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.
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