Today was a day of catching up with friends. This morning I had coffee with my friend Laura who is in town from Vermont (who went to lunch with her sister at Mazzaro’s after my recommendation!) Then for dinner I joined my friend Maddie at Carmel Café & Wine Bar.
The food has a Mediterranean vibe and there is a wide selection of specialty cocktails, wines, and a full liquor bar. Once ordered, the food arrives very quickly, so I’d advise pacing yourself while placing the iPad orders if you don’t want everything to arrive at once. Despite most of the work being done via iPad, the servers are still very attentive – almost too much so. It seemed that every time we took a sip of water, our waiter was there to refill our glass.
I’ve had the chickpea fries before so I knew that I’d like those. They are served with a sweet tomato jam and a curry aioli sauce which you’ll want to lick clean off the plate. Unfortunately for the Prix Fixe menu I actually got less fries than normal portion – 4 instead of 9. The Caesar was good but nothing too exciting – I probably wouldn’t have ordered it if I weren’t doing the special menu. But the Moroccan lemon chicken was excellent! It was served with pine nuts, saffron, olives, lemon, and a mix of roasted vegetables, including large stalks of broccolini. The chicken dish on its own is normally $12, so it was definitely worth it to do the Prix Fixe meal.
Carmel Café and Wine Bar has several locations. The one we visited tonight is located at 3601 W. Swann Avenue, Tampa FL 33609 and is open from 11am – 10pm Monday through Thursday, 11am – 11pm Friday & Saturday, and 11am – 9pm on Sunday.