I met Nyla at my sister's place on Christmas Day five years ago, and we clicked right away. She's smart and fun and we always have long interesting conversations.
We celebrated the anniversary of our friendship last month by going out for dinner at a Spanish restaurant called Carmen, located at 922 Queen Street West (on the north side, west of Trinity Bellwoods park and east of Shaw Street.)
I've been wanting to try this place since happening upon their Yelp page, with their excellent rating of 4 stars and scrumptious sounding descriptions of the food. Anticipating that such a highly regarded place would be busy on the Thursday evening we planned to go, I booked a table in advance. It was good that I did because the place was hopping when we arrived. We were glad to see that we'd been given a very nice spot in the corner, with two small tables pushed together, so we had room to spread out a bit.
As you can see by the dark photos, the dining room had an intimate atmosphere lit with candles and a few crystal chandeliers.
We ordered a cocktail and began looking at the menu. I can't remember what the drinks were called but Nyla's was a citrus-y blend with rum, I think, and mine had the flavour of cinnamon and bourbon. They were both really good.
To eat we selected an assortment of vegetarian dishes from the wide range of tapas choices ...
↑ Breaded green tomatoes, feta, roasted red peppers, and corn chutney ↑
↑ Roasted potatoes, brava sauce, and aioli ↑
↑ Fried artichokes, Maldon salt, aioli, and lemon ↑
↑ Forno Cultura bread, fresh tomato spread, and Manchego cheese ↑
To finish, Nyla had some Tres Leches Cake with Bananas and I had a cup of coffee.
Everything was very delicious.
↑ The bar area at the front of the restaurant ↑
The whole experience at Carmen was excellent, from the warm and friendly service, to the creative and tasty food and drinks, the lovely interior with the art covered walls, and ending with the charming smile offered by the chef when he noticed my camera pointed in his direction.
While walking away along Queen Street West, we both agreed that it was a new favourite place. It was such a fun and relaxing atmosphere and I'm looking forward to a return visit.
Thanks very much for taking a look.
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