Carisma

www.carismarestaurant.com

An awesome lady from work recommended me this one just as I was wondering where to go eat after the symphony orchestra that night.. I gotta admit, I think Italian food is overrated. Too many everyday people who claim to be foodies, make it.

An Italian friend told me, a good way to judge an Italian place is to order something unusual sounding (aka you have not tried a making it, proving to be a chef) yet still pasta based since a good place would make their own pasts and you'd notice.

APPEARANCE

rich colour

The place was relatively empty when we came in at 10pm, we had made a reservation and were immediately sat.

From the outside the restaurant looks all white yet inside is all black - a classy, luxurious feel. Closer to the back, one of the walls had many little vases with white gerbera daisies in them. No Italian music though, just quiet lounge/electric.

NOSE & SWIRL

intricate, strong character

As we were sat, warm bread with extra vergin olive oil and dried rosemary appeared, followed our waiter placing the white napkins in our laps and placing the menus before us. I have to admit, their wine list is impressively long an versatile.. Italian, French, American, Canadian were some of the few on there.

Now this was the way all waiters should be. He described every single dish on special with such detail and when I asked him about two Italian grape variety, I had never tried, he explained them very well and with an easy-going attitude. On top of that he had an Italian accent and came to the table plenty of times to ask what we think. Well manner, informative and caring.. what else could you want?

PALATE

full-bodied, complex

So we ordered the Trio Carpaccio di Pesce and Pappardelle al Cinghlale. My friend had an Italian Amarone style wine while I had an oaky Californian Chardonnay. Don't let the online menu fool you, there are quite a few wines by the glass. My Chardonnay was no cheap one, it had a vanilla, smokey nose and a long lingering finish but it had a slight crisper side to it. The Amarone had a black berry, cassis character, followed by a strong acidic texture and a light finish.

Trio Carpaccio di Pesce looked exquisite - long plate, three separate little dishes. I was not a big fish fan this eve, but it not only looked good but was well cooked and each dish had a distinct character. They crushed some peper for me on top.

Pappardelle al Cinghlale actually had small chunks of meat (bacon bit size), but overall creamy and well done. We were confused why they served it with a spoon for the pasta, when the pappardelle was so thick that you can hardly rotate it around the fork. They brought a piece or parmigiano and grated it on top.

We also couldn't help but notice the cutlery - long, and elegant due to the thinning necks and slight twist.

FINISH

a pleasant tastes evolves and linger

Interesting dessert menu, definitely worth going back to check out (cheese platter is on there).

Got more private but still cozy by the end (perhaps it was the company).

overall.. a beautiful malbec

Carisma on Urbanspoon

Bar Italia