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“Wonderful food and excellent service”
Review of Carmen

Ranked #7 of 1,136 Restaurants in Medellin
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $50
Cuisines: South American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Bar scene, Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Highland, Maryland
Level Contributor
222 reviews
148 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Wonderful food and excellent service”
Reviewed July 19, 2014 via mobile

This is a top restaurant anywhere in the world. The chef, and American expat, Ron Pevitts, married with a local girl, has fussioned European techniques with Colombian food and flavors and the result is nothing short of sensational. Presentations are top notch. The salmon appetizer is crazy good. The slow cooked meats are fantastic. But let your waiter guide you. Ours was not only attentive but his descriptions of each dish made the experience an unforgettable one. Make reservations, it gets full.

Visited July 2014
Thank MonGourmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,101 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fine dining, unrestrained. ”
Reviewed July 19, 2014 via mobile

Stemming from the glowing review in the NYTimes travel section, we eagerly anticipated our meal at Carmen.

When we arrived, the waitstaff immediately knew we were American (perhaps because of my limited Spanish, but most likely because I made our reservation for 7:30 PM).

Being the lone diners in the restaurant, we took our time examining the extensive menu, drawing on both Asian and South American cuisine, while enjoying a bottle of wine from their largely South American selection.

While preparing to order our waiter brought us an amuse bouche, consisting of a green tomato soup and salmon nigiri.

As our appetizers and entrees arrived, I came to the following realization: the true appeal of Carmen does not come across in its decor--which is elegant, consisting of three unique dining spaces--or it's service--attentive, yet never rushed. The true appeal of Carmen comes across in its lack of restraint that has hampered fine dining in both the United States and Europe.

Every portion was generous, spread artfully across the plate in a demonstration that abundance holds the same beauty as the minimalist style favored by many chefs today. My fish, cooked perfectly and topped with crisped kale, came with three chorizo and ricotta ravioli, worthy of their own entree.

All of this comes with a price that is not prohibitively expensive (roughly $150.00, including alcohol and tip).

Carmen is a must for any trip to Medellin.

1 Thank Zachary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
100 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“All Is Good But the Wine”
Reviewed July 18, 2014

If you like good wine Carmen is not for you. My wife and I were there for our 16th anniversary. Like many restaurants this restaurant never asked if our reservation was for a special occasion so we remained silent. The atmosphere in the garden area was excellent and the service was very good. We ordered the surprise menu with accompaning wine. The food was excellent but the wine was way below par. Every wine we were served was the house table wine which was the lowest priced wine on the wine list. Good food without good wine takes away from the dining experience so our experience dropped to average.

I spoke with the owner (Carmen) and she said folk in Medellin don't know wine very well so she doesn't carry the better wines. I was surprised as I know other restaurants with excellent wine lists (Provincia is one) and I notice many tables drinking good wines.

Also, on the Carmen website they advertise the surprise menu for 144,000 pesos. The surprise is it is now 160,000 pesos or about $85 US dollars. While we waited for our table we visited the bar and ordered one drink each. When our bill was presented we were charged for two drinks each. Also, even with the house wine, I asked for another glass of Cabernet with the final course which was beef tongue and was charged. Quite a surprise when they were serving an inexpensive house wine. The Malbec wine servied with the 3rd course did not even taste like Malbec.

It is their choice but for whatever reason with excellent food served with the surprise menu they choose to serve a cheap wine. They should change this immediately if they want more repeat business. I would not return as I didn't see any good wines on the wine list.

This is a nice restaurant but certainly not # 1 in Medellin. I have traveled to Medellin for 26 years and I have yet to find a better restaurant than La Provincia. No restaurant in Medellin can match Provincia's combination of food, service, atmosphere and wine. It is upper scale like Carmen but there are not any surprises.

If you don't care about wine then I can recommend Carmen but if you do care about wine, then go to Provincia.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jim437106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarmenEvita, Owner at Carmen, responded to this review, July 21, 2014
Dear Jim,

As we discussed in person upon your visit, I understand your frustration with our wine options. Your comments are very valid and thank you for sharing them. We are in the process of updating our wine list and surely appreciate your recommendations.

I do think it important to point out that the additional glass of Cabernet Sauvignon you ordered was not charged to your bill. I personally comped it in light of your dissatisfaction with our wine options by the glass.

Thanks again for your sincere comments and we are very happy you liked the food and the service!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Food is good but the service is absolutely atrocious”
Reviewed July 17, 2014

We came here about a week and a half ago and ordered cocktails - 20 minutes later they were no where to be seen and we needed to leave the restaurant because our friend was having medical issues. THE MANAGER THEN ASKED US TO PAY FOR THE COCKTAILS BEFORE WE LEAVE EVEN THOUGH WE HADN'T PAID FOR THEM YET!

We paid for the cocktails and the manager said we could pick them up later. We came back after a trip to the ER and our friend's medical issues were sorted out. They handed us the same exact cocktails from 2 hours earlier completely watered down. Mind you, these are $15 cocktails in Medellin not NYC.

We considered walking out but were hungry so we asked for the tasting menu. 30 minutes passed and we didn't receive any food and our waitress comes back and tells us that the kitchen is closing and they cannot do the tasting menu but she can pick a few dishes for us. Thanks for letting us know so quickly...

We eventually got our food and it was good, but the service here is absolutely atrocious. This is a place that clearly wants to be compared to a western style restaurant so it is no excuse that it's good food with this type of service. This would never happen in any other major city.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Gregory W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarmenEvita, Owner at Carmen, responded to this review, July 21, 2014
Dear G. Weitzner,

I would like to personally extend my most sincere apologies for the below average service you received in Carmen Medellín a couple of weeks ago. We 100% respect your complaints and I recognise that we were not able to attend you and your friends in an efficient and timely manner.

I am sorry to hear about the cocktail situation in particular. We have talked to our manager in charge that night and we would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention. We were able to turn a negative situation into a positive learning opportunity.

Your experience at Carmen that night is in no way representative of our high standards for quality and personalised service and I deeply regret that we weren't able to make things right for you. I hope you can give us another opportunity on a future visit to Medellín, we won't let you down.

Thank you for your comments,
Carmen Angel

PS: Hopefully your picture with James Rodriquez that night brings some positive memories, although I am sorry we weren't able to have those memories include Carmen's great service!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Glorious. ..it is a must to visit”
Reviewed June 24, 2014 via mobile

They have perfected a great dining experience . Ok granted their service is not ultra attentive, but is nice. Their bar served the best old fashion I have ever had.... made with grapefruit !!!!...WOW..what a surprise!! We always order the chef's menu with wine pairing. ..everything was excellent, all the tastes were there, all distinctive, like clean brushes...they are GOOD. Can't wait to go back.

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

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