Carmen's Cafe - Brookside

Carmen's Cafe - Brookside

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.carmenscafekc.com/index.php
  • Phone: 8163334048
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Carmen's Cafe - Brookside
In the heart of the unique Brookside Shops you'll find the classic charm and warmth of Carmen's Cafe. Stop by for a drink in the cozy bar or wind your way past the open cooking area into the mirrored dining area, where the sunlight pours in through large windows at lunch and white tablecloths and candles form a softer mood for dinner. From all over Kansas City they come to break bread at this delightful neighborhood bistro.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Carmen's Cafe - Brookside reviews from OpenTable diners
51 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (37)special occasion (29)romantic (21)fit for foodies (15)notable wine list (9)good for groups (8)great for lunch (6)late-night find (4)hot spot (3)vibrant bar scene (1)kid-friendly (1)great for brunch (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Mark/
    Mdue
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Both entree's were jus OK. Not exceptional Service was fine.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best Experience Dining
    Truth
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    All the reviews Ive read do not compare to the wonderful, incredible experience we had dining for our first time at Carmen. Wonderful setting, as you enter the restaurant the aroma welcomes you like you've just come home. As we were escorted to our table, no less than four of the restaurant staff welcomed us with heartfelt smiles and a genuine happiness to see us. The room was so wonderful, music just loud enough to hear yet not challenge quiet dinner conversation. The food was beyond being good, our meals were fabulous. Can not wait to return, bring family and send friends running to Carmen's.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • too expensive for what you get
    Lisa
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    We had gone to Carmen"s years ago & it was good, but this time our house salad came out & the lettuce looked like it was sitting out for a day. Very disappointing. Hardley any veal on my Husbands dish. Too expensive for fair food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding !
    JPPinOP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Never been disappointed with Carmen's. Everything was perfect.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Stuff
    Rusty
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We enjoyed Carmen's very much. Excellent food and excellent service to Seth, our server.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    First time here and we really enjoyed our visit. The food was very good - tasted very fresh and authentic. The lobster ravioli is a must. The service was fast and friendly.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Carmen has no Karma
    Guido
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    The food is best described as mediocre. The owner should go to Italian sections of any major city , taste the family prepared foods and have the mama train their chef. The special occasion I checked would be an evening with your ex-wife.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent neighborhood find
    Jaymn
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    very unassuming exterior opened up to an "old school" Italian restaurant. Sat at the bar while our table was being prepared (we were 25 minutes early for our reservation). Enjoyed watching the chiefs as they prepared numerous dinner request in a very small open kitchen behind the bar. We were seated upstairs by the window overlooking the busy Friday bustle of the neighborhood of Brookstone. Service was prompt, courteous and attentive. menu was large and varied. I had the Paella. It was full of mussels,shrimp,chicken, beef,and squid. My wife had a pasta dish that she raved about the flavor of the sauce. Highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Great Lunch
    boboVIP
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    I have always loved Carmen's Cafe, a real neighborhood restaurant in the Brookside district of Kansas City. Their specialty is Chicken Spiedini, but this time I ordered the Eggplant Parmesan. The eggplant was tender and well cooked. The red sauce was a perfect accompaniment. I topped it off with a glass of the house chianti, which was very good. For an added treat, try to sit at the bar and watch the chefs preapre the meals. The show is really worth it!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dependably good
    DiningOut
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Good food, good service, good atmosphere, friendly staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • HungryVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    The veal marsala was yummy - I almost licked the plate. Carmen's is a fun neighborhood restaurant - freindly staff, always good to great food. My husband & I love Carmen's.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Transform Monday night dinner $9.99
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 6/16/2014
    Monday we got an email from Carmen's promoting several favorite pasta dishes for $9.99 on Mondays. Hours later we were sitting in front of one of our all-time favorites: Judy's Rigatoni. We're talking a full-size portion (plus salad) of perfectly cooked penne pasta with peas, prosciutto, mushrooms and the most amazing vodka sauce. Even the most well-mannered diner would have a hard time resisting grabbing a piece of bread to savor the left-over sauce. I think they have 9 different dishes on that special. Can you say Monday night date night next week? Yeah baby. We'll see you there!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • my new favorite restaurent!
