The Carleton

4.5
74 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Global, International
The Carleton is housed in a building in Halifax, NS that was built in 1760 and was the home of Richard Bulkeley.

Apart from two churches, Bulkeley’s home is the oldest building in Halifax, NS. Since 1786 his residence has been known as ‘The Carleton’. As one of Halifax’s premier live music venues for the past 10 years, The Carleton has earned numerous awards and accolades including three East Coast Music Awards and eight Music Nova Scotia Awards for Venue of the Year, and most recently the 2017 Canada Live Music Award for Best Small Venue in the Country.

An exciting complement to the refreshed space is the introduction of a superb new menu by The Carleton’s new Executive Chef, Michael Dolente. Whether you’re sampling a local beer or cocktail in the bar after work or enjoying a lazy weekend lunch in the restaurant, our staff will ensure you feel welcome in our home from home."
What 74 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DB
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great evening meal and show was outstanding ! Great avenue for Valentine day

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R
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The overall experience was good. The seating was not satisfactory. We were seated at the bar to get a view of the stage, but wasn’t good. If the shows are ticketed and everyone pays the same, there should be assigned seating at the time of purchasing the ticket.
All in all was a relaxing night with Ariana’s great voice. Thank you.

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MH
New England
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Really good Valentines Night with Ariana Nasr and the Dinner.
I do appreciate the staff making sure that the audience noise level stays down during the Act--so could you please also remind the kitchen staff and oil those squeaky doors!!

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LN
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

I’ve gone to dinner here before when a show is on. Better experience then. Food was reasonable but not particularly interesting. I think the risotto was the best meal but the fries are excellent!

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OT
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

First time there and will go back. The food was delicious.

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JB
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

wonderful performance by Ian Sherwood and Luke MacMaster. I felt the salmon plate was a little small for the price, potatoes and veggies weren't all that interesting for the special that night. a lovely evening nevertheless!

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JM
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came to the Carleton to meet some friends, enjoy a meal, and listen some great music. We always enjoy Ian Sherwood, and Tuesday was no exception. A great show.

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LB
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I very much appreciate going to a venue to hear an artist and know that it is expected that all will be quiet.

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JR
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful food and service. Lovely music and ambiance. Can’t recommend the Carleton enough!

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PM
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for the event Inside the Writers’ Room and had dinner first. Such a great night out!

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OT
Atlantic Canada
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

This was a friends get together to participate in IDOW festival. The artists were all new to us but we see this venue as a great opportunity to acquaint ourselves with new music. It was ALL great. If we had any criticism, it might be that the last artist was scheduled to perform at 10:30pm, and we had been there since 7pm to ensure a good table, ate & drank ourselves full, and were struggling to keep ourselves awake - not because the artist was boring but his music was melodic, beautiful and maybe not fast enough for that hour of the night. Mind you, we were all past 60 years of age. Anyway, we enjoyed the evening. We’ve been to the Carleton on quite a few occasions and will happily continue to do so.

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G
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Great venue for music. Food delicious but small portions.

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a
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 4

great server, great drinks, and lovely new space post renovations but disappointed in the food itself- very small portions- even knowing it was a sharing menu- especially for the price- left hungry.

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L
Atlantic Canada
3 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The Carleton is the best venue in the city for live music. The food is great, although it's not clear (unless the server explains it) that the menu is small plates. I ordered what I thought was an entrée, and it was just a few small bites. Staff are friendly and the location can't be beat.

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AH
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great spot for great food and entertainment. Professional service and quality all the way around.

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HS
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

..fun night out , food was fine (Garrett Mason was amazing !

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MC
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

As we live outside of town, we need to have a designated driver, and I was absolutely astounded and put off that the Carleton charges $8 for non alcohol beer.
Shameful.

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OT
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Fan overhead had one at our table virtually ‘chillin’ for most of 2 hours, He had to give up his seat and move to the bench seating for the midnight festivities. Food was very good overall. Presentation was great. Server rushed us thru a 4 course New Year’s Eve set dinner.
Main course was not balanced or colourful- salty garbanzo style beans under sea scallops and was somewhat sparse for our heartiest of appetites. That said scallops were not over-cooked & served hot. Too much creamy sauce on albacore salad. Dessert perfection.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Ourselves and another couple enjoyed a New Years meal and entertainment at he Carlton. Everything was wonderful. The food was delicious the service was spot on and the entertainment was a bit low key but enjoyable none the less.

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JM
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 5

Had some audio problems which was disappointing in relation to performance. Hamburger was delicious, pasta dish was disappointing. Fritos tasty. Server was alright, not very friendly. Loved the intimate setting, and for that reason will def be reattending!

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TR
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow! Such an awesome, intimate music venue with beautiful decor and outstanding service!

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

The pasta serving was very small for the price $13.00

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OT
Atlantic Canada
4 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dave Gunning & J.P. Cormier performance

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J
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Best spot yet for watching a music performance. staff was super. Couldn’t be more accommodating. Venue is beautiful and intamit. Meal was tasty and fancy but servings very small. Would be nice to have some typical appetizers like nachos to pick at while watching the show.

