Written by on September 17, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Greenwood/Phinney
How I heard of this place: My good friend Tahirih suggested Carmelita and I finally had the opportunity in January to pay the establishment a visit. When my friends, both vegetarians, wanted to take me out for dinner, it seemed a good opportunity to enjoy Carmelita again!
Type of cuisine: Vegetarian with many vegan options. To the extent possible, local, seasonal and organic.
Ambiance: 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: The four diners in our party were very excited to sample many items on the menu. For starters, we had one order for a bottle of very sweet Crater Lake Root Beer ($3), I opted for the Full Circle Farm beet roulade ($12): thin carpaccio-style sliced beets wrapped around a fluffy gorgonzola mousse, and decorated with baby arugula, toasted hazelnuts, and kumquat vinaigrette. Two of my dining companions ordered the watercress salad ($11 each) with slices of local peach, Quillasascut “Curado” feta cheese, toasted pecans and a lavender honey vinaigrette. Our fourth dining companion chose to stay away from the appetizers and save room for dessert! For dinner, I selected the ratatouille-gruyere-basil crepe ($17) with a roasted eggplant sauce and grilled romano beans. The dining companion to my left ordered the vegan housemade farfalle pasta ($16) with a delicata squash-Asian pear-walnut hash, drizzled with pumpkin seed oil, and topped with crispy sage. The two men at our table ordered the housemade ravioli ($18 each) stuffed with Full Circle Farm kale and ricotta, topped with sauteed kale, whole olives and puttanesca sauce. For dessert, we had two orders of French press Lighthouse Roasters coffee ($2.50 each), served rich and strong with sugar and cream. To satisfy the sweet tooth, we ordered one frangipane tart ($8) with peach slices, topped with caramelized sugar crystals, and served with a side of smoked vanilla ice cream and four dollops of caramel sauce. The two chocolate desserts on the menu were also at our table. The first, a Chocolate Muck Muck ($8) or fallen chocolate cake with raspberry compote and vanilla whipped cream. The second, a vegan Valrhona double dark chocolate cake ($8) covered in chocolate tuille and served atop a huckleberry coulis. The evening special provided us with the favorite of table (consensus): a lightly sweetened huckleberry cobbler with plenty of fruit and sweet crumbles atop.
What I loved: For some reason, my favorite thing of the entire evening was the raspberry compote next to the Muck Muck. I thoroughly enjoyed the beet and gorgonzola salad and of the entrees, my light, but filling crepe had the most flavor. The diner to my right enjoyed the farfalle pasta most of all of entrees and the Muck Muck most of all dessert options. The diner to my left most enjoyed the watercress salad on this evening. Our tastes varied, but it was unanimous that Carmelita wins again!
Why I loved it: It’s local, it’s seasonal, it’s organic vegetarian and vegan cuisine that leave you satisfied without feeling too heavy. Heard tonight, with a perplexed expression: “I think I’m full?”
Cost: mid-range $11-$18 for entrees

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