Carmelita Vegetarian Restaurant & Bar

Written by on May 21, 2013 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Greenwood/Phinney neighborhood of Seattle, Washington


How I heard of this place: It was approximately ten years ago when my good friend and fellow Seattle gourmand first mentioned this fabulous vegetarian restaurant and bar that I simply had to try! It was the start of my culinary appreciation in my newfound home and city.

Type of cuisine: Vegetarian with many vegan options. To the extent possible, local, seasonal and organic.

The menu at Carmelita changes quite frequently. As “in season” items become available, the menu changes to reflect local ingredients for a true “farm-to-table” experience. Independent farmers and foragers are heartily supported, and every dish is made from scratch using only the freshest organic produce, grains, cheeses, herbs and spices. Our online menu is updated to include all our current offerings.”

Carmelita Restaurant

Ambiance: “Carmelita vegetarian restaurant and bar, opened its doors to the public on December 1st, 1996. Proprietors Kathryn Neumann and Michael Hughes named the restaurant after Michael’s mother Carmelita, who inspired all around her with her love of life, art, food and family. The restaurant was designed and decorated by these two former decorative painters from Chicago.

Carmelita Decor & Windows

In July of 2009, a full bar was added to round out the Carmelita dining experience. The restaurant seats 70, with 20 seats in the bar. In the warmer months, the garden patio seats an additional 24. Patio season is extended by a heated and covered seating area, with flannel blankets for extra warmth.”

Carmelita Bar

Perfect for intimate conversation in a non-pretentious setting. There is a small backroom that might be usable for a small semi-private party. Would recommend taking only up to four people at a time to maintain intimacy of the setting. Music is set to a subtle volume so as to keep from distracting conversations.

What I ordered: A couple of our friends from Northern Virginia were visiting to scope out the area for a planned move this summer, and wanted some recommendations for great food in their new neighborhood. It was a toss up between Carmelita and Stumbling Goat, but the vegetarians won! We started with a couple of appetizers to accompany our beverages.

Carmelita Root Beer

Wild mushroom – goat cheese tart ($13) with nettle pesto, miners lettuce, Banyuls vinaigrette, toasted hazelnuts began our culinary journey at Carmelita.

Carmelita Mushroom Goat Cheese Tart

It was quickly followed by the Mezze Platter ($18) with falafel, white bean spread, split pea spread, olive tapenade, htipiti, roasted garlic, house-pickled fruits & vegetables, 1 year aged Manchego cheese, housemade pita (extra pita $3).

Carmelita Mezze Platter

Carmelita Pita

For our main entrees, my husband and I planned to share the Yukon gold potato pizza ($17) made with Saxon Creamery washed rind tomme, oregano, roasted garlic cream;

Carmelita Potato Pizza

we ended up happily making it a family style dinner, where we also partook of our dining companions entrees! First, a Parisian Wild Leek Gnocchi ($17) with snap peas, asparagus, wild mushrooms, spiced almonds, mushroom “demi glace”, sea vegetables.

Carmelita Gnocchi

Followed by the Fava Bean & Fromage Blanc Agnolotti ($18), baby artichokes, abalone mushrooms, cippolini onions, meyer lemon beurre blanc.

Carmelita Agnolotti

For our dessert, the four of us shared a helping of the Sorbet Combo ($6): coconut and rhubarb,

Carmelita Sorbet

as well as the evening’s Dessert Special: ($8) Chocolate Meringues with Brown Butter Ice Cream, caramel and crisp, fresh Bosc pears.

Carmelita Macaroons

What I loved: Of everything we sampled on this evening’s culinary adventure, the Parisian Gnocchi stole the show! Everything from the nettle pesto to the creamy gnocchi, the fresh and crispy snap peas to the light and whimsical baby greens made for perfection in each bite. The Potato Pizza, while dripping with greasy goodness, contained every element necessary for a perfect slice: thin crust, soft potatoes, the flavor of roasted garlic in each bite, and cheese so abundant that it stretched from pizza dish, across the table to our plates!

Why I loved it: It’s local, it’s seasonal, it’s organic vegetarian and vegan cuisine that will leave you satisfied and never once missing the meat.

Cost: Low to average ($11-$18 per entree)

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