Loved. loved, loved the food! The ambiance was great. We didn't have to yell at each other to have a conversation and the tables are far enough apart that we weren't sharing our conversation inadvertently with our neighbours and vice versa. Prices in keeping with other restaurants of the same calibre. My only 'issue' was that our server was a bit too 'in our faces' ... he was trying to connect but overdid it. I didn't go there to talk to him.
very good, non run of the mill food, with great flavour and texture, using not the usual ingredients. Knowledgeable and attentive service. Good wine list.
Noise level quite high
Was looking forward to this evening but menu was pretty limiting and food was served at lukewarm temperatures. We ordered all large plates and shared and walked away unimpressed - nothing stood out. Atmosphere is sparse and a bit pretentious.
A wonderful first time experience. My partner and I each had the five course tasting menu and were surprised that we each received an entirely different menu, allowing us to effectively share ten different dishes. We can't wait to return.
Carben was a very nice discovery. The food was beautifully prepared and presented. The variety of tastes made the meal memorable. Fantastic service from beginning to end. We are looking forward to returning.
We had the tasting menu. I think the fish and the ribs were the best dishes that day. The duck tartare was not the greatest, but maybe it’s just my preference. Not sure if it wasn’t as fresh as it should be or the spices were slightly off. The squash dish was a bit meh and bland, but again perhaps it’s just my preference. The space is very pleasant and inviting. I would give this place another chance but I don’t think I would go for the tasting menu again. The service was OK, but I think they do better if the table is less than 3-4 people. It becomes difficult for them to coordinate the dishes if there are more than 5 people. The highlight of the dinner was the desert: a citrusy popsicle with some merengue: truly spectacular. Overall, while the place did not take my breath away, I think it may be worth a second look.
Excellent New Year's Eve 5 course blind tasting menu. Great value for the variety and quality of the dishes served. All dishes were excellent and served in a timely manner. Optional wine tasting was also excellent and we were able to share the glass between two people since it was quite a bit of wine. Servers were fantastic, very friendly and helpful. Overall a very enjoyable evening and we plan to return at some future date.
Excellent food and service.
A menu full of very interesting and innovative dishes. We shared the albacore tuna and the wood ear mushrooms and I have to say, these were some of the best small plates I’ve ever had! The smoked wood ear mushrooms are like nothing I’ve tasted before. All of our mains (scallops, lamb, short ribs) were also phenomenal!
It was absolutely amazing. We had the tasting platter and it was two hours of bliss. Amazing food and drinks and friendly service.
Thank you for the amazing experience. Finally a place that can make duck something special again.
The Chef’s menu with wine pairing is the way to go. Just fantastic!
Carben is always an amazing place to share a meal and to share laughs. The food is wonderful, the service is impeccable, and the desserts are out of this world.
The menu was succulent and service was very friendly.
The waiter was amazing - professional, good humoured and provided excellent recommendations. The 4 small food plates we had were incredible. I would go back.
Food is very creative, artistically presented and very flavorful. However there are few choices for non meat eaters.
Excellent food and ambiance, good wine and cocktail selection
Both couples have been to Carben’s before and decided that from our past experiences this is where we wanted to dine. We weren’t disappointed, our table as waiting for us and the service was excellent.
The appetizers were outstanding, we shared the calamari and our friends shared the tuna. The main courses offered an excellent selection. This does change as the seasons change. At the end the plates were all empty and we all had just enough room to share one of their unique deserts - amazing.
The wine selection and drink menu was very extensive with a great selection
Recommendation - we will be back.
Outstanding dinner with friends. Ordered the chef's 5 course meal with wine pairings. Each dish was expertly prepared, beautiful looking and tasting wonderful. Wines paired nicely with each plate. Everyone at the table raved about the culinary experience.
The food was overpriced for what it was. Also, I have food sensitivities that they said they could accommodate when I booked over the phone. When dealing with the waiter, he was mostly annoyed (in fact even joked about what it was that I couldn't eat) and didn't even come back to tell me what it was that the kitchen could do to accommodate it. It just came.
2nd visit here - tasting menu both times with wine pairing - SUPERB yet again !! 5-course tasting menu was different for both of us, so if you share - that's 10 plates to try !!! Perfect portion sizes & attentive service !! Will go back FOR SURE !!
