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  • Carmen's Cafe - Brookside

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Carmen's Cafe - Brookside

Carmen's Cafe - Brookside Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.carmenscafekc.com/index.php
  • Phone: (816) 333-4048
  • 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.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "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???!!!"
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "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!!"
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "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"
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "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"
    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."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/3/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Good neighborhood place but marinara sauce used as the base for many dishes was pretty basic - sort of out of a can."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "We have eaten at Carmen's for years, and almost always had a good experience. We made an early (6:45) reservation. We were on time. The hostess told us the downstairs was full so we reluctantly agreed to an upstairs table. We were shown to the worst table in the restaurant, next to and looking straight into the back of the bar/food prep area. We asked to move to one of the three better tables near us, but were told they were being saved "for a large party." Twenty minutes later, the staff spent 10 minutes noisily moving tables and chairs around --lots of floor scraping right next to us -- to seat the party of 14. We ate quickly and left. Not a fun night."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "We live in the northland, so making the 30-40 minute trip to Brookside is not convenient. However, we found this restaurant years ago and make sure that, at minimum, we make the trip every year to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary. The Seafood stuffed artichoke is our staple appetizer. My wife loves the chicken spiedini, and I have 5-6 dishes I will eat depending on my appetite. The only constructive comment would be the congestion at the door when trying to get in, as there is no area to stand while waiting to be seated. Still, it is not an issue and we will not stop eating there because of it. If only we lived closer..."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Small and no waiting area for table, so crowded! But worth the wait! Excellent food and service."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Ambiance was nice, service was good but food was so so. We had the meatball appetizer and the artichoke with crab. Both were fair. The chicken spiedini was very good but the beef spiedini was just fair."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "We have visited Carmen's for many New Years Eve's. It's always a great neighborhood spot to go to. The food is pretty consistent. I enjoyed the Tortellini and elected for the Vodka Sauce...I cleaned up and enjoyed the remainder of the sauce with some bread! We also enjoyed some calamari too!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Food tasted great and arrived at the table nice and hot (temp). Timing was off because the app arrived at the same time as the salads and that make us feel rushed."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Excellent service and food. We had a great family dinner with our kids in town for the holidays."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "Carmen's is one of the hidden secrets in Kansas City. Their food is exceptional, the service is always great, and the cost is affordable. I love to take visitors to Carmen's, as well as go there for special occasions. My daughter-in-law wanted Italian food for her birthday and we selected Carmen's...we will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "This is a great neighborhood spot that I like to bring out of town guests. The food and service are always good. The restaurant tends to be on the quiet side so it's good for conversation. Pasta very good. Service excellent! We will be back."
    Dined on 12/2/2013
  • "Great neighborhood Italian place. The wine special (half off bottles) was a nice treat, and our meals were fantastic. We were able to get a last minute reservation, and the staff was quite hospitable."
    Dined on 12/8/2013
  • "It's great for couples or families. Great wine list and menu!"
    Dined on 7/13/2013
  • "Quiet atmosphere. Entered through the bar which seemed a bit odd. Greeted promptly, server knew the menu, which is exceptionally huge. Adequate wine selection. Dinner arrived but the presentation was sloppy. Ordered a simple capellini , but had no flavor, swimming in its canned tomatoes and dried herbs, no fresh Parmesan. Maybe I was expecting too much but had heard that Carmen's represented traditional italian fare. If so it was rather bland."
    Dined on 12/2/2013
  • "I basically go to Carmen's for the chicken spiedini carmela. I don't have much experience with other menu items, but I've heard they are typically mediocre. If you go, get the spiedini!"
    Dined on 11/29/2013
  • "It was a crowded weekend but with reservations we were seated immediately. A packed house, very loud but good natured crowd. The service was a bit rushed but friendly and efficient . Good wine selection reasonably priced. Excellent menu with something for everyone that loves Italian food. The food was excellent."
    Dined on 11/29/2013
  • "This was my first visit. I really enjoyed the food and atmosphere. The menu was full of Italian classics and twists on Italian classics. Three of us ordered three different dishes and all were extremely pleased. I will definitely return."
    Dined on 11/18/2013
  • "It had been years since I ate at Carmen's and I now found that it is no better than it ever was in the past."
    Dined on 11/15/2013
  • "have eaten there in the past and always thought it was one of the better Italian restaurants in the city. However, our meal was not exceptional in anyway. Still would probably go back"
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "Food was ok, not as good as it use to be. Salad was dry, and this use to be my favorite salad in town! Plus it had a lot of the worst part of the lettuce in it. My artichoke, which also use to be great, was also dry and a little tough. Our server was a bit distracted and when she brought our food, didn't bring one person's side pasta and when asked about it again, she kept saying it was being prepared. She finally brought it when the person was almost finished with his meal. The Paella was soupy and not that special. Made reservations the night before on Open Table and when we got there they said, I don't see any reservation. Luckily I could see our name and pointed it out! Didn't seem like he was was interested in seating us not friendly."
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "Hit em for our date nite last week, great cocktails in bar, scallop app rocked and our dinners were just great! Wine list very diverse"
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "I ordered the gnocchi with mushrooms and peas and my friend ordered the scampi. The scampi was great as was the gnocchi, although it seemed like the portion was less than the last time I was there."
    Dined on 10/29/2013
  • "Carmen's Cafe in Kansas City is a gem of the Brookside district. It has an energetic Italian menu, coupled with some Mexican tapas. I like to sit at the bar and have a ringside seat for the cooking performance. At the small barside kitchen, you can see the coreography of cooks who love their jobs. I had eggplant parmesan. The eggplant was fresh, crisp and flavorful, with excellent marinara sauce. A side of al dente pasta with sauce completes the entree. A terrific, cold Italian salad with vinaigrette dressigs starts the meal. Add a glass of Chianti, and the show is complete."
    Dined on 10/24/2013
  • "We ate late so we're seated right away. Each of the staff as we made our way through the bar to the dining area was very courteous and friendly as we were led to our table. Our server was excellent and helpful all through our meal. We continue to enjoy Carmen's each time we go!"
    Dined on 10/26/2013
  • "We were very satisfied with out seating. Great food, excellent service. It was a great choice of restaurants to take our boss who is retiring. Thank you for a great dining experience. Also Open Table is an awesome app."
    Dined on 10/23/2013
  • "Food was a 3 because my chicken spiedini was not as fabulous as I have had before, the light breading was soggy but the flavor was good. The bread and salad were great. The raviolis were good. We will go back."
    Dined on 10/22/2013
  • "We used open table to make a reservation at the last minute and were quickly seated when we arrived. The service was prompt and the food was delicious! We will definitely go back."
    Dined on 10/12/2013