Restaurant review: Carmen’s Top of the Bridge

My wife and I eat out about twice a week depending on our social schedule. On occasion we like to do something special usually around a  date like a birthday or an anniversary or Valentine’s Day.

On this V-day I made an online reservation at Carmen’s Top of the Bridge thru Open Table. I have been there many times for Brunch and some dinners over the years. I had not been there in a while, we were in for a surprise.

The view is spectacular as the restaurant sits at  the top floor of the building. Great view of the ocean, Intracoastal waterway  and the Boca Raton hotel are afforded. It’s an expansive room with a large dance floor and they usually have live music.It is the type of place that you really dress up for.

We were seated at a properly set table with plenty of room. The music from the one man band was just right, covering a wide genre of  musical tastes.

The caesar salad was crisp with just the right amount of anchovies. The sweetheart salad was on the sweet side with goat cheese, baby greens and caramelized walnuts and very delicious according to the Mrs.

I ordered a petite filet with grilled shrimp. Served with baby asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes. The filet was perfectly cooked, so was the shrimp. The veggies were al dente. Presentation was immaculate, the Mrs. ordered the Porcini crusted Filet Mignon which was perfectly cooked and seasoned.

The problem we had was with the wait staff. Their english was extremely difficult to understand. They apparently had a hard time understanding the Queen’s English. We were asked to point at the menu items and to give them the drink numbers from the wine and liquor list.

Now I grew up in South Florida and I am of Hispanic descent so I am very conscious of minority sensibilities. However when you are paying good money for a meal you want the wait staff to understand you and you want to be able to understand them.

Also this place was so disorganized we had to ask for everything. There was a team of four gentlemen ” serving” our area but between them they could not get any orders out on time or to the correct table, it looked like a chinese fire drill.

We had to ask for dessert, coffee and the check because the “head” of this serving team was confused, lost and in over his head.

To add insult to injury they added an 18% gratuity to the bill. I normally add the address for a review but I will not be returning to this Keystone Cops disaster, no matter how good the food is.


About Jorge G

business owner, writer of books Miami Beat & Miami Moon, column writer for The Lake Worth Herald
This entry was posted in Florida, reviews............restaurants, gin joints, dives, cigar bars. and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Restaurant review: Carmen’s Top of the Bridge

  1. #1 says:

    I also find service to be of equal importance to the food. Great review. I could practically taste the food.

  2. NBG says:

    WOW! It appears that this V-Day was a disaster for a lot of couples. My husband and I went to Carrabba’s in Miami Lakes, Fl. Withougt a reservation, but we were willing to wait, night was cool, we could seat outside and have a drink. Wait time as 1.5 hrs. Once we were called in, we were sat on the left side fo the restaurant, which had been transformed due to the fact that rented small tables(over 25) with plastic folding chairs had been set up and their normal wooden tables and chairs of that section had been crampted on the side of the bar. You had to be Twiggy to move in and our of the tables, not to mention the poor waiters and bus boys/girls. After seating at our “table” for 10 mins. the waiter came by to apologize for his delay, that he would be back with water and bread, since we had waited for so long, we placed our order right there and then. He brough over the water and bread, 20 mins later salad and soup, 40 mins after that came the main course (my pasta of my dish was not cooked in some areas). Several of the couples around us were complaining about the closeness of the “makeshift” tables and how uncomfortable the chairs were.

    The kitchen size could not accomdate as many tables as had been set up even if you had 20 cooks, the staff was over laping each other and the noise level was unbearable. There was nothing romantic about this V-Day.

    Maybe we should start complaining about where we are seated and treated at many “chain” restaruants, they are not giving away the food we are paying for it. Instead of creating an atmosphere that would make you want to come back, a great deal of the persons there, stayed because they were so hungry after wating for so long, but vowed never to come back. Is one night’s profit worth loosing locals that could become repeat customers? Never again.

  3. Jorge G says:

    wow, greed is at the root of everything, pack em in like sardines and get max revenue out, dont they realize some of us wont go back even if they offered discounted or free food?

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