough stick together! "But does it taste good?" she asked, apparently oblivious to the look of digust on my face as she tried to explain why the "chef" thought it was a good idea to serve this mistake to customers.
I won't go into the details of how the server made a bad situation worse. Suffice to say that the current "chef" at Carmelita's lacks skills and judgement. Don't waste your money and time.
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