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Nov 12, 2007 04:39 AM

Review: Kaareli's , Burlington

I have two words for Kaareli's...LOVE IT!!!!

I had been there before in the summer, but mainly for half-priced appetizer night and more of a liquid lunch.......this time suggest to my mom that we should go for dinner!
Here is my review below:

I visited the other night with my mom and totally enjoyed every aspect of the restaurant. My mom is a TRUE foodie and is quick to be disappointed...but she was happy and it showed.
For dinner we had the grilled Sirloin Steak and the rum raisin Pork Tenderloin and when my steak came out medium instead of medium rare...they poured us another glass of wine and promptly fixed the problem. The red wine pepper sauce with the beef was quite tasty. We started off with the Hummus and Crab Cakes, very very nice.

Lastly, that damn Chocolate Fondue. Heaven!!!! Our waitress also offered us a new Port on the menu which was perfect.

I loved the restaurant and the fact that it only holds about 40ppl comfortably. Our wait staff was "on it" and aimed to please and were not annoying. The owner came by to see how we were and was very friendly and pleasant. We were also in good company, many great conversations were being held all around us and we actually ran into old family friends there.
It's definitely a great addition to the neighbourhood -- just a smaller, more intimate scale than all the testosterone-driven restaurants, etc in the area - with simply prepared, delicious food.

It is an interesting mix of mid-scale and cozy/down-home. It's not your everyday place -- entrees are mostly in the mid-teens to $20s, but the ingredients are pristine -- it's the kind of place that has comfort written all over it

The real home-run they have going is the service. Nice people matter. And these people were very nice. From the greeter (who accommodated us at the bar without reservations) to our attentive, friendly, very well informed server and we were made to feel very very comfortable and appreciated.

So - we will definitely back. It will be interesting to see how the restaurant grows into itself. It's a really nice addition to the downtown Burlington neighbourhood. And our server told us that they accept larger parties in the back room. (they had one going when we were there).

So all and all glad for this restaurant, the staff again very very nice, food is good, glad we found it

this is the website: http://kaarelis.wordpress.com/

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  1. Thanks for the great review -

    1504 Elgin St, Burlington, ON L7S, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: JamieK


      Hate to be a downer, but have to disagree with the OP.
      Went to Kaarelis last night with high expectations that were not met.
      The food was acceptable, but nothing special. The crab cake appetizer was really not good, terrribly mushy inside. Sent it back after one taste, and it was still on the bill at the end. Very disappointing. Which brings me to the service. Poor poor poor. Took forever to get food, in fact the couple seated next to us paid for their cocktails and left as they had not been asked to order after 30 minutes.

      Sorry to say I won't be going back.

      1. re: Cheech5001

        So sorrrrrrrrrry CHEECH to hear of your bad experience!

        I can't believe that they did not take it off your bill (re: crab cakes),
        just seems to me like your review was for a TOTALLY DIFFERENT restaurant.
        Myself, as you mentioned, the crab cakes are not my fav. either and yes mushy.

        Why did you not ask for the Manager/Owner or even call them to let them know about the matter? (I guess when one gets bad service, best NOT to do anything?)

        When I get bad food or service I SPEAK UP!
        Unless of course the server was just mean then I would call or ask to speak to someone in authority.

        And you mention 30 minutes to order, that to me, sounds fishy!!!

        The place is fairly new and not crazy buzy on weekends, but they do okay.
        And when we were there, they had 2 servers on, and the owner was there, so just don't understand your whole '30 minute' wait time.