St. Paul >Food & Dining > Carmelo's Ristorante
238 Snelling Ave S, St Paul, MN | Directions 5510544.934467 -93.166883
Neighborhoods: Macalester - Groveland
Avoid the owner's wife when she is the Hostess – I called the restaurant at 5:30 pm the same night for a 7:00 pm reserveration. We arrives 5 minutes before 7:00 and there was a line of people waiting. The place is very small, we found a place near the hostess booth in small hall way. We checked in with the owner/Hostess, she was very unfriendly, not even smiling when she greeted us. As we were waiting, I noticed that they had their seating policy listed, it said that people with reservations would be seated before call aheads(reservations made after 5pm on the same night) and then call aheads are seated before people on the walk in waiting list. The table turn over that night slow, we could see on the reservation we were 7:00 Reservation 1 and then there was a 7:00 Reservation 2 but there was still list of people who were listed as walk ins. 25 mins later a couple of tables opened up, instead of us being seated, she sat a couple on the waiting list. We asked why they had been seated befor us, she said that they had been waiting 45 mins, I pointed out their seating policy she said basically said she could do want ever she wanted because she is the Owner. Then through out dinner she would not acknowledge us. We will never go back and never recommend the restaurant to any of our friends. A person like that should not be a Hostess!!!!
Relaxed Italian eatery on Snelling caters to groups of friends and families. – In Short
A nondescript facade kitty-corner from the time-honored St. Clair Broiler opens into a modest, painted-paneling dining room. The absence of any know-it-all-ness and of decor with a big D makes Carmelos comfortable. Pastas anchor the menu--robust tomato and cream sauces and Parmesan-flecked pestos--chicken and seafood options are also contenders. Servers without attitudes gladly help navigate an ample wine list and advise ahead of time if the dessert tray is particularly tempting.
The Best – We dine at Carmelo's rarely, NOT because of any dissatisfaction on our part, but because we think so highly of this place that we save it for rare, special occasions. Each time we have been there, we have been served food that is delectable to say the least, with service that is attentive and very well performed. The atmosphere there is quiet and intimate, and the wine selection has never failed. They have impressed us each and every time we have been there, so much so that we truly think of them as in a class by themselves. No one else in this area does it quite as well as they do.
You feel like family. – I was recommended to this place by a friend of mine. She went on and on about how she feels like family. She was right. Everything from the food to the service was comforting. Try the artichoke dip. The stuffed steaks are the best. I love how the menu suggests certain wines to pair with your entree. This place is great. I can't wait to go back.
Carmelo's is a Cozy Little Spot. – The restaurant is small, cozy and romantic. There are friendly waitstaff, who are conscientous about checking with patrons without being overbearing about it. We started with crab stuffed mushrooms and sweet potato soup. Both were delicious. The soup was tangy and "herbal". Next on the menu, the Pesto pasta. It is so flavorful with plenty of pine nuts and fresh basil. I added chicken for a nominal cost. We had the suggested wine of the evening and weren't disappointed. The feta cheese stuffed ravioli was superior. For dessert, we had the chocolate cherry cheesecake, that was offered special for Valentine's day. Very rich and delicious, the flourless chocolate espresso torte is sinfully decadent. One thing of note, the restrooms are not handicapped accessible as far as I could tell. This is fairly unusual for a restaurant these days. On the whole I would give Carmelo's 2 thumbs up.
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