My dinner at Carly's Bistro -- PHX
Most of the time, I just read the reviews and posts by other people, but I wanted to say thanks for all the information people post.
Last night, a friend from Flagstaff and I needed a place to go for dinner. I live around Central and Virginia, and I went through the usual suspects. But then I remembered that a Chowhound had mentioned Carly's Bistro on 3rd Street and Roosevelt. It's so close to my house and I had never been there before. After glancing at the menu on-line, my friend and I went to Carly's. It was perfect for what we wanted.
For an appetizer, we had Feta Rosa. It's a mixture of roasted red pepper, garlic and feta dip served with grilled pita wedges. The pita was great -- really hot and fresh. The dip didn't have a strong feta taste, and it was creamy, but I loved the pitas more.
For dinner, we ordered two different paninis, the Europa and Caprese. The Europa had roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and spinach with smoked mozzarella. The artichokes added the depth of flavor to the sandwich. The Caprese isn't on their on-line menu, but I think it had basil, tomatoes, pesto, and mozzarella. It was fine, but we both agreed the Europa was better.
Also, we both had the orzo salad as our side. It was really simple: some chopped olives, olive oil and some seasoning. My friend said he liked it even more than the sandwich. I think those items are in two different categories, but I agreed I liked the orzo a lot and thought it would be easy to replicate at home.
The atmosphere at Carly's was very cool. My Flagstaff friend said he didn't feel as if he were in Phoenix. The bistro is small with lots of different art on the walls. Plus, last night, there was a jazz musician that played. The negative, that will soon change come May 1, is that people could smoke at their tables. This only happened as we were starting to leave, so it didn't mar our experience.
Overall, it wasn't a life changing meal, but I would go back because it was good food in a very cool atmosphere. In a way, Carly's Bistro made me seem very hip to my Flagstaff friend.
Thank you again, Chowhounds, for the great information you share!
Great review. You've convinced me that this place is worth a try, although I may wait until after the magic date of May 1. No disrespect to your Flagstaff friend, but what you've described sounds very much in line with the best of what Phoenix offers today, rather than an anomaly. In any case, I look forward to giving it a try.
i'm actually VERY anti-smoke, and i did not notice it when i was there. maybe i just got lucky, but it was a friday night and pretty packed. i had the italian panini (salami, mozzerella, pesto and tomatoes) with a delicious tomato soup. loved it!!!! the panini reminded me of a great one i had at postino if you've tried theirs.