Was expecting so much more from this new comer to the Bellingham restaurant scene.
High quality food and unique atmosphere for Bellingham
The portions were small but the prices were high. I liked the decor - very modern and not overly distracting visually. The service was good. I paid 25 dollars for one rib. It was good but I would have liked a salad or veg of some kind.
The cost of the food is very reasonable for the quality you get.
I stand corrected! We visited Carnal about a month ago then again this past Friday. What a difference a month makes. The food is truly special - thoughtful, layered flavors. The portions are still small, but we learned from last time that you need to order a lot of the small plates. They also have added waitstaff - no more queuing at the counter and ordering your food. The waitstaff was great - providing suggestions on food and how much to order as well. Drinks now served in actual glassware too! The environment is cozy, modern, lively. And the outdoor area is one of the best in Bellingham! Well done Carnal! We will definitely be back!
Excellent restaurant. Food is spectacular and the service is very good.
Another gem in Bellingham.
Short menu with outstanding entrees.
Every single dish was delicious and creative
This is a menu for flavor, not a menu of large portions
If you feel "value" is gauged in terms of volume or number of calories seek another restaurant.
If you feel "value" is gauged by a gustatory experience without comparison in
Bellingham, you have found your special treat.
Food was marvelous. Service was good. Only ‘issue’ was the music. All we could hear was a backbeat. The acoustics were such that the music was lost to the open ceilings. Sounds like a picky thing but got to be very annoying by the end of the well paced meal. Perhaps when the decoration is complete, there will be something to baffle.
Ordered the whole menu and shared (excluding the wings and cheeseburger). Just the right amount for 3 people.
Food was great, order the wings!! Love the wood burning fireplace. Very nice outdoor eating area.
delicious food, very short menu which isn't a bad thing for the indecisive. The ambiance is good considering COVID, seating is distanced, but no physical barriers between tables. Nice indoor roaring fire.
We ordered everything on the menu and loved all of it! The prices were fantastic when compared to similar restaurants. I can't wait to come back.
Weet with friends and had a really great time. thanks for the great food and drinks
We bundled up and sat outside on a cool evening. Food and cocktails were both great. I'll be back.
Although a very small menu, what they had was extraordinary...even the dressing on the celery was noteworthy! When we asked for bread they explained that they do not yet offer as they only want to offer items they make in house. They also list where all their ingredients come from, and they are all local. We went for my grand-daughter's 18th birthday and their menu does not yet include desserts but they came up with a lovely bowl of crispy rice balls and hazelnut/chocolate dip! They are really hard-working, talented people and deserve to make it here!
Love having a restaurant of this caliber in Bellingham! Welcome!
I see a lot of promise at Carnal. The dishes were excellent, but the style of service doesn't fit the size of the dishes. The dishes are small in a way that would fit a sharing/tapas format, but they're served as courses. The short rib was delicious (though could have been cooked at a lower temp for longer so as to avoid the overdone exterior) but that was the only thing on the plate, which made the dish feel one-note. Cocktails were creative, but a bit on the sweeter and lighter bodied side. It'd be great to mix in a few bolder options. It's a crazy time to open a new restaurant with a lot more challenges than the typical mountain of them a new restaurant has to face. I'm sure Carnal will continue to grow and find their stride. Service was excellent, friendly, and attentive.
The portions were way too small and meat was undercooked. Music choice was not good. Service was good at times and bad at times. Just average. We love to try and support new restaurants...we will not return to this one.
Get one of everything. You won't regret it. Everything was top notch and we are coming back next week.
Went to CARNAL last night and OMG it was INCREDIBLE! Seriously amazing. Outstanding FRESH/LOCAL food, service, covid protocols, social distancing. I predict that when borders open and life moves forward, foodies will come from far and wide to dine here.
We felt comfortable sitting inside because of the size and openness of the restaurant. Both front and back doors were open, ceilings are high, tables far apart and lots of room in between.
The hubs and I shared the beef short rib, marinated avocado, and potatoes. We savored every single bite. The flavors are truly unique and blend together beautifully. The Washington red wines were excellent.
These guys are the real deal and they're working tirelessly (as all restaurants are) to get through this tough time. Support them and you'll be pleased you did.
We started with a flavorsome gem lettuce salad dressed with a 'luscious' creamy dressing; 'teased' with slices of pickled Jimmy Nardello and sprinkled with toasted crunchy bits of grains and nuts. The balance of flavors and textures was 'sensuous'. We both ordered the full length of short rib, roasted and wood-fired seared. It would 'sate' any steak lover 'lust'. The 'supple' steak was served with the bone upon which it was fired and cut from. A 'fleshy' sliver remained for those of us that enjoy gnawing on a meaty bone. The steak 'embracing' a good short rib is one of those butcher secrets, tender and full of flavor if cooked to perfection as it was. In spite of the dining restrictions, the ambiance is full of authentic cool. Our waiter Jake and the staff were friendly and attentive. The chef vibe within the impressive open kitchen was fun and accomplished. Be sure to check out the grill works in the kitchen. Wines are limited and modest (no doubt due to limited business during the current restrictions) and I recommend bringing a bottle worthy of the fare. We were informed that would change, as would the limited but expert menu that focused on local farms and ranches. We had an 'stimulating' evening, impressed and nourished. I can't wait for 'Carnal' to hit it's full stride after the restrictions; except that getting a table will be a challenge.
Incredible food. Delicious drinks. Great ambiance. Stoked to come back soon!
Amazing food, especially the signature rib and avo dish. Loved the garden patio ambiance and definitely going back for the inside fireplace for winter!!
truly one of the best meals of our lifes
I want this to be awesome. And the food is really good, just ridiculously tiny portions that are meant to be shared. You can tell the people behind Carnal are from NYC. This is Bellingham!
I don’t know where they source their chickens but the half chicken must be some rare breed of tiny chicken.
The outside area is awesome. The service is clunky. A host seats you, you order at a register. You pay when you are done eating. It’s weird, inefficient, and seems weird given the price point. Drinks served in plastic cups with overflowing ice.
Hi Anonymous, Thank you for trying our brand new restaurant. A we are new and had the courage to open during Covid, we are admittedly a little clunky here in the beginning but are doing our best to provide guest safety by using plastic cups for the outdoor area and limiting guest interaction per the governors request by offering counter service. As to the $13 half chicken it is de-boned by hand as part our process and then grilled. This process does visually reduce the size on the plate.
Would not ever recommend. This place is way too over priced and not good quality.