Limited menu executed poorly. Location and live jazz are good, although many restaurants in Carmel are offering some form of entertainment now. Open table availability suggests others think the same......
There are so many good choices in Carmel it's hard to go wrong, so I decided to try somewhere we hadn't been before. Sadly, Affina was a big disappointment.
The menu is small, but that can be a good thing. We had the cauliflower starter and the poutine. Under cooked french fries is never a good sign, we should have been warned.
For entrees we chose the seasonal vegetables and I played it safe with the bolognese. It's fall so the stores are full of interesting vegetables, but we got cauliflower, again, and not much else. My bolognese was thin, oily and had a strange metallic taste. We had time for dessert, so we ordered the creme brulee which was lumpy and broken.
We had 3 courses of unimaginative, poorly executed food, a glass of wine and two coffees and the bill came to just under $100.
The service was fast and friendly. There was interesting live music and the place was pretty busy with a good atmosphere.
If the food was even reasonable this could be a good alternative to the usual Carmel favorites, but I can't forgive food this bad. We won't be going again.
Ate here last minute while in Carmel for the evening. Broth in clam dish had no evidence of lemongrass, tamarind or Thai herbs. Very bland (tasted like plain chicken broth) and clams were overdone. Waiter was nice enough to remove from bill. Presentation of burrata dish was underwhelming. Just chunks of burrata strewn across plate. Toast was so garlicky that it overwhelmed the wine. Also had to send fries back because first batch was undercooked. Too bad because Affina has a cool, casual atmosphere with music and good service.
We booked a reservation for breakfast and arrived to find the restaurant closed!!!! We all almost missed flights.
Enjoyed our brunch omelets & "bottomless mimosas!"
Unbelievable find in Carmel. On a backstreet and amazing food,service and live music. A very memorable experience. N
Probably one of the neatest culinary discoveries this year. The food and ingredients are first class and superbly presented. Intriguing wine list. Excellent service, with Luis the chef and Andres as our server it was perfect.
Wish them all success, apart from anything else we want to return as often as we can when in Carmel.
Affina has become my favorite restaurant in Carmel. The food is always fresh and flavorful, and the servers are attentive and friendly. The piano music adds to the ambience.
Food was well prepared. Atmosphere was fun and energetic. Terrific service in a casual environment. Highly recommended
Busy wee place. Jazz in background. Clams, cauliflower, spring rolls, chicken tenders, were all good appetisers. Pasta also good. Decent wine list. No liquor licence, only beer and wine, so no cocktails. Enjoyed it.
VERY NICE AND IF YOU GET LUCKY
YOU MAY HAVE A BIG SURPRISE AT THE PIANO
WE DID MAKING IT AN UNFORGETTABLE EVENING
Had salmon with potatoes and veg. Sauce was supposed to be lemon-cream, but was served orange-colored and buttery, on the flavorless side. Our second entree was a carbonara pasta. Not traditional but very tasty. Service was great. Jazz pianist was a special treat.
Such good food and the service was really good. The live piano was a nice touch as well! Recommend to anyone who wants a lovely night out!
With all of the dining options available in Carmel-by-the-Sea, I would not recommend Affina. It's a lovely little place with a young lad playing the piano. When asked if he takes requests, he replied that he did not because he only knew a few pieces. Oh well. He played well enough. We were warmly greeted and there were only 2 people at the bar and 2 people at another table, so it was rather quiet. Our waiter, who greeted us at the door & seated us, attempted to take our drink orders before we even had a moment to settle down and take a look at the wine list. He gave us a minute & when he returned he wanted to take our order. We hadn't even heard the specials. I'm not sure why he was in such a rush. After we ordered, he literally brought the salad and appetizer (both of which we ordered to share) at the exact same time and didn't bother to ask if we wanted refills on our empty wine glasses. The moment our utensils were set down after the salad/appetizer combo, the entrees arrived. I have literally never been so rushed and I have no idea why. As far as the food goes, the beet & goat cheese salad was average, nothing to write home about, and the smoked salmon appetizer was one I could have easily put together at home with store bought ingredients. The pasta bolognese was tasty & the fish special (sea bass) was also tasty and chock full of vegetables. The food was fine, but not special, and the service was way too rushed. That may have been the quickest meal I've ever been served and I was definitely not in any hurry.
The steamed clams were awesome. The rest of the menu was pretty limited. Our entrees were ok, and dessert was good. Piano is a nice touch and the service was excellent.
We spent three nights in Carmel. We live in Napa, so have a fairly high bar for restaurants. Our last dinner was at Affina. This was by far the best of our three dinners. We were warmly greeted. The wait staff was friendly and helpful. Each item we had was perfectly prepared. I had the fish special which was snapper. My wife had a pasta. For dessert I had an apple tart, my wife had a warm chocolate cake. The wine selection by the glass was good. The ambience was excellent with a live piano player playing in the background. The classic movie Casablanca was playing on a a flat screen TV without the sound which interestingly was a nice addition to the overall warmth and character of the restaurant. I highly recommend Affina. We are already planning to come back for our anniversary in December.
