Carmine's Creole Cafe, Narberth, At Last...
Fully met all high expectations. I was the only person at our table who selected the $30 chef's table menu tonight, and it was an unbelievable value. Of the four courses, in a way the creole crab bisque was the standout--perfection in creoly crabby taste,deep rich flavor, but not with cream, topped with three huge lumps of lump crab. Fish course: chilean seabass topped with lump crabmeat and spicy (but not really )praline sauce, served over mashed sweet potatoes would not have been something I would have ordered, but I enjoyed the melange to a surprising degree. Meat course of tenderloin topped with fried oysters and bordelaise sauce, served with truffle fries--well I sure would have ordered that. Oysters perfection, tenderloin is tenderloin, sauce spot on, and truffle fries unbelievably good. Triple chocolate cake was for the secret chocoholic in all of us. My husband and I shared half, and took the rest of the ample portion home.
Service perfection. I asked for a lot of explanation, and pointing out of what was very spicy, and I was fully accommodated.
My table mates raved about their salads' unusual dressing; their crabmeat cake entree ($23?) and well worth it, broiled spinch was sublime, a scallop appetizer just right for my hubby's smaller appetite, and anauthentic chicken and andouille sausage dish that was spicy indeed.
Catch them in Narberth while you can: just next week. They are moving to Bryn Mawy after the holidays. The weekend chef's table is $40, and the extra course is a duck salad with spiced pecans poached pears and citrus walnut oil vinaigrette. Worth it, but the $30 dinner had more than enough food for my huge appetite.
Worth a trip! Parking a little tight on the street, but we each found a space nearby.
We began at 5:30 and found it fairly quiet until 8ish, when it was packed. Atmospere was lovely, and e enjoyed trading stories and funny stories, laughing gaily along he way.
The food had taste throughout, and I didn't run into anything spicier than I could handle. Much as I adored the chef;s table, the regular menu had much to intrigue and tempt me. I'd love to come back next week before they close; The desserts were one rich tempting one after enother. Tough choices.
Thanks for the great description.
We were there once and enjoyed the food, but the noise level - one of the worst ever - made it impossible to talk to our friends. We were lucky to be able to shout to the person right next to us. Here's hoping that the new location will have acoustics that we can live (or dine) with.