Chicago >Restaurants >
702 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL | Directions 6060741.886772 -87.648741
Mon-Thu 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-10:30pm
Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-11:30pm
Neighborhoods: West Side, Near West Side
Get ready for the longest wait of your life – If I could give this place negative stars, I would give this place -10 stars. Here is my experience at Carnivale....
Me and my Fiance had made reservations for Carnivale for 9:30pm for a party of 2 for Friday January 18. I got there at 9:25 all excited because I have heard so many good things about Carnivale. On arrival me and my fiance checked in with the hostess. She looked on her screen for Smith. She said all that she had was Smith party for 7. The hostess handed us the pager anyway and asked us to wait by the bar. After 30 minutes my fiance went to the counter and asked the host if she was going to page us anytime soon. She said that she is just waiting for a couple of tables to clear. Another 15 minutes and still nothing! We patiently waited and waited and waited for a total of 45 minutes. Our reservation was at 9:30 not 10:15! After having enough, I returned the pager to the host. I told him that the wait time was RIDICULOUS. 45 Minutes?!?! He took the pager and said, "What do you think that you are doing? I was just about to page you." Page me???? "My reservation was at 9:30!!!!" I said to him. He replies, "No I see here that your reservation is at 10PM for Smith."
I can't believe that they changed my reservation without even telling me. They could have at least notified me that there was a mistake or apologize. I threatened to leave and it didn't even phase the host. He just shrugged and turned the other way. If that's the host's attitude can you imagine what the upper management's attitude is like?
Carivale's wait time and the snobby hosts and hostesses is absolutely ridiculous. If you like snobby hosts and having them mess up your reservations then Carnivale is the place to be!!!
Great, but noisy – I recently had the pleasure of dining at Carnivale. The ONLY complaint I had, TOO noisy and therefore, I had a hard time hearing the waiter. Otherwise, MUCHO fun, food was great, waiter was Superub and even the bathroom ladies, no WAITING in line. Need I say more.
Great for groups – We took my friend to Carnivale for her bachelorette party. It was perfect for the occasion--big, loud and festive. The food was great too; everyone was able to find something they liked. I had the tuna and was very impressed. The drinks were fun too and the service was attentive without being obnoxious. Carnivale is a great place for groups.
Fabulous! – I was taken here on a date. They didn't have any tables in the dinning room but we were able to score one in the bar. The food was incredible! We ordered a bunch of apps, both those that looked good to us and server recommened. The empanadas were fabulous! We had something with pork that was amazing! Great avocado, which can be iffy in the Midwest. I can't say enough good things about the food. And our waiter was great. Attentive without being overbaring. However, it was very loud and very smoky. That's the only downside. Other then that, GO! But make a reservation. The dining room is stunning.
Great Place To Catch Up With Girlfriends – My Girlfriend and I went to Carnivale early afternoon on a wednesday. The seating was fast, and the customer service was great. Stay away from the beans and rice they have a gritty cuman flavor. However the rasberry mohitos are off the chain. Early arrival or reservations are highly reccomended
Awesome Food, Outstanding wait staff, Incredible Circuses – You have to try this place ! Based on experience and traveling extensively to Miami for business, the Latin food here is the best north of Miami. Our server Anne, was very helpful with the wide array of incredible sounding offerings. We started out with Pupusa (don't let the oxtail scare you off) and the Ropa Vieja, very tasty. For entrees, we narrowed it down to the Mama Mendez Arroz and Pernil (rum glazed pork shoulder) both of which did not disappoint. The bar drinks were very good as well, wide selection of tequillas. We will definitely be back for the live jazz night. If you are a fan of Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba you owe it to yourself to check this place out.
Great Place - Great Food! – After eating at Carnivale on many occasions, I highly recommend eating here at least once. From the stylish atmosphere to the tasty raspberry mojitos, it is a great place to eat and have fun. For starters, I would recommend the quacamole that always comes out perfect. On my last visit, my main entree was the Paella...........which was excellent! It was one of the best I have tasted in the city. Be prepared to wait long at peak times if you do not have reservations, but if you do.......the bar area is great for a drink or two.
Bright, bustling and (mostly) brilliant – We went on a Wednesday evening with a small business group (5 people), one of whom was a few minutes late. The restaurant would not seat us until we were all there, which I know is a common practice, but it's irritating, overwrought and very New York in its heavy handedness, especially for a Pan-Latin place like this which claims to be big on fun. After that, it was mostly positive. The (vast) dining room buzzes, and the decor is bright and most striking. We were seated in one of the upper level areas, high above the main floor, which made for some good people watching, but was rather like eating in the nosebleeds at a hockey arena. Our server was polite, super-efficient, very knowledgeable about all aspects of the meal and we certainly didn't want for anything. My colleagues who had the mojito and raspberry mojito were also impressed. My dish, the paella-like Mama Mendez Arroz con Mariscos was simply the best meal I've had in 6 months. Brilliant. Make reservations in plenty of time, and don't try calling for cancellations. They rarely happen, and the attitude of the person on the other end of the line will leave you wishing you had never had the audacity to suggest that someone might cancel from Carnivale... Otherwise it's a great place - just make sure you all arrive together.
BEST OVERALL RESTAURANT IN CHICAGO! – I honestly cannot believe how amazing this restaurant is (and it gets better every single time I go there!) My friends always joke that I rave about this place, but now every one of them that has tried it loves it as much as I do! From the second you walk in the door and see the trendy, vibrant, original decor, you can't help but be in a good mood (which is made even better once you try their signature raspberry mojito!) So far, nothing on the menu has disappointed! For appetizers, I definitely recommend the Empanada, the fish tacos, and their fresh guacamole (that has made even my friends who swore they'd never like guacamole change their minds!) For an entree, the Arrachera (grilled skirt steak and onions,served over seasoned beans/rice) is a definite winner! This place is awesome for all types of meals: Great for a date because it's great food/atmosphere without being unreasonably expensive. Great for a family dinner, because Carnivale's chefs bring out unique South American flavors in the types of comfort dishes whole families would enjoy. And GREAT for a night out on the town with friends! (one small hint: Make reservations in advance, because I'm not the only one who loves Carnivale!)
Where will you sit? – I went to Carnivale based on the recommendations of our friend & the hotel concierge. I walked in and saw the ambiance and energy in the large main dining room and was really looking forward to being seated & enjoying my experience. However, I was highly disappointed when the hostess seated us upstairs in a small, dimly lit, back room, not in the main dining room. If I wanted to dine in a small, quiet restaurant, I would not have come here. The management was not polite about reseating us and gave us no option other than to leave, which we almost did. Our entrees were good, but the mood was ruined. Had I known, I would have requested to be seated in the main dining room when I made the reservation.
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