    Damien
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    I was craving I talian for Fathers Day. Had not been here in ages. Food is amasing! Service outstanding. This will now be a regular stop.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Flawless in every way
    DiningOut
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    I could not have asked for a better dining experience. Everything was perfect. If the entree had been served any hotter, it would have been boiling. Outstanding service, outstanding food, very nice atmosphere, friendly and courteous staff. I would give it more than five stars if I could. Nice warm bread served with our drinks. Fresh salads. Try the chocolate cheesecake.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Again
    Rusty
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    My dinner date and I returned to Carmen's for dinner and where again served by Seth. The food was awesome as usual and Seth was very good again. Carmen's is not a fluke. Every time we go there dinner is excellent as is the service. I love to tell people about Carmen's and then hear their great stories about their wonderful experience later.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Great experience! Lovely food. Excellent, friendly service.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous
    StephT
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Have eaten here several times and finally tried their paella. Not only was the food fabulous, but the service we received was incredible.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dining experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Our food was very good......great presentation and great taste. Our service was poor..... I think that iced tea should be replenished without having to flag down a server and asking for it. The biggest problem of the evening was that tables were being moved all around us for a group of 12. It was extremely disruptive, we were wedged into our seats, and the noise level made it impossible to converse at our table without raising our voices. We paid our bill and went elsewhere for coffee and dessert just to get out of your restaurant. Too bad.....we had heard good things about Carmen's but will not be coming back!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious!!
    veggieinkc
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    We visited Carmen's for a special family dinner to celebrate an anniversary. The food was delicious and we received very attentive service! We are all vegetarian and each of us found many appealing options. Lovely evening and we hope to return.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 32 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 19, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 173 reviews are from the Carmen's Cafe - Brookside reviews archive.
  • great LUNCH menu!
    shel
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    they advertised a new lunch menu with items under $10.00 and there were SO MANY good choices. Very pleased. Very nice portions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mother's Day Brunch
    Ronee
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed our brunch experience on Mother's Day. I made the reservation about a week in advance with no problem getting it at the time I requested. We enjoyed the food, which was very plentiful and diverse on the buffet, we were so full from the meal we didn't even have have room for the dessert bar! The dining room was always full, and we didn't feel rushed. The staff were very courteous and very attentive to our needs, but then we are not the types that require someone at our beck and call every second. But we felt that we were "attended to" very well. We were impressed enough that we would like to go back for an evening meal, as we really liked the ambiance and would love to sample the dinner menu and wine.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experience!
    KaliV
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We took my mom here for the Mother's Day brunch. The spread was amazing! Everything you would expect (basic breakfast foods, fruits, salad) along with some things you might not always see (Carmen's signature pasta dishes, a chocolate fountain, and cake balls). I expected Mother's Day at 11am to be madness, but everything ran very smoothly! The price was also something to be happy about; the brunch buffet was $21/person, but on top of that, my mom and I had a few mimosas a piece. But thank goodness these weren't your typical $12 mimosas - with us having at least 7 drinks between us, the bill was still under $90. Keep in mind, this may have been a mother's day special, but it's worth mentioning how great everything was for a very fair price!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Reliable, simple, delicious Italian
    BrianVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    The chicken spiedinis are excellent. The stuffed artichoke appetizer is to die for. It's not my favorite red sauce in town, but it's awfully good.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great night!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Food was excellent as was the service! Always enjoy eating here!
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • YUMMY!!
    ALWAYSVIP
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    Caesar salad, Italian Butter, Pasta with Shrimp, Scallops and Seth, the HOTTEST Waiter on the planet. What a fun evening!
