Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Carmelita @ Seattle

It was my Birthday ( Yeah, Happy B'day to me) and A took me to Carmelita for dinner. This is a lovely vegetarian restaurant in Greenwood, Seattle. It is one of those restaurants where the chefs can never go wrong in their preparation.The food is a fusion of everything on Earth and has a very distinct flavor that is tough to imitate.
Carmelita looks like a house that's apparently converted into a restaurant. Parking can be a little tricky, given that there are a lot of other restaurants nearby and Carmelita is packed even on weekdays!
They have a happy hour from 5 to 7pm at the bar. The bar menu is only $5.00 during HH. My recommendation is to get there just before the HH ends and order food from the bar menu and then move to a table for the main course.
I asked the bartender to make me a mocktail, and she made one with kumquat, lemon juice, pineapple juice et al.

We got the Spaghetti squash bonbons with red pepper rouille and fried Marcona almonds

It is a type of squash that's basically breaded and fried. The curry had a very asian flavor, like, Indian-Malaysian fusion or something. The toasted almonds were slightly salty and very crunchy. The portion was so small; we nibbled it off in two bites and were left craving for more.

Next, we ordered the Mini Pizza - Roasted sunchoke & white truffle puree, Hen of the Woods mushrooms, toasted pecans, roasted garlic, watercress salad, sunchoke chips.

The Pizza was fantastic. It was very thin crusted and crisp, and, at the same time the white truffle puree gave it a slightly soft texture. The roasted garlic, toasted pecans and the crispy sunchoke chips, made it one of a kind. Something I haven't had before. It was quite filling and a real bargain for $5.00.

It happened to be a bright and sunny day and they had their patio open.We moved to the patio for the main course.

It was getting slightly chilly and the waitress even brought out a blanket for me. We ordered the Sweet potato gnocchi, garlicky broccolini, Madeira-Shallot-Maple syrup sauce, crispy yams.

This was totally awesome. I can't find words to describe the actual flavor and taste. I highly recommend this entree. I have had Gnocchi before, but the sweet potato Gnocchi is a beautiful creation. The fusion adopted here is really brilliant. The creaminess of the Italian Gnocchi is replaced with Asian flavors. The crispy yams and the garlicky broccoli are wonderful sides to this dish. Oh god! I want some. Now!

And then, we ended the sublime dinner with the dessert of the day - Rose water crème brûlée with candied rose petals! It was like heaven on earth, in a cup :). It arrived at my table with a candle, to remind me am an year older.

It consisted of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. The custard was rose water flavored. The pink pieces in the picture above are the candies rose petals. Another wonderful innovation. Once I dug into the hard caramel, this is how it looked inside-

The service was a little slow and the restaurant was kind of packed. But the food compensated for all the other teeny tiny complaints. They have a really unique menu. Will definitely be back some day to try something different.


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