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Out of all the visits to this establishment this was by far the most unpleasant visit. The server suggested, at the time of presenting the check, that he could add 20% gratuity, while it was highlighted on the slip. When I advised that I will figure out by myself, I was met with a disappointing look but no comment. I proceeded with placing a cash tip of my own choosing. The server then collected the check as soon as I placed it down, where I find it tacky to begin with and have not come across such behavior. Upon checking of the content of the check, the waiter collected the cash in hi pocket and returned to the table. He then explained that he wanted to get the 20% tip as he has to pay it out to others and he's not making any money. I politely explained that I was taught the tip is earned and I thanked him for his service. I had to repeat myself 3 times before the server walked away. This exchange brought a sour note to our evening as we entertained guests from another country and they were surprised as I was.
The place has an atmosphere like very few spots in Chicago. The live shows really make it fun. Drinks are also pretty great. Food is good but nothing special.
Server was great. Ambience is nice, great for dates. Wish they would have sat us in the main room rather than a secluded little room on the side. Either way we still enjoyed our dinner.
Service and dining experience were nice. Food was below sub-par but very pricey. Wouldn’t recommend or return. The server can be amazing and the setting be just as great, but if the food doesn’t match it negates both.
Fun, lively, colorful atmosphere. Waiter was wonderful, very attentive and helpful (especially explaining all the ingredients for the entrees I was unfamiliar with.) We split a couple dinners and appetizers so we could try a variety which was a great way to go. Guac and chips, shrimp ceviche, octopus, empenadas, and lamb chops were all delicious.
Wonderful experience as always!
The food was good but nothing special. We ordered the yellowtail appetizer which was good but very salty. The portion sizes were really good for the price. I ordered an espresso martini and when asked how it was I told the waiter it was too strong for my liking and his response was “oh, okay” and then he walked away. I would have appreciated it if he asked me if I’d like something different instead of ignoring the issue.
Excellent service, excellent food, fantastic atmosphere!
Excellent! I dined with a friend from out of town and she loved it!
What a creative restaurant. The menu was wonderful. It was exciting to try so many dishes. We really enjoyed the cotton candy martinis. The margarita was incredible too. Our waiter was kind and courteous and so very attentive the entire dining experience was just perfect.
Love it ! Very polite and always asking what we needed and we even got free dessert
The restaurant is so beautiful, so much to look at! Inviting, would definitely go again.
I was at a NYE wedding reception last night and as a performer, I usually don't eat or ask to eat my clients food. The food smelled so good that I couldn't wait to come back. I was able to get a reservation on New Year's Day at 5:30pm and couldn't stop counting the minutes till our reservation. My family and I arrived and it was quite a visual experience the moment we walked with the cool decor and oversized mirrors and ceilings fixtures. Who ever decorated this place needs to win an award! Anyway, back to the story. We were greeted by Luis, our server, and he was super nice and knowledgeable about the food and guided us to our vegetarian options. My wife and I ordered the Empanadas for starters and they were amazing. For entrees, we ordered the paella de vegetales and the yapingacho and our 7 year old had the cheese quesadillas with fries. Amazing!!! To end the night, we ordered the 16 layer chocolate cake and it literally ruined our New Years resolution so we'll start our diet tomorrow. :) Overall, amazing experience and we can't wait to come back. We were told Friday nights are epic with live performers. Side note: they don't have a kids menu but the server told us they can make cheese quesadillas with fries, mac and cheese or chicken nuggets with fries.
Carnivale offers a wonderful NYE experience. We’ve attended for the last 2 years. Music, entertainment, food, holiday hats and horns and champagne all included. Carnivale does it right.
Outstanding New Year dinner !
Fabulous food, excellent service, perfect atmosphere
Had a great time, went with my sisters and our significant others for NYE dinner from 8pm-10pm. I would return for NYE next year.
Carnivale was the perfect place to go for New Years Eve. Costumed figures, performers and impersonators, festive decorations and great music made it a true New Years celebration! The food is always fabulous and the special menu did include our favorites; Ropas Viejo and Steak Arrecherra. Everything was delicious and my husband and I had so much fun! We will go back next year and stay for the balloon drop.
It was all wonderful, food, drinks, entertainment, service, all on point
We’ve been to carnivale for past 4 years for New Years and always enjoy it! And we had a great time this year. But found the food quality poor -especially for $90!!
