The Carleton

4.4
44 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."
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Global, International, Tapas / Small Plates
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Hours of operation
Bar
Tue, Wed, Sun 4:00 pm–11:00 pm
Thu, Fri, Sat 4:00 pm - 2:00 am
Dinner Daily
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Happy Hour
Daily 4:00 pm–6:00 pm
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Phone number
(902) 422-6335
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Michael Dolente
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Prince St.
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Entertainment
A diverse mix of regional, national, and international performers ranging in genres. One of the East Coast's premiere music venues.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

“HOGMANAY” – DINNER AND A SHOW – with Shannon Quinn and Special Guests. Enjoy a 3 course dinner with an amuse bouche and 2 rounds of bubbly (on arrival & at the bells). Dinner from 7-9:30pm. Dancin' and stompin' celtic music from 10-2am! $85+tax per ticket! Get them at thecarleton.ca

Monday, December 31, 2018

What 44 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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A
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
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
6 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
1 review
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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W
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 5

I love coming to the Carleton for the entertainment. Lately, I am finding it a struggle to find something on the menu that appeals to my taste. The service is great and overall, I'm satisfied with the experience at the Carleton and I will definitely return.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

NL Songwriters - had a great time and good food.

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l
Naples
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Food was warm at best

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GH
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really enjoy the Carleton for their awesome atmosphere, excellent food and award winning talent. Thanks for all you do for the music industry.

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A
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 4ambience 5

House band is great, cocktails are well done, and ambiance is lovely.
It's challenging to serve in a venu with live music but our server did pretty well.
Didn't eat so I can't advise on taste, but there are items available as late as 11. (there is more available than what's on the online menu).

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JP
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our supper was glorious - it was my birthday. And what better way to celebrate it than in the company of the great jazz singer Jeri Brown and her wonderful Arkestra! A delightful experience.

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JS
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

We came to Carleton to hear the music and enjoyed it.
We were disappointed by the new menu's concentration on what I presume is a "Tapas" approach; small dishes at relatively high prices.
Menu was nearly impossible to read in available light (we borrowed a candle from adjoining table in order to see).
My "seared Tuna" seams to have been a small serving of minced tuna with a black, presumed natcho chip on top. In the absence of light it was largely a sensory experience as I couldn't see my dinner.
My wife's small pasta dish was served luke warm. The kitchen took it back and replaced it with hot pasta. An Ice cream dish was offered as compensation.
We would prefer to pay more for more substantial dinner servings. We are tempted to skip dinner at The Carleton but come for the performance (and beer/wine) only.
I can appreciate a strategy of limiting a menu in order to offer outstanding food but this experience suggests that The Carleton has not accomplished that yet.

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AW
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food & service were excellent, as was the band. The only negative was patrons talking through the performance.

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NH
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 4ambience 4

We had a very pleasant time at the Carleton with friends on a Thursday night. The music was outstanding I I appreciate the no talking during music rules. The food was delicious and attractive (although the lights were so low it was hard to see), but the servings were small (Tapas size) definitely not the place to eat if you are really hungry. One dish was served cold and the staff immediately brought a fresh dish and a free dessert. I will be back.

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KM
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such an awesome show by Rum Ragged. Great food and service!!

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LA
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a fantastic time dining on small bites and listening to Lloyd Spiegel who was really a talent. Would love to see him play there again and hope he returns to The Carleton.

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LC
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

First visit here for Singer/song writers circle. Was a great spot, music was great and sound was phenomenal. Really, really friendly and fun staff.
Will be back for sure 😊

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H
Edmonton
91 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 1

So we had been waning to go all summer to the Carleton. Did see that an East Coast band was playing but did not realize it was Halifax Pop Explosion, (mostly rap music) which would have been ok but the menu was limited to bar food, as their chef was in a Regional competition that night. Kudos to the Chef, but wishe we had known. We left after one drink. When we made the reservation on OT there was no mention of a cover for the bands, which is okay, but unless you check the restaurant website OT makes no mention of any special events. So was a tad disappointed. Had to submit ratings but unfair as did not sample food, etc

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H
Montreal
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

New menu is good but limited. Small price for moderate food.

