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“Amazing food & wine, and atmosphere”

Carmel Cafe and Wine Bar
Ranked #177 of 2,416 Restaurants in Tampa
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Tampa, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Amazing food & wine, and atmosphere”
Reviewed 13 March 2012

Very good food, the flatbread as an appetizer, and the short ribs are to die for. The ordering by iPad is very different and helpful, plus you still get the personal touch. Our waitress was very helpful and everyone there was very nice. I would definitely recommend this as a "must try" destination. You won't be disappointed.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Diesel222_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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221 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Tampa, Florida, United States
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Wonderful find in Tampa!!!”
Reviewed 5 March 2012

I was lucky enough to discover Carmel Cafe with a good friend last night. We had the most wonderful food and wine sitting on the restaurant's red couch. We had such a good time that we went back tonight. She brought her mom and I brought my food discerning hubby. Tonight was dinner for two for $25. We enjoyed appetizers, salads, two entrees and the most wonderful desserts. The sizes and prices are just right. The flavors are phenominal. And my wonderful husband thought is was great...which says allot.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Delicious Wine and Yummy Tapas”
Reviewed 4 March 2012

I visited the Carmel Cafe with a team from work on a Friday night and was pleasantly surprised to find this delightful restaurant in the middle of a shopping center...who knew?!? The place was extremely busy and we had a looooong time to a wait for a table that would hold a large group. However, the great wine recommendation from the bartender helped the time pass by. Once seated, we ordered nearly every tapa dish on the menu and they were ALL delicious! The ability to order from the Ipad was pretty cool and the live music was a nice touch. I will definitely return to Carmel Café & Wine Bar.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank Tampadiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Timbuktu, Mali
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 226 helpful votes
“Huh, Something Hip in Carrollwood??”
Reviewed 1 March 2012

We have visited Carmel Cafe several times since it opened. The food, service and ambiance are top notch.

We have dined at the bar and in the restaurant. Dining at the bar was fun - both of the bartenders on staff (two strapping young lads) were extremely helpful, funny and attentive. The main dining room can be a bit loud but that is better than sterile and silent...

Regardless of where you dine, you will receive an iPad that you may use for ordering. Of course, you do not have to use the iPad - a waiter will still check on you from time to time - but the use of the iPad really streamlines the dining experience in my opinion and I would love for other restaurants to adopt this concept!

Here is how the iPad ordering works - the hostess will seat you and hand you your table's iPad. A waiter will probably check on you immediately to see if you need anything, and from him/her you can order your drinks if you already know what you want. But I suggest you try the iPad out to see just how fast the drinks/appetizers come out. Beware - after you have placed your order, the items come out very quickly so if you do not want your appetizer coming out with your entree, place two separate orders, about 15 minutes apart. The iPad menu is broken up just as a standard menu would be. Add things to your "cart" as you select them, enter any special notes ("rare," "extra chips please," etc.) then press "order." Voila, your order has been placed and now you can relax and wait for the food/drinks to arrive!

We love the iPad concept as we are able to eat at our own pace. If we want to linger over the appetizers and drinks a bit, that's fine, because we haven't placed our main food order just yet. Additionally, as you add things to your cart, you can see the total $, so there aren't any surprises once the bill comes. I also think this concept frees up the wait staff to focus on things they should be focusing on - delivering food and seeing if everything's alright. There is simply little waiting for anything at this place, which is something I love.

And a side note - if you exit the Carmel Cafe app, the iPad also has browsing and gaming capability so you can entertain yourself if you are on a boring date...

As for food and drink quality, they have something for everyone. First off, they offer free house water - plain or bubbly. I LOVE bubbly water and my husband does not - therefore they bring two large bottles to the table and that means not waiting for a waiter to refill your glass! Genius. Wines may be ordered in the 4, 6 and 8 oz size, perfect if you just want a taste of a few different types or a full glass of a favorite. They have a good selection of beers as well (some IPAs).

For the food, we have tried the edamame hummus, babaganoush, chick pea fries, salmon, large roasted veggie plate and nicoise salad. The nicoise salad is highly recommended as it comes with just the right amount of everything. I also love the roasted veggie plate - cauliflower, zucchini, squash, fennel and many other veggies surrounding a nice, big scoop of mashed potatoes in the middle. A vegetarian's dream! The only thing that has ever fallen short for me were the chick pea fries. They were....strange.

The interior of this place is way more hip than we are used to in Carrollwood. I don't think you necessarily have to get gussied up, but jeans and a nice top will suffice.

Overall I cannot say enough good things - from the service to the food to the ambiance, we love the Carmel Cafe and are grateful that it has landed in our town!

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Hosalito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A fun evening!”
Reviewed 21 February 2012

We really enjoyed our first visit and can't wait to return. Seeing the pictures on the iPad really helped you to know what you are getting. Agree with the other posts that advise to order each item as you are going to want it, not all at once. The food comes out very quickly! A great atmosphere too.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mcpaulbeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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