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“Ok, Not Great” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Dametra Cafe

Dametra Cafe
Corner of Ocean Ave and Lincoln St, Carmel, CA 93921
831-622-7766
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Ranked #1 of 151 Restaurants in Carmel
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Special occasions, Entertaining clients, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
Arlington, Virginia
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Ok, Not Great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013 via mobile

Dametra Cafe is No. 1 on Trip Advisor for Carmel, and a friend had also recommended it, so we were hopeful for a great experience. It's a crowded cafe, sort of a bistro, and you are greeted by the owner and other family members who appear to work hard at being warm and solicitous to their customers - perhaps a little too much. We started with bruschetta as an appetizer, and here's an example of why this place is ok, not great: The toast was just right and nicely warm, it had garlic scraped on it, the tomatoes were chopped exactly right -- but the tomatoes had been chilled. Tomatoes lose their flavor when they are chilled, and any good cook --certainly a professional -- would know that tomatoes shouldn't be chilled. It's a little thing, but the kind of thing that is telling about the quality of a restaurant. I had artichoke ravioli, which were also good, not great -- a little thick and heavy -- but garlicy and tasty. My partner had the lamb shank, which he also described as "good, not great." We opted against dessert, although the restaurant sent over some baklava -- tough and hard to cut -- gratis. The atmosphere here is fun, and as others have said, at one point in the evening the staff performs music and the guests clap along. It just seems like the owners are putting a lot of effort into warmth and atmosphere, when they should be putting more effort into the food.

Visited September 2013
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Ontario
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Fun & Friendly - A Carmel Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

A small little cafe this place is not. Small? Yes Cafe? No, this is a wonderful little restaurant with a big heart, large portions and huge helping of fun and laughter. I had no idea when my bell hop at the Cypress Inn recommended this little hole in the wall how much I would adore this place.

With a varied menu (Greek, Italian, Mediterranean) there is something for everyone here. Usually lined up out the door (and worth the wait), this place is full of fun as every meal is serenaded by staff members playing the drums, guitar and a dishwasher with the most beautiful singing voice! Late at night you can expect to walk by and hear the cheers, see the dancing and hear the tinkles of laughter and glasses. It's definitely big on atmosphere, large helpings of traditional favourites like hummus, gyros, and pastas. I ate here several times for the great food and the performances by the staff. I was never disappointed.

I was always offered a free dessert with my tea. The tea is spectacular and service is impeccable.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Antelope, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great food and very friendly atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

We go to Carmel every year and always come back to Dametra Cafe. The Greek food is excellent. They have a small but nice wine list. The best part of this place is the very friendly staff. They are always
grateful to have you as a guest. It's best if you have reservations but we usually get right in when we don't. Yes, as others have said, this is a small restaurant but for us that just adds to the atmosphere.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Santa Barbara, CA
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great stop for lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

The reviews are correct. This tiny restaurant is great. It looked full, but the host pulled two tables apart and set us up. The staff in this place was very friendly, kind and accommodating and the food was just delicious. I had the (best!) gyros, my daughter had the chicken schwarma sandwich, we split the (warm) dolmas and crusty perfect bread and we took Turkish coffee and baklava to have in the car. Highly recommended.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Good Food - fun cafe ambiance”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013 via mobile

The food was pretty good and I would return. For Carmel the prices are reasonable. A few points, the restaurant is small and the bathroom is really close to the kitchen. But something really fun was the staff came out and played the guitar and sang. Over all my family really enjoyed our lunch.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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