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KA
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first visit and I loved the atmosphere. It is a great spot for Live Entertainment. The burger was great.

Karen

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DI
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were at the Carleton to see Gunning and Cormier. The venue is perfect and intimate. The food was very good as well . it was a wonderful evening. I will be back!

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Get together with family. Great entertainment. Food delicious. Good service. Love the Carlton!

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AM
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service. Friendly atmosphere. Amazing music. Would highly recommend to family and friends.

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DH
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Reeny Smith Family Christmas was amazing! Ivan, once again provided outstanding service.

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MO
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Loved the ReeniecSmith Family Christmas! Hope you do it again next year!

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A
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

thx the pretty waitress.best service seem u r little bit sad bount thd tips.sorry

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ML
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 4

I enjoy the Carleton. The music was too loud. And although the food was very good, with two drinks, show tickets, and a meal that left me hungry, the cost for me was almost $100. Not including parking cost. This is too expensive for me to attend on a monthly basis as I would like to. In the future I may purchase tickets and forgo the dinner.

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Y
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 4

I was disappointed not to receive the appetizer we had ordered Before the other courses. We had to requesting it a second time when all other plates were brought to us after a rather long wait - we would have been happier had we been nibbling on the “starter” while waited for the “ verses”.

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CD
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Amazing historic venue for live music in Halifax. Enjoyed the Carleton on a Sunday night to a Sold Out audience to hear Adam Baldwin’s Acoustic Performance.

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T
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 3ambience 2

The Live Music: Excellent! Chris LeDrew, Paul Lamb, Barry Canning and Cory Tetford are exceptional songwriters, musicians and lifelong friends ,who put on a truly wonderful show together. It was magic! It was my second time seeing them at the Carleton. They were even better the second time. Please, have them back. They are what made the entire experience for me.

The Noise Level: The Carleton used go be a listening room. It was pretty loud throughout this show, even after the guys on stage mentioned they were recording a live album and asked everyone to pipe down. Before the show we literally had to shout at each other to try to have a conversation - not an enjoyable part of the experience.

The Food: The menu is limited and I didn't get excited about the food. On the server's recommendation, I ordered the roasted rutabaga, and it was delicious. The dessert I got was not the blueberry cheesecake I ordered. The server didn't ask or inform me about that change until my cheesecake walked to the table. It was strawberry/rhubard cheesecake instead, which was way too tart, an unbalanced flavour profile - not enjoyable. I prefer the Carleton's previous menu to their new small plates menu.

The Service: The service was friendly at the table. At the end of the night, almost the entire place had emptied out before we got our bills. Honestly, we thought he'd forgotten about billing us. We had to wait around to try to pay.

The live music makes The Carleton what it is, even more so with recent changes. I will always go back to see musicians I love. I hope they improve the new menu, and bring the noise level down again.

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CH
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 4

I love the Carelton but I was disappointed in the food this time! The portions were tiny and not worth the price in my opinion. The last time I was there in the summer (Gordie Sampson show) the food was really good. I was hoping for dinner but it felt more like a snack.

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HW
Toronto
7 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The food portions are very small therefore you should eat prior to event

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L
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful evening at the Carlton on Dec 1st. Our server was amazing! Food and drinks were spectacular. We had a reservation for 7:30 pm and because you were expecting a busy evening due to the Song writers circle we were contacted and offered an earlier option.....ever so grateful! It was our first time there but we will definitely be back!
Thanks again!❤️

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TB
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Heather and I, along with her cousin and husband, went to The Carleton after the matinee show at Neptune. We thought we’d try the Chef’s Choice Tasting, after reading about an article about Chef Dolente and his goal to move The Carleton from a music venue to a fine culinary experience as well. We were not disappointed.

This multi-course experience put us in the Chef’s hands and we could not have been in a better place. To finish off the meal, Chef Dolente came out to say hello. I have to say, this was an incredible treat. We have other restaurants in Halifax that are our favourite, but it’s all too often that the chef prepares the menu and then instructs his sous-Chefs so the Chef can take on oversight from a much higher level. Chef Dolente is much more hands on and his love for what he’s doing is imbedded in every single bite.

Here’s another tip for you as well. If you’re fortunate enough to get Dustin as your server, he’s got some serious wine chops. Ask him to pair your courses and trust that you’ll be in great hands. His service, guidance, and cordiality are hard to beat. Although we’d just met him, we felt like we were at home with old friends around us.

The Carleton was getting dressed up for a Newfoundland Song-Writers Circle last night so we had to move along, as we didn’t have tickets. However, I could see the place transforming from wonderful little bistro for impeccable food to the more boisterous home of music and pub. It was almost schizophrenic. It’s not that one persona cannot exist with the other. It’s just an abstract thought. Having said that, if anyone can make this kind of blend work, I’m certain that it will be Chef Dolente and his team. They’ve got a unique vision, incredible skills, and true love for the connection.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for the Cory Tetford, Paul Lamb, Barry Canning and Chris Ledrew show. Absolutely amazing our server, Jerry, was top notch.

Also-have the apple pie ice cream. Beat thing I’ve ever tasted.

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