    Special Features:
    Late-Night Find, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    We were looking forward to a great dining experience based on recommendations from people and also online reviews but were disappointed. Our server was not very friendly, my drink was not made right, the house salad was 'soggy'.......... We will not be going back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Review of Carmen's
    nettie11
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    Although not known for it's overall "aura", the food is fabulous and the service is very good. The staff is very hospitable and accommodating. And, did I mention that the food is wonderful???!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Meal but Crowded Feel
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    This is an overall great little cafe-style restaurant in a lovely part of Kansas City, with emphasis on little. The food was exceptional, service well above par but all this greatness is packed into a very tight space, creating an edginess before seating that was a tad uncomfortable for this patron. I would certainly return but probably not on a Saturday night.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Food
    JenniferVIP
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    We have been going to the Carmen's Cafe over in Park Place and noticed it was closing or changing. We were very disappointed as this was one of our favorite restaurants. We were happy to go to the one in Brookside and it was just as good. We will be back for sure!!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This dinner was rushed
    CatbackerVIP
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    We have always gone to the other Carmen's location. We were looking forward to trying the original. Food was very good, but our service was not. Felt very rushed. Not offered appetizers, and wanted us to order dinner when we ordered drinks. We were 1/2 done with our salads when our dinner arrived. Never offered a second glass of wine, and we were done 1 hour after we sat down. Not very relaxing. We will try again, but will make sure we have a different server.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Still had to wait
    Sadsadsad
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    I had made a reservation for two online earlier on a Saturday.We arrive about 10 minutes early to find that there were at least four others parties who had made reservations still waiting to be seated. I wasn't sure how long it could take just for two people so we waited. After about 20 minutes passed our reservation time only a group of two had been seated and several people had left. We got tired of waiting so we ended up going somewhere else. I was very disappointed that even though we had a set reservation we had wait even longer.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Reservations meant nothing
    Schantz
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    We (4 of us) visited Carmen's the Feb. 15th. We had reservations a week in advance. When arriving at the restaurant, it was very crowded with a lot of people standing and waiting. I told the host we had reservations and she just said they were very crowded and everyone had reservations ,and we would have to wait. She didn't evan ask for my name to check reservations or write it down to keep a list of who was here. My response was "why bother making reservations here if it doesn't do you any good?" Doesn't one make reservations in advance of a crowded night to insure a table sometime near the reservation time? Once we did get to a table, the service was very good; however, this restaurant needs to manage their reservations better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Valentine's Day, inconsiderate
    Jerome
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We arrived 10 minutes early for our 8:30 reservation, and we couldn't get in the door since it was so crowded. We were told that they were 40 minutes behind, so they took our # and would call when our table was ready. We decided to go across the street to Blue Gratto to get some drinks in the mean time, since the bar at Carmen's was so crowded. After 45 minutes, I called to let them know that we did not want the table anymore. 20 minutes later, over an hour after our reservation, they called to let us know our table was ready, even though I had already told them to take my name off the list.Why not call or e-mail people to let them know that they are running behind? I understand you are busy but try to be a little considerate.1
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • My wife and I made a reservation
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    My wife and I made a reservation through OpenTable. When we arrived at the restaurant we were told by the hostess that they were running a little behind and we should expect to be seated in 10-15 minutes. We waited nearly 1 hour before deciding to leave after we overheard two servers talking about all the food/orders getting mixed up and going to the wrong tables. The restaurant overbooked reservations and were in way over there head.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great food, not so great service
    Wildcat1
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Went on Valentine's Day and despite a reservation were seated half an hour late. Once sat down, waited a bit before waitress came. Bread came to the table cold. Appetizer and main meals were great but waited awhile for our main entrees. Overall, at the restaurant 3 hours because of slow service. Would try agin due to food not just on Valentine's or some other special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed this time
    Jellydos
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We have dined here several times before and have have been pleased. Four of us dined recently on Valentines Day, so it was obviously one of their busier nights. Still, the quality of service and food was less than what we expected. The waitress rushed away from us almost before we could get our orders out of our mouths, although I can't say that she was rushing us to free up the table. I think she just had too many tables to cover. I ordered one of their chicken spiedini plates, supposedly their specialty. It was overcooked and the sauce was overwhelming. Another in our party ordered the Tilapia which he said was not as good as he expected. The other two persons with us had veal and eggplant parmigiana, and they were pleased.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First time at Carmen's
    goodeatsgal
    Dined on 2/12/2014
    The artichoke stuffed with seafood was outstanding. We also enjoyed the fettucine a great deal. Everyone in our group liked the entrée they ordered. We will visit Carmen's again soon
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I had the 5 oz filet salad
    HungryVIP
    Dined on 2/3/2014
    I had the 5 oz filet salad - what a deal for $10. So I have no complaints. I live in the neighborhood so eat here fairly regularly - very friendly local place.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent! Food was fabulous,
    Likegoodplaces
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    Excellent! Food was fabulous, only thing keeping it from a 5 star is I personally didn't care for 1 of the appetizers we got, just me being nit picky. Definitely will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good neighborhood place but
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    Good neighborhood place but marinara sauce used as the base for many dishes was pretty basic - sort of out of a can.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.