Fantastic food, artistic presentation of food. $69 menu is a great value.
I was very impressed by everything at this restaurant, perfect for a date night or a special occasion. Order a few appetizers and share!
Beautifully presented and delicious dishes. Very accommodating to allergies. Excellent service and knowledgeable staff. And half price bottles of wine on Wednesday nights - it doesn’t get better than that.
Music was far too loud for a space with nothing but hard surfaces & other bkgrd noise.
Sous vide of an already tender lamb loin was not wise. Heating in oven to finish off makes ordering rare an impossibility unless it arrives barely warm (as was the case for our table). Sometimes traditional methods like a good sear are best & offer best cooking control.
Server was amazing and a bright spot.
Food amazing. I will come back
Never disappoints. Our favorite place in this neighborhood.
Excellent evening out with friends. We ordered the tasting menu and every dish was great! The service was excellent, a fun night out!
Really enjoyed our evening at Carben! Amazing food, wine and our waiter Shawn was very attentive throughout our night. We'll for sure be coming back and try the Chef's tasting menu. See you soon 👌
Excellent as always! The waiter was very entertaining keeping my company engaged as I was 45 minutes late. Job well done!!! Thursday they have a three course special, soup, main and dessert. Each was just the right amount and a blend of amazing flavours. This is our go to place when we have friends to impress!! Thanks Carben !!!
Always amazing and adventurous! Will be back for sure!
My second time visiting Carben. Once again I had a great experience. The food was delicious, service was great and the overall ambience was casual and upbeat! Would definitely go back again!
We took the five-course meal with wine pairings to celebrate a birthday, and were astonished by the high quality of the cuisine. Every dish was creative and outstanding -- the cook builds on the flavours and textures of the main ingredient in interesting ways and enjoyable ways. It's interesting to see the breadth of his abilities as we cycle through the multiple courses, and the size of the portions was just right -- we were well fed but not bursting at the seams when the meal was over. The quality of the cuisine, the originality of each plate, the five courses and the excellent wine pairing, all make it an outstanding value for money. One easily pays 50% more for a similar meal in comparable Ottawa restaurants.
We were a party of four. Two of us ordered the Scallops and the others the Cornish Hen and Striploin. Everyone really enjoyed their food, but be prepared to eat things that you never ate before. Some examples of what we got were black rice, sea asparagus and charred fennel. Service throughout was really great. The restaurant is fairly small and while it was almost full of diners we found it quiet. We were there on Tuesday and they have a special when you order a bottle of wine and we took advantage. Looking forward to going back.
I've been to Carben a few times now and I always loved it. The food is good, the menu is unique and the service was friendly and relax. However, this time, we were pushed to choose our drinks and our meals. The waitress would be at our table every five minutes with her bossy tone and we felt stressed to drink, eat and move on. The strangest thing is that the restaurant was empty when we arrived. I did not find it relaxing. We were interrupted many times during our conversation. I may considere other options (and they are many) in the neighbourhood if I want to enjoy and relax.
Terrific service and atmosphere. Our second time at Carbon so decided to do the tasting menu, as first visit had been uniformly spectacular. Plate quality was fairly uneven - had sense some might have been recycled from previous night. Wine pairings were lovely though. Will return for sure but would not repeat tasting menu and would caution others to stick with the lovely a la carte options.
Excellent food and excellent service. I definitely recommend it.
I accidentally typed quiet for noise level. The restaurant is actually somewhat noisy but that would never stop us from returning. Carben is first rate and one of the very best restaurants in Ottawa. Keep up the
Allan & Marsha Maslove
We have enjoyed ourselves at Carben before and I often recommend it to friends; but this time the food really fell flat.
While the beef dumplings were spectacular, our seared tuna was incredibly dry and over cooked. Only to be paired with dry hash bits and cauliflower. The half egg and tapenade were not enough to add any contrast/moisture. The dish tasted and looked beige and bland.
The duck tartare was ok. My partner and I made sure to finish it first so our last bites would be the dumplings, as we added the duck to our first course on 3 for $30.
Our female server was fantastic, attentive and enjoyable. She consistently quality checked and I should have said something about the tuna then, but was in deep conversation. My apologies.
The space, as always, was warm and inviting. We love this place but the food on this last visit will make us think twice when looking to dine there again.