Carmel Café Spring Sampling

Last Tuesday, Carmel Café introduced its new seasonal flavors just in time for spring and I was invited to the special sneak preview spring sampling.

The Spring Pea Bruschetta encapsulated spring with its presentation.  The spring pea and mint combination released a fresh burst of flavors with each bite.  The bright emerald color of the slightly smashed spring peas would make any other restaurant green with envy.

Offering more green for spring, the Ravioli Verde delivered a pasta dish that comforted my carb addiction.  The light, creamy sauce truffle-infused beurre blanc complimented the spinach raviolis beautifully while piles of fresh peas, pea shoots portabella mushrooms and shaved Parmesan finish the dish superbly.

For the carnivores, Carmel Café has added a new Tunisian Chicken to its spring lineup.  Roasted and grilled chicken breast glazed with a special blend of 14 spices demonstrates the Mediterranean uniqueness that separates Carmel Café from other restaurants.  Once again, I couldn’t contain my carb addiction and excitement for fingerling potatoes served with the chicken.

Carmel Café has also added new wines and cocktails, such as the Strawberry Rickey made with gin and fresh strawberries.

My favorite cocktail was Carmel Spring Tea, which tasted very similar to a margarita with tequila, agave nectar and a splash of Moscato wine.

On any occasion, Carmel Café’ offers a wonderful selection of wine.  For this spring sampling, we sipped suggested wine pairings perfect for each dish.

Since I prefer red wines and never been known to stick to rules and pairings, I preferred the Pinot Noir Acrobat King Estate Pinot Noir Oregon 2011 and being boorish, asked for refills nursed it sipped it with each sampling.

To view the complete seasonal flavors and wine pairings of Carmel Café this spring, visit Tampa Bay News Wire.

Carmel Café has several locations all over Tampa Bay.  Visit for locations, hours and special events, such as the Prix-Fixe Dinner for 2.