Loved the lively atmosphere! We had a great time. This place has an excellent vibe and good energy. My food was bland, I had to add salt but otherwise was great. Service was friendly and prompt.
On my short list.. Fantastic!
Pasta bolognese was terrible. Nothing like the pasta from bologna. Too creamy and rich. Not at all how bolognese sauce should be.
This is one of my favorite restaurants in Carmel. I highly recommend giving it a try.
This was our 4th time dining at Affina - twice 2 years ago when the restaurant was fairly new and innovative - and twice this year. This evening we were celebrating our 41st wedding anniversary. A few nights earlier we dined here - spoke with the owner/chef - who also noticed we were coming again for our special night. He made the effort to enter some notes in the computer tablet and we thought - gee - our special night here may be noticed with a treat - albeit a small one. Once we arrived for dinner no recognition of the evening was made - by the owner who was there - the food - Pasta Bolognese was lackluster with little flavor - the one time joie di vive of the place was totally missing. The best part of the evening though was a waiter Robbie (from Maryland) - and Gabe (the piano player). Hope the spirit of great food - that's both creative and delicious that once existed in Affina returns - Carmel is a very competitive restaurant market.
I am a local Carmel resident and most of us have a rotation of restaurants we frequent. Affina has now cemented itself in my grouping. It's so unique to Carmel: bright, fun, vibrant and original. The live music is a great touch and so are the old B & W movies on tv. You can find you self in great conversation with your party, servers, or other guests. The menu is somewhat small but each dish is very different. My favorite are the Clams and whatever the local special is that night. Affina is a fantastic find in Carmel. The bright open windows bring the excitement of Downtown in to the place. Many people stop and peer in when the music gets going and one can only assume they are saying, "I wish I ate there tonight."
Great service, good food. It is a good solution close to our hotel.
My family had an outstanding experience dining at Affina. The food was excellent in both presentation and taste. They had live music: piano & flutist which was just the right volume to enhance the meal. It was also very kid friendly- we had our 10 & 12 year old daughters with us, and they seated us right in front of the piano to keep them entertained. Highly recommend this place!
The food was overall quite good. I'm not giving them excellent since two of the 10 items or so we ordered were just ok. The best things we had were the Caesar Salad and the Bolognese Pasta as well as the lemon creme brulee and apple tartan. The restaurant was cozy with a live piano player which was a nice touch.
Food was local and genuine. Service was friendly and showed ownership.
Healthy options. Great for all sized groups. Lovely setting.
Was very disappointed in the service here. Waiter forgot who ordered what as soon as the order was complete, special request was attached to the wrong meal so neither of us got the proper dish and the check was brought before we were finished eating without asking if we wanted we dessert. (We did so we went somewhere else down the street).
While the menu was limited, it does allow them to concentrate their efforts such that the food was very good.
Very nice setting and menu. Great and caring service.
Great place, a touch under the radar. Excellent food, fresh ingredients
Food was exquisite - especially the Pasta carbonara. Apple Tartin was perfection. The music was a delightful accompaniment to our meal. We'll visit again and again.
Not much ambiance, but food was great and service very good. Piano music was a nice touch. I strongly recommend.
Went to Affina with some friends on our vacation. Dexter was so accommodating! Two friends ended up singing for everyone and we sat around after hours, drank and told stories. Such an enjoyable experience. We will definitely be back when we return to California :)
Excellent service and food. But wine we ordered was not available, and replacement was horrible and way over-priced.
Love love love the live music: please keep the pianist!! Enjoy the menu very much and would like to go again on a next visit to Carmel.
Had a lovely meal with a co-worker. We just missed the wine festival the night before so we were the only ones there. Service was prompt and warm. Our server was very friendly and made great recommendations. We had the sautéed cauliflower which was amazing- different colors and the right "tooth" and flavor was spot on, I had the NY strip steak with veggies and found my steak to be cooked perfectly. The ambience is modern and clean, which is nice considering most places are more packed with ambience. Overall I'll be there again.
Love the creative and delicious good. Some if the best trout I've had, and I'm not generally a trout fan. Every dish in our group of 5 was a winner. Excellent food for a reasonable price in Carmel.
We stumbled across Affina because of its great corner location off Ocean Ave. The ambience seemed quaint French country kitchen and the hostess was very nice and accomodating. Beyond that it felt like the owners and chef had taken a successful menu template and tried to recreate it. The food although modest in creativity, sounded like it had the potential to be tasty. In reality, some of the food was overcooked and none of the flavors really jumped into my mouth. The wine list also left alot to be desired. I guess I would put this all in context of the quality to price ratio. Had this been two-thirds of the price, I might have rated the food higher.
Overpriced wine list.
Caesar salad was heavy on the anchovies and light on the cheese. Grilled cheese was delicious.
Great experience. Good food, would recommend the carbonara. The decor is really cozy, but modern.