This bistro is my idea of heaven & just the type of place I want!
I booked months ago whilst organising a birthday treat for my friend. His favourite radio show on at our local theatre, a night in his favourite hotel, cocktails at one of his favourite pubs etc. but I wasn't sure where to eat so I asked a friend who is local to Llandudno & she recommended The Carmel. I jumped on TripAdvisor, checked the reviews, phoned them up & booked months in advance.
We arrived on Friday night with some of the worst rain Llandudno has seen in months with flood warnings abound. Rang the bell to the Bistro and was let in within a minute or so to one of the most charming areas I have seen, obviously a lot of effort goes into making the place look comfortable & it's absolutely spotless. We were greeted by Neil who, using our first names, made us feel right at home, he showed us to our table (by the window) and even though, at the time we were the only ones in there, it wasn't awkward or filled with uncomfortable silence like some places can be when they're quite.
The menu is small but with a good choice (we had discussed our finicky dietary requirements over the telephone prior to our visit), all home-made (NO READY MADE, PRE COOKED SOLE, as one reviewed mentioned) and a good (ever changing would be my guess) choice of wine to accompany the meal.
I ordered a starter of Welsh Cheeses on Toasted Ciabatta with chef's own spicy tomato sauce, my friend ordered a Screamed Leek Tart (cooked like lobsters apparently, sorry Neil!) with poached egg & Cracked Black Pepper. (See Pictures) Both were served promptly and professionally & both were delicious with perfect seasoning.
For our main I ordered the Lemon Dusted Sole with the Twice-Cooked Chips (If they were frozen I want to know the supplier as I've never found frozen chips as decent as these before). My friend ordered the Salmon in the Cheese Sauce with New Potatoes & even though I don't like salmon I can honestly say it was very tasty & the sauce was great for dipping the chips in! Portion sizes were perfect & left us very full.
The Bistro was now filling up & as Neil & Gill seem to run the place on their own, Neil seemed to be everywhere at once & the standard of service didn't drop for an instant. Attentive, chatty & friendly without being intrusive, Neil in my opinion has the rare quality of being a perfect host. He should open a training school so some other restaurants can learn how it's done!!
The Carmel Bistro has it right in all aspects. Quality food with not a hint of pretentiousness, comfortable, easy setting, small enough to give every customer the attention that anyone deserves when dining out and a committed caring owner that seems to be having as good a time as you are.
I wish we could have stayed longer but the theatre beckoned so we had to eat & run but to be honest I could have happily ordered coffee & brandy's & sat there all evening enjoying the atmosphere.
Thank you for being part of a lovely evening.
2 x starters, 2 x main, 1 x bottle of dry white wine = £45.50 - Very reasonable, we'll be back as soon as we can!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC