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Carnivale

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frankiewickerpark Aug 24, 2007 12:17 AM

We've stopped by Carnivale a couple of times for a pre-dinner drink but went there for dinner tonight. And WOW! Note that Coco Modern, Cuatro and DeLaCosta are in our top 20 favorite restaurants - we like Latin food!

For drinks, hubby ordered a Pisco Sour. For all practical purposes, this is a brandy sour(which I only drink with Grandpa). This one was served with egg-white foam and cinnamon on top and the sip I had was great. (Don't tell Grandpa though). I ordered the house martini - tequila, pomegrante juice and mango puree in the bottom. It was fine.

For appetizers, we ordered a trio of ceviche - both being ceviche fans. We tried shrimp, scallops and ahi tuna. The shrimp was served with a salsa. The scallops were served in a delicate verde sauce with thinly sliced cucumber and the ahi tuna was served on a paper thin slice of jicama with chile and a great sauce. I thought I'd like the shrimp the best but actually the ahi tuna was devine. The presentation of the ceviche was great and the flavors of each were distinct. We also ordered a fried Manchengo cheese which I expected to be like a Latin form of Saganaki. It actually tasted like a cross between Saganaki and fried mozzerella with some sweetness. Hubby offered up the rest of his share of ceviche in trade for the 3rd piece of the fried Manchengo. They were all so good I can't decide who got the better end of that deal.

We debated entrees because we like to share and with some exceptions have similar tastes. Hubby ordered a special: shredded skirt steak on polenta made with white cheddar. I ordered their rum-glazed pork shoulder served with Puerto Rican rice and beans and plantains. We traded half-way through our meals, because we both ordered great dishes and we also thought each others dish was slightly better. The shredded skirt steak was incredibly tender. I've only eaten polenta in a handful of ways and this was a new one. The preparation of the polenta with the white cheddar was almost like mashed potatoes underneath the shredded beef. I thought it was excellent. The rum-glazed pork shoulder was also very juicy and tender. Mixing a sweet glaze with pork is usually a good idea. The rice that was served with the pork was excellent - complete with a couple of green olives. Hubby said that the dish tasted like something his Grandma used to make.

After all of that, we skipped dessert. The server we had was excellent. She was attentive, friendly and knowledgeable. The decor was typical Kleiner. I said that the chairs looked like Room 21 less the Louis Vuitton handles, hubby said they looked like Opera. But overall, it's a more boisterous restaurant than his others - like you'd expect a Latin restaurant to be.

This restaurant will make our top 4 Latin restaurants in the city. After my aforementioned 3 in that same order.

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  1. blondie60614 RE: frankiewickerpark Aug 26, 2007 12:13 PM

    I have had good meals at Carnivale- and the other restaurants owned by Jerry Kleiner (Marche, Opera, etc.)

    But unless you enjoy eating in a decorated cafeteria-wharehouse style atmosphere, I'd recommend elsewhere. It's good for tourists

    1 Reply
    1. re: blondie60614
      s
      sleopold RE: blondie60614 Aug 26, 2007 03:36 PM

      I agree with the weird atmosphere environment. I was actually seated in a little back room so it was actually cute-sy...but I do not think I would have enjoyed the experience if I would have been in the main dining area. Very good though!

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