As you know, we are only eating in restaurants with outdoor seating right now. It’s the compromise we have made so that we can still go out to eat and feel a little bit safer with all of hubby’s health conditions. Anyhow, I was talking to a friend about being in desperate need for a date night (we suddenly realized we hadn’t been out by ourselves since this whole pandemic started—it seemed rude to leave the kids at home I guess since we were all a bit deprived for outside interactions). Anyway, this friend recommended Convivio because they have nice outdoor seating and a nice atmosphere in general. We had been before but not for several years.
She was right and we got a lovely table on the patio that had the screened in part (there are several nice tables along the bocce court too but harder to get full shade). They use a scanned menu, which I like for less spreading of germs. They have a nice wine list as well. We decided to split a couple of appetizers and share one pasta dish, which was a good choice as the pasta portions are large. They start out by bringing you focaccia and a tomato oil which was very good. They know how to do focaccia.
I have this thing in the summer where I want good marinated tomatoes all the time—since they had a tomato bruschetta ($9.95) on the menu, we ordered that as well as the frito misto ($13). The tomatoes weren’t bad in themselves, but I want some vinegar in mine. I have a need for lots of acid with my tomatoes. They didn’t seem to have any on their tomatoes and when I asked for some balsamic they brought it eventually but said it took a while to find in the kitchen which I thought was weird for an Italian place, but whatever. Once I added the vinegar, I liked it much better. The bread was toasted perfectly. I liked the little hunks of cheese mixed in as well giving a nice texture change.
Their fritto misto is very good and they do a great job with the light texture of the breading but also keeping the seafood (shrimp, octopus and calamari as well as some zucchini) tender and the breading light. We both enjoyed it a lot. I think we ate every single piece. Sticking with the summer theme, we went with the Caserecce all Genovese ($22.95). It was the Caserecce noodles with pesto, sundried tomatoes and shrimp. The noodle is a short noodle that sort of looks folded in on itself. The pesto tasted like summer and the shrimp were cooked just right. One portion was more than enough for 2 people.
We were totally not going to have dessert but then we did. And I do not regret it. It was a crepe filled with vanilla gelato and topped with chocolate sauce and strawberries. You could tell the crepe/gelato part was frozen in advance but it tasted so good on the hot night we were there. And because it was frozen, it held together really well and was super easy to eat. I would easily order this again. Just seeing the picture here again makes me want to eat it again.
All in all we had a lovely dinner. I feel like seasoning on some things could be amped up a little (the bruschetta and maybe a little salt and more lemon on the fritto misto) but we got what we needed and made them work and taste really well. Our server was very nice and helpful and although beastly hot out, we felt pleasant the whole time we were there.
A good place to keep in mind in Carmel with some solid outdoor seating options.
11529 Spring Mill Road
Carmel, IN 46032