Carmel Cafe and Wine Bar

Carmel Cafe and Wine Bar served us one of the best meals we’ve had so far in Florida. And with all the good food we’ve been finding, that’s saying something.

The atmosphere is modern and relaxed, with colorful abstract art on the walls. Ordering can be done with your server, or you can use the provided iPad. The iPad system is very well designed, with bright pictures that do, indeed, look like the meal you are served. Each item includes a helpful wine pairing tab.

Spinach Gnocchi

Our appetizer was Chickpea Fries, served with two sauces: a savory tomato jam and a tangy curry aoli.  The fries were a little plain on their own, but they are meant to deliver these fantastic sauces. I honestly couldn’t decide which I liked better. I could have made a meal of this alone.

My entree was the Ravioli Verde. The vegetables were a perfectly-prepared textual foil for the creamy pasta and deeply flavorful buerre blanc. He had the Spinach Gnocchi, and though the sauces were similar, there were subtle differences. I honestly couldn’t tell you which dish I liked better. His gnocchi had a not-too-soft bite and rich flavor. The only missed note was the caramelized brussels sprouts we ordered to share. They weren’t actually caramelized, as far as I could tell, but rather very heavily smoked. The smoke flavor overwhelmed the poor sprouts, and the bacon were just tasteless, tough bits.

Dessert Trio

Dessert Trio

We also went for dessert. I had the cannoli, and the seasonal filling was Nutella-based. I’d never had Nutella, and I’m a new fan! Bill had the dessert trio (pictured). The truffles were mocha and almond-coffee, and in the middle was amaretto cherries and cherry custard. He was in heaven.

The sprouts won’t keep us away from this wonderful place. It’s too spendy to visit all the time, but we’ll be there as often as we can manage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *