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“Decent meal”

Carmen Restaurant Cartagena
Ranked #8 of 666 Restaurants in Cartagena
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$25 - US$50
Cuisines: Caribbean, Latin, Seafood, South American, Colombian, International, Contemporary, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Drinks, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Carmen is an exclusive dining experience in Cartagena, Colombia. Inside the walls of this unique space you will find a warm, calm and friendly atmosphere which provides an elegant and modern ambiance and contemporary cuisine with international influences and fresh, Colombian ingredients. The kitchen is the heart and soul of Carmen, enchanting diners with creative dishes from asian-inspired fair to dishes with local influences, always employing some french technique and California's philosophy of seasonality, locality and freshness first. Carmen's menu is based on quality and diversity and has a special focus on seafood. Carmen was founded by a Colombian-American family looking to offer a different dining experience in Colombia. The menu is written in English and Spanish. Carmen is a "can't-miss" stop when coming to Cartagena, Colombia!!
Oakville, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Decent meal”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2013

Visited Cartagena for one week at end of October while on a holiday.

Do NOT consider my husband and I demanding, or super fussy food eaters. We dine out often and have been fortunate enough to experience restaurants in many different countries so do have ample experience to give an opinion.

This restaurant ,( by Cartagena standards) is good...The ambiance in the restaurant was okay..not quite what we like or want, but was acceptable..long and narrow space with so-so lighting.. appeared to have kind of an open kitchen towards the back of the restaurant...Has
kind of a contemporary decorating theme..nice, but does have kind of a simple feel.

The garden area looked very nice..quite lush with pretty lighting and a romantic look.
Do keep in mind the very hot and humid climate (and bugs) you are dealing with...this sometimes makes dining outside a bit of a challenge if you are not used to it.

The service was satisfactory although there was a definite language barrier. Menu is available in English so this was helpful.

Food was tasty..presentation was excellent...

Our overall general experience with main food dishes in Cartagena was pretty well the same at every restaurant we visited.....tasty ,acceptable presentation, but quite dry. Service was always good.

Wine is costly and quite often the bottle of choice is not available. Carmen restaurant has their own house wine which is actually quite pleasant.

Anyhow, have decided to give this establishment 4 stars.. cannot give it 5 stars as feel there are certain things lacking for the highest category.... worth giving it a visit though so please enjoy !

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank wendy f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Quebec City, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent and quiet”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 November 2013

Service and food were excellent. If you want to chat or have a romantic dinner this would be the place. No loud music and not that many seats.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MusicAndCode
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Katy, Texas
Level Contributor
40 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Worthy of it's #1 Spot”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2013 via mobile

Dishes are outstanding. Open kitchen allows viewing of true professionals at work. Prices are normal for this level. Explanations (in Spanish) accompany the presentation.
They obliged my request for a decanter when the chosen Chilean wine needed some help opening.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san juan capistrano
Level Contributor
239 reviews
154 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2013 via mobile

My wife and I were recently in Cartagena for a few days while visiting Colombia. After a terrible meal at a popular Bogotá restaurant which left us with gastro intestinal issues, we were hoping to have better luck in Cartagena. Based upon the reviews we read on TA, we were interested in trying this restaurant. Since our favorite restaurant in Cartagena, (Don Juan), was closed on Sunday the day of our arrival, we decided to try Carmen. We ordered the tempura pear salad and tiradito. Tempura was not soggy and was very good. The tiradito was superbe,(actually the best dish we tried), very light and flavorful. Smokey presentation was nice, but did not add too much to the flavor. Main dishes of confit of duck and the 12 hour pork were great. The sauce on the duck was a little heavy and cloying, but overall was nice. Cocktails included the lulo mojito and a caíparinha were very good. Too full for dessert. We ate inside due to the hot humid night. Was peaceful and the meal was served excellently by our waitress, Rosa. Price was OK ($125), and in light of the quality of the food it seemed worth it.
The meal and service was so good we decided to return the next night to try other dishes...foie gras was very different, soupy and difficult to eat, but very tasty. Again cocktails were the same. The pork and Black fish were ordered. The fish was nice, but not great. Taste was so-so, but appeared interesting. The dessert was the five home made ice creams. Suggest trying something else. Same server and table, but the result was less thrilling. Sat next to a large table of noisy Americans who incessantly talked loudly throughout the meal. Oh well, it was still a great experience. It was better to sit inside with air conditioning and better lighting. Will go here again when back in Cartagena.

Visited October 2013
Thank drishi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles USA
Level Contributor
57 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Romantic delight”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2013

Excellent food. Two seating areas, one inside with air conditioning (reservations required), the other on the patio al fresco. Gratefully there are fans. Ambiance and service are wonderful. Food is delicious. Worth every peso and more.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank trula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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