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“Delicious and entertaining”

Carli's Fine Bistro & Piano
Ranked #85 of 1,049 Restaurants in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: International
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Carli's is a great place to stop in and enjoy good food, great atmosphere, cheerful service and live music. It is also very relaxing. We enjoyed our dining experience there and highly recommend it if you are in Old San Juan.

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Thank wkmatsko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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189 - 193 of 235 reviews

Reviewed May 7, 2013

Stop in for coffee and dessert - Fausto the bartender was so welcoming - he suggested the ice cream toppedwith Kahlua, frangelico and Baileys - it was so good. We also enjoyed the piano playing of the owner Carli who was accompanied by a terrific singer. The ambience and food made for a great stop. We went back the next night for dinner. Once again Fausto was terrific had bartender and waiter as well as greeter. He brought the owner to our table and then the chef. The food prepared by the chef was so delicious. My husband had the lamb chops which is the house specialty - delicious. I had the filet and we also had the risotto as well as some delicious appetizers. The drink made by Fausto the bombom was also very good. It was a very nice evening in Old San Juan.

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Thank vsolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

We visited Carli's a few times on our trip. The first evening we had a few appetizers and a mojito. Delicious! The mojito was great! Also try Grannys Tummy for an appetizer. It is made with a sweet squash. Excellent. The second time there we had Fausto the bartenders creation. It was called a BomBon. A sweet frozen drink with coconut, passion fruit, and a few other fruit juices plus rum. Great! Our last time at Carli's we ate dinner and heard Carli play jazz on the piano. Awesome meal. We had escargot for an appetizer which was served out of the shells in a cream sauce. Other appetizers to try are the crab cakes and mussels. The tuna was great and we had two different risottos which were wonderful. Overall a great time and awesome food! Intimate romantic restaurant!

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Thank Michele T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Carli's is a small intimate place - 10 small tables indoors (more outside), some bar seats plus a full size grand piano and double bass! The music is the reason to be here, Carli played sets of Jazz piano that were a joy, not pandering nor commercial. Mostly the tunes were his own compositions or standards and when performing arrangements of songs like 'Close to Me' or 'Surfer Girl' they were very much in that style. Again though this is the reason to be here (and for my score) - other reviewers have commented that it was tough to have a spirited discussion with your table mates, they are right - if that is what you want sit outdoors or pick elsewhere. Similarly reviews suggest different music styles: it's Carli's jazz bar and that isn't going to happen. The service was excellent and attentive, food was only fair at this price point. The night we were there Carli also had a vocalist perform with him, bass player Eddie Gomez was in town to be honored at the Music Conservatory and sat in for a great hour. I'm told this sort of thing happens frequently but obviously isn't guaranteed. Go to Carli's for the Jazz, stay for the atmosphere and drinks!

Thank MondoCJP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

We spent 2 evenings at Carli's, the first night we had drinks and appy's, the next a full-on dinner. I love live music but Jazz isn't my first choice, so while I enjoyed it, I had wished Carli would just play some other type music. That in itself is a bit different, Friday night they told us he wasn't there and, had hired a jazz trio and if we came in Saturday, he would play for sure, so we booked dinner. When we got there Saturday, he wasn't there nor had they planned on him coming in....bummer. Somehow he showed up to play later on with a different jazz combo they hired. A bit of a disconnect there, clearly our intention was to hear him play and ultimately we did, but not without some luck. Let me say that the restaurant is staffed with competent and friendy staff, very kind and attentive. The bartender Fausto is amazing(we sat at the bar). He is courteous, well trained and made it an enjoyable evening, his assistant Phillippe is equally wonderful. We talked to almost every employee over two nights including the chef and by the end of our weekend we felt like we were family. The food: The first night we had appy's and I would say I wasn't fond of the Calamari, the Crab Cakes were fine but a tad small and good, not great. Even with that we returned Saturday night for dinner mostly because we wanted to hear Carli and at some point I am sure we would have returned simply because we loved the atmosphere and talking to Fausto. We both had the Grouper Saturday night and it was PERFECT, slightly under done, great flavor, light sauce, perfect. This is one dinner/evening we will never forget.

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Thank GTrooper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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