I took my family—wife and children—to an early seating at Carnivale on New Year’s Eve. On each of my earlier visits to the restaurant, I’ve had terrific service, very good food and have recommended Carnivale to others based on those experiences. I must have caught them on a tough night, as this experience was less enjoyable. First, my “dry” martini came to the table with at least an ounce of vermouth and I sent it back, something I never do, and in itself a very forgivable issue. We ordered steaks all around and all but one were undercooked. We sent my wife’s back as her filet mignon came to the table rare and was ordered medium-well. My son and I ordered the most expensive steaks ($65 each) and, while also rare, I could look past as we both like mid-rare temps. The seasoning was great, but unfortunately the meat quality was quite poor and while the steak was advertised as aged 45-days, I couldn’t taste it, and chewed through the gristle as much as I could stand. My wife and I had a couple drinks each, and the bill was close to $500 with tip. I don’t mind paying that on special occasions, but I do expect the meal that comes with that price tag to be memorable. Unfortunately, it was, for the wrong reasons. On the bright side, the restaurant is beautiful, and was gorgeously decorated for New Year’s. Had we dined during rush, maybe I’d be more understanding, but the dining room was not even 1/4 at capacity when we sat down, so the kitchen, server, and bartenders couldn’t have been too challenged at the time of our seating. After sending two items back during the course of our meal, I would have expected at least to have a manager drop by to check on us. Didn’t happen. I can’t say I won’t ever go back, and having worked in food service in my younger years, I know there’s such a thing as simply a bad night. But I can’t say I’ll be apt to enthusiastically recommend Carnivale in the future.
Was a great New Year’s Eve experience, my parents and I totally enjoyed the food and the Atmosphere
We have been before, and have had good experiences. However, we went here on new year's eve and it was mediocre at best. When they called to confirm our reservation, and give us a long list of rules (be here on time, don't stay more than 2 hours) they conveniently forgot to mention that they had a small, prefix menu, instead of their usual menu. Had we known, we would have gone elsewhere, which is 100% why I'm sure they didn't tell us.
They took us to our table that was way in the back corner of the restaurant, near a ery annoying strobe light, even though we arrived at 5.30 and the place was mostly empty.
When we did order, the appetizers were good, but the main courses were only ok. My steak was tough and my husband's sea bass was mushy and lacked flavor. Again, they were hardly busy, the food should have been perfect.
We probably won't be back. A restaurant that doesn't have respect for its customers on the busiest days don't get my business the rest of the year.
The server Noel give us amazing services
Very fun place for special occasions. Took our kids there for a Christmas gift. Had a great time?
4th time at the restaurant. Love the food and atmosphere. Unfortunately ended up sitting in one of the side rooms which is not as enjoyable as the main area. We should have waited for a different table.
Place is just great. Every time I go everything is perfect.
Great selection of seafood, clean, friendly and super well educated servers
Food was good, not superior. The atompershire was fun. Noise level high. A great place for something unique for a friday night.
Christmas family celebration
Extremely attentive waitstaff. The food was delicious and we had an amazing night!
Carnivale provides a unique and cultural dining experience which I absolutely love! Food and service was excellent.
Slow but personable service.
Nice selection of unusual drinks
Garlic mashed potatoes was fabulous
Broccoli Smidge under cooked
Grilled octopus delicious
Even more than above. Deserts!!
Un freakin believable coconut cake
Really cool ambience. Notice the picture behind the hostess checking
The food was amazing but service was really slow. It was the small things like not getting water until more than 30 minutes after we were seated. Even though we received our alcoholic beverages before water. Or the waiter took over 25 minutes after receiving the check to pick up the credit card. Not getting steak knifes until a few minutes after we received our food. We ordered two apps, two entrees and a dessert. Everything was really good. Though one of the steaks were way under cooked. It was came out more raw or blue rare than rare. The rest of the food was outstanding.
An excellent way to spend Christmas with friends.
Decorated to the hilt for the holidays, service and food did not suffer with the full house on Christmas.
Always a great experience at Carnivale. Great service and very good food. Ropa Viejo is amazing.the cevice, instead, is not what I would expect. Based on my experience, this is more a cocktail de camaron than a cevice. Not bad though.
Carnivale was the perfect place for our pre-Christmas family dinner. Our server, Pete, couldn’t have been better. He took the time to teach two of the teenagers how to crack and eat a lobster. The food was devious, the atmosphere festive! Great evening!
First off this these reservations were for my girlfriends birthday. first off they were late at sitting my party plus when we were seated they placed us by the kitchen door. When I asked to have another table we were seated in the back of the restaurant the service was poor. Our waiter missed the birthday girl whole meal order.. Carnival would be the last place I would visit if I had to choose to eat somewhere in Chicago
This was the 1st time I went with my family. I have always came with friends.