Monday, December 26, 2011

A Little Warmth on a Rainy Day at Carthage Cafe

Since I've been back in Vancouver for winter holidays, I've been eating out a lot catching up with friends and family. One of my family friends took us to Cafe Carthage for a semi-fancy lunch on Christmas Eve.

Sitting among other boutiques and small restaurants/delis on Commercial Drive, Cafe Carthage is not exactly eye-catching and we actually took a while to find the place. The interior of the restaurant  is quite small but definitely cozy.
Upon entrance, a very friendly waiter greeted us and led us to our table. Once we ordered, the waiter brought us a basket of bread. The bread was surprisingly delicious, crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. You can get free refills and the bread goes well with soups and sauces from other dishes.

The specials for the day all sounded pretty good, so we went with almost all of the daily specials except for the soup. Starting with the salad, I really liked it, mostly because balsamic vinaigrette is one of my favourite salad dressings. The vegetables were very fresh and the amount of dressing was just right - the salad wasn't too dry or tasteless but the vegetables weren't soaked in dressing either.
Special: Hunters Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette   $10.50 + tax

Since it was somewhat of a french restaurant, I wanted to try the french onion soup, which is another one of my favourites. The soup was very thick and rich in taste and almost a little too salty for me. Overall it was good but I would recommend sharing it because of the strong flavour.
French Onion Soup   $9.00 + tax

Everyone at the table agreed that the escargot was absolutely amazing. The garlic sauce tasted great and covered any sort of weird taste that would have existed from the escargot. This dish is highly recommended! 
Escargots   $8.00 + tax

Not expecting much out of this normal dish, we found the grilled salmon to be quite a pleasant surprise.  The texture of the salmon was again, just right, as it wasn't too dry or raw. Also, the sauce was very flavourful - it went well with the bread too! 
Special: Grilled Salmon with Red Pepper Sauce   $13.95

Now, the mussels were really why we decided to visit this restaurant. We were told great things about the mussels and were determined to witness it ourselves. The mussels come in different "flavours", made with different sauces. We went with the provencale because we didn't want anything too strong. The mussels were indeed delicious - fresh and very fat and juicy. 
Provencale Mussels (Tomato Concasse & fine herbs)   $14.00 + tax 

Our last main dish was the chicken. By the time this dish came, I was already bloated from all the food (most likely all the bread).  Nonetheless, the chicken still tasted good, very tender and tasty from the stew sauce. 
Special: Tunisian Style Chicken Ragu   $12.95 + tax

Although the main courses were very delicious, I would recommend ordering a variety of dishes and sharing everything instead of ordering a main entree each. Because of the rich flavour, having one main dish all to yourself may be too filling or even boring. The staff here are extremely friendly and the vibe of the restaurant is comfortable and romantic - a good place for family dinners or a romantic date! 

Carthage Cafe
1851 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC

Price: $$

Carthage Cafe on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...