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  • Carmelita

    Posted on | January 4, 2008 | 25 Comments |

    Carmelita is my very first all-vegetarian restaurant experience. Yeah, you read that right, I went to a restaurant that does not serve any meat! It was a friend’s birthday, not the time to be picky, you know. We were all prepared to go have a nice time, and just in case the food sucked, get some take out on the way back. But we didn’t have to, the food turned out to be quite nice. 

    Carmelita menu is very innovative, with dishes made from fresh seasonal ingredients. It must be great for the vegetarians to have so many options to choose from! Normally they get one dish in a restaurant, that too if they are lucky, and here they have the whole menu! The ambience here is great, the place has a very rustic charm to it.  The staff is friendly and helpful, overall a really nice dining experience.

    We started with an amuse bouche, complements of the chef. It had roasted chanterelle mushrooms, pine nuts and squash flavored with thyme or tarragon, its been almost two month since the visit, so I am kind of guessing the ingredients. but the dish was very tasty, and set the tone for the rest of the night. 

    Then we decided to share some starters. The first choice was the Roasted cauliflower fritters with garlic aioli, roasted red peppers, walnuts, lemon zest and lemon oil. I loved the cauliflower fritters, crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside, and the taste combination with the rest of the platter was brilliant.

    Roasted cauliflower fritters with garlic aioli, roasted red peppers, walnuts, lemon zest and lemon oil

    Another starter we tried was the Savory corn panna cotta with olive oil poached chantrelles, micro greens and truffle oil. I’ve never had savory panna cotta before, so I ordered this just for the experience, and loved it! I’ve never had anything like this before, the creamy texture of the panna was very delectable, and the truffle oil added a nice touch. Savory corn panna cotta with olive oil poached chantrelles, micro greens and truffle oil

    For the main course, they have only five items in the menu. I went for the Potato-Gruyere gratin with Swiss chard, leek cream, fennel-radish salad and croutons. It was fantastic, I actually got a taste of everyone’s entrees, and I was happy that mine was the best. Potato-Gruyere gratin with Swiss chard, leek cream, fennel-radish salad and croutons

    Siv got the Moroccan chickpea crepe with roasted carrots, tomato sauce, yogurt, cilantro and fried carrot. The chickpea filling was tasty, though the crepe was a little over-crispy for my taste. Siv liked it just fine, but he was still hungry after the meal. Moroccan chickpea crepe with roasted carrots, tomato sauce, yogurt, cilantro and fried carrot

    Now that I think about it, the dishes are somewhat pricey. The starters are about $10 and the main courses are about $18 each. The portions are really small. I think everyone was a bit hungry at the end of the meal. Also, the dessert selection was not too impressive, we all ended up getting the same ice cream with figs. The birthday girl got a candle on her dessert, always a nice touch.

    But overall, I highly recommend the place. I am not saying this is going to be our regular hangout place or anything, I still love my meat and fish, but I am glad I tried something new and actually enjoyed it. This will be a perfect place to entertain vegetarian guests, since I am not very good at making vegetarian food at home.

    And now the obligatory picture of the people who made the night a success, birthday girl is the one on the far left. Its been almost two months, but Happy Birthday once again S..
    All of us

    Carmelita in Seattle

    Category: Greenwood, Seattle Restaurants, Vegetarian

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    25 Responses to “Carmelita”

    1. sra
      January 4th, 2008 @ 2:31 am

      You know, the cauliflower looks just like the cauliflower manchurian we get here in India. I thought it would look very different as I read the description and waited for the picture to load.

      You know, the texture was kind of like the cauliflower manchurian in India, we even commented about it when we had it.

    2. Padmaja
      January 4th, 2008 @ 4:51 am

      Sig!! what a lovely spread of veggie dishes!!
      Yummy!!Moroccan chickpea looks so delicious.

      Yep, I have never seen so many veggie dishes in one menu before ;)

    3. Rajitha
      January 4th, 2008 @ 5:50 am

      that dress u got from san fran looks good on you :) …and yaay! a veggie restaurant review….but again if i am coming to seattle and i will meet u …i will perster u to cook for restaurant and crap with you…but about feeling hungry…actually many of my meat eating friends are usually hungry after a veggie it is less protein intensive :(

      :) Thanks sweetie… Are you sure you want me to cook veggie dishes for you? Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you… :)

    4. Asha
      January 4th, 2008 @ 6:43 am

      You look better than the birthday girl there!:)

      My kids eat Burgers first and then sit in the car in the parking lot playing video games while Arvind and I go to Woodlands or Udupi “Vegetarian” restaurant to eat!! They declare themselves as Carnivores and never come inside any veg only restaurant!:P

      They have to eat my veggie cooking at home though, no choice. Food looks good there but when I go to western restaurants,I never order veg food. It’s a glop of mashed potatoes, boiled Carrots etc. I would rather have Salmon instead!