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DS
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Went specifically to see Myles Goodwyn. Came from Moncton and we really enjoyed the show, the venue, the atmosphere and the food. It’s a great place for live music and we will definitely be back.

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DH
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Art and I came to the Carlton to see Myles Goodwyn. We thoroughly enjoyed being greeted by Jon, had great seats and Jerry is the best waiter we have ever had. The décor and ambiance is perfect. It was a thrill to see Myles and Jim Henman together again. Bruce is perfect for the trio. We would like to know who is playing at the Carlton and will return. Dianne H

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DR
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We saw the Fabulously Rich. Great band ... excellent service ... really enjoyed ourselves. Will keep an eye open for other bands at the Carleton for sure.

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BM
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Love The Carleton as a venue for live music and for delectable dining!

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CH
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent live music venue- sound/lighting/stage. Fantastic performance by "Lion Bear Fox". Smart timing- performance started at 8 pm. We ate at 6:30 pm. Delicious small plates menu: flavourful and unique. Intimate, relaxed atmosphere conducive to conversation with one another. Attentive, friendly and efficient service and as it was my birthday- wine and oyster on the house ! Thank you, The Carlton, for a great evening- we will return.

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MR
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

I was excited about experiencing new ambiance, sampling new menu, seeing an old favourite, Ryan McGrath. First should have been labelled potato with mussels. I love tuna tartare, order it whenever I can. As mentioned yours was tasty but serving was meagre and 1.5 chips between us to sample, insufficient. Wish I could send a more favourable review of repast but this was my experience. I hope it’s helpful to you for reflection, look forward to trying again sometime soon.

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LM
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

For my birthday, a friend took me to The Carleton for a live music event. I haven't been there since the renovation and the change in menu. The new look is casual chic and it feels very cosy in there with lots of candles adding a warm ambience. Our server was very professional and attentive, yet he felt like our friend. To my surprise, they offered me a glass of prosecco and an oyster on the house because it was my birthday. I felt very indulged! The new, small plate offerings are DELICIOUS! We shared four different items and all of them impressed our taste buds. The live music was fantastic with a quality sound system. The music filled the room, but was not so loud that we had to yell at one another. We will definitely be going back here and bringing our friends with us.

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KP
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great evening of yummy tastes and great music with the Young’uns.

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LM
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The squid was unbelievably good, all the food was very tasty.
I’ve been to a number of shows at the Carleton and this was the first time the curtain behind the band was left open, and it really added to the ambiance. It’s a nice view of the beautiful church window across the street and some nice big trees. Perhaps not applicable for every show, but it really worked for this one!

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a wonderful dinner and the bands were fabulous.
Our server Matthew was great and helped us decide what to choose off the new menu. Would go back anytime. !!

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LN
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Great entertainment and food in an intimate and friendly setting.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 4food 1service 4ambience 3

The food was not great. However the service was OK and we were there for a music show.
Next time I go for a show I will be sure to eat first.

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JM
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best place in halifax for live music. Newly renovated and very comfortable. Great appitizers and great ambiance.

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KW
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our first time here, but it won’t be our last! We had excellent service, and the music (Son Latino) was fantastic!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The food is excellent!! Quite pricey. Nice atmosphere. Excellent live music!

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PJ
Miami
100 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Carlton House provides outdoor patio dining in Argyle Street Halifax (Downtown restaurant row across from convention center) on a nice evening. Terrific waitress serving fresh oysters, Beef Daube(Brisket) and a fine Risotto. Interior dining is mainly at bar but apparently a night Jazz venue too. Weekdays the town rolls up at 930! Area has lovely old church park townhall and a comedy shop plus muralled walls is just around the corner. Street parking free after 6..

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