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Caren's Wine Bar: Your thoughts?

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melnumnums Jun 25, 2009 06:51 PM

Hi there,
I'm thinking of meeting a few friends for dinner at Carens Wine Bar in Yorkville in a couple weeks for a pregnant friend's shower. (Chosen in part by convenience, ie. proximity to friend's work.)
Has anyone been there, and if so, can you please let me know:
Your general opinion
Any particular menu recommendations
Average pricepoint
Thanks so much! Focaccia restaurant was also recommended.

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    Snarf RE: melnumnums Jun 25, 2009 07:51 PM

    Most of the dishes are well-executed and delicious. Starters are in the 8 to 15 range, and mains start in the low teens up to the mid 20's. Individual cheeses are in the 3-5 range, and there are platters available that are mid teens to high teens.

    The onion soup is serious. Crab cakes, shrimp are well spiced. Pastas are good portions. Sandwiches are very flavourful.

    And the cheese. You don't see a selection this large in the city anywhere else in a restaurant.

    Depending on the temperature, the best option for your friend would be the back patio, as they have cushioned banks which are more comfortable than the standard chairs.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Snarf
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      millygirl RE: Snarf Jun 26, 2009 05:26 AM

      I also like the added touch of pashimina's on the backs of the seats - just in case.

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      melnumnums RE: melnumnums Jul 8, 2009 08:21 AM

      Thank you all for your replies. Went Monday evening; it was lovely, just as you said.
      Good food, great service, cosy/pretty patio. A find for sure.

      10 Replies
      1. re: melnumnums
        Googs RE: melnumnums Jul 8, 2009 08:27 AM

        The back patio is also quite lovely if you wish to avoid the constant stream of cars expelling gas.

        1. re: melnumnums
          Ediblethoughts RE: melnumnums Jul 8, 2009 09:02 AM

          Did you happen to notice if they were offering a cheese fondue? I've heard this place does that well but it isn't listed on their dinner menu. I was going to go next weekend if they have an appealing cheese fondue...

          1. re: Ediblethoughts
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            melnumnums RE: Ediblethoughts Jul 8, 2009 09:18 AM

            Unfortunately, no. It was not posted, mentioned or in the menu. We enjoyed the Meditteranean platter, plus delish add-ons, as it best accomodated our pregnant friend. As mains, the group enjoyed a pasta, the Stilton Burger, adn the mac and chesse.
            Didn't know fondue was on offer. Will call and certainly make a return trip for it. Thanks for the tip!

            1. re: melnumnums
              Ediblethoughts RE: melnumnums Jul 8, 2009 11:07 AM

              You'd think they'd make it a little more obvious that fondue is a choice!! Definitely tell me if you go and try it!

            2. re: Ediblethoughts
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              auberginegal RE: Ediblethoughts Jul 8, 2009 11:05 AM

              i've had fondue there in the past. just looked at their menus, definitely there have been a few changes (but last time I went was prob. over a year ago). found it odd that for a place named Carens Wine and Cheese Bar, there was very little by way of cheese on their menu (e.g. no separate section for cheeses)

              1. re: auberginegal
                Ediblethoughts RE: auberginegal Jul 8, 2009 11:08 AM

                I rather thought so too when looking at the online menu.

                1. re: Ediblethoughts
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                  Snarf RE: Ediblethoughts Jul 8, 2009 01:44 PM

                  I've been there recently. The online menu, surprisingly, is of the non-cheese options only, though some of the platters are listed in the catering menu. Rest assured, the cheese list is many pages long, and covers many regions, none of them Velveeta. Wine list is pretty good, too.

                  1. re: Snarf
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                    auberginegal RE: Snarf Jul 8, 2009 01:49 PM

                    do they still serve fondue?

                    1. re: auberginegal
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                      eatravel RE: auberginegal Jul 8, 2009 08:36 PM

                      I had it as recently as last year. It was $18, and I think you had a choice between a traditional or blue cheese fondue. You could add on all sorts of garnishes from the cheese plate section, including prosciutto, pears, apples, nuts, whatever. Well worth it.

                      1. re: eatravel
                        Ediblethoughts RE: eatravel Jul 9, 2009 05:39 AM

                        I assume it's an appetizer portion size? My friend and I used to always have cheese fondue as our main course.

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