      Have a great weekend, see you Monday!:)

      Oh, yeah, when I said my first veggie restaurant, I didn’t think about the Indian ones… I like woodlands and udupi too. And you are right, regular restaurants, its healthier to eat the meat dishes than the so-called veggie options…

    5. shilpa
      January 4th, 2008 @ 9:27 am

      Thats a great spread Sig. When my parents were here, we wanted to take them to different restaurants, since mom does not eat chicken, we had a real hard time. The veg food was horrible everywhere :( . My hubby who does not prefer chicken, loves it in restaurants here bcos he says its 100 times better than veggie food available. Good to know there are some good veggie restaurants available(if we search for it :D ).

      Yep, I am sure there must be a nice vegetarian restaurant where you are… we have three or four good ones around here, though I have only been to one. And you are so right, the veggie food in regular restaurants suck big time.

    6. bee
      January 4th, 2008 @ 10:14 am

      wishing you and siv a wonderful 2008.

      Thanks bee, we wish you the same!

    7. Mansi
      January 4th, 2008 @ 12:45 pm

      Looks good! btw, I posted about the Teatro ZinZanni today; they have a branch in Belltown Seattle…have you been there?? you should check it out:)

      Yep, we have been to ZinZanni years ago, it was a great experience, but I thought the food was just average… But anyway, nobody goes there for the food I guess :)

    8. TBC
      January 4th, 2008 @ 1:24 pm

      The cauliflower fritters sound great and it’s nice to see a veg restaurant review here.
      BTW, nice boots and love your coat…fab color. :cool:

      :) Thanks TBC..

    9. richa
      January 4th, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

      hey, all the dishes look good, liked the cauliflower dish. red pepper w/ walnuts look fantastic, yummmm :smile:

      Yeah, I loved the red pepper, nuts combination too… And the cauliflower fritters tasted yummy on their own too… :)

    10. Shankari
      January 4th, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

      U look cute!

      :) thanks Shankari..

    11. Reena
      January 4th, 2008 @ 5:29 pm

      Sig, It is not fair to steal the limelight from the Birthday girl. Bad! very bad! :roll: :roll:

      The dress from Zara looks fab :cool:

      Dey, aakkallee… that dress looks flashier in the pics than in real life , REALLY :)

    12. Reena
      January 4th, 2008 @ 5:30 pm

      Edo, chumma kaliyakiyathanu. :razz:

    13. musy
      January 4th, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

      Perfect place! The food is looking really good! The cauliflower fritters especially are very inviting!

      I am sure you will enjoy this place musy… :)

    14. sailaja
      January 4th, 2008 @ 6:56 pm

      Wishing you and siv a healthy and fulfilling 2008.
      Thanks for dropping by, Sig.
      Mimbo theme here too…great minds think alike, eh?! :wink:

      Thanks Sailaja…. Indeed! :)

    15. Archana, mama of twins
      January 4th, 2008 @ 9:35 pm

      I have a carnivore at home so we rarely go to Carmalitas but I love it too! I agree the portions are small but I think the menu is awesome because its seasonal and I dont recall some of the dishes you mention here. Nowadays going out is such a treat that I will get flogged if I such veggie place to the Meathead. :)

      :) I get where he is coming from… :) I loved the place, but would never pick it as a first choice…

    16. Archana, mama of twins
      January 4th, 2008 @ 9:36 pm

      ps, the dress looks good too!

      :) thanks

    17. Laavanya
      January 5th, 2008 @ 1:56 pm

      An all vegetarian restaurant sounds great! Wish I had one where I live. The entrees all sound fabulous.

      There might be one, make sure you search for it…

    18. Laavanya
      January 5th, 2008 @ 1:56 pm

      I forgot to add.. I love your new look.

      :) Thanks Laavanya!

    19. Ramya
      January 5th, 2008 @ 6:53 pm

      Food looks good!!! I wish we had one such restr near my place too….

      :) As I said before, seek and ye shall find :)

    20. nandita
      January 6th, 2008 @ 5:58 am

      Good that you find a nice vegetarian restaurant in the vicinity, just in case I decide to pay you a visit some day :razz:
      Nice descriptions the fact that you are recollecting this two months post the dinner nite…love the stockings and boots :( Yes):

      :) lol, unlike Rajitha here, you don’t want to taste my vegetarian cooking, huh? Better be safe, they say?

    21. Rajitha
      January 6th, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

      well ;) ..i thought i would come in and butt in when you are cooking and drive you insane :mrgreen: and then cry when you yell at me..and you would perhaps buy me a gift to pacify me :oops: farfetched i know :nerd:

      lol… a gift, yeah right… you will get a time-out for sure… :D

    22. mallugirl
      January 7th, 2008 @ 9:07 am

      u guessed it right..
      anyway, happy new year..enjoyingur restaurant reviews till i go to seattle!

      :) I cheated bigtime… :oops:

    23. Shantanu
      January 8th, 2008 @ 8:19 am

      The food certainly looks very good! I haven’t ever visited a vegetarian restaurant that wasn’t India. Certainly haven’t seen any yet in the USA…

      We have three good ones that I know of, but I am not surprized that you haven’t visited any, it is never the first choice for meat lovers like us :)