Excellence El Carmen
Excellence El Carmen Restaurants & Dress Codes
ULTIMATE VACATIONS Description, Review & Photos of Excellence El Carmen Adult-Only All-Inclusive 9 Dining Options, including Mediterranean, Italian, Asian & the Lobster House, plus dress codes
All 9 dinner restaurants at Excellence El Carmen feature a la carte dining. Reservations are not required or accepted. From what we have experienced in several stays at Excellence resorts, including this one, there is seldom a wait. *Spa cuisine and vegetarian menu selections are available in all restaurants.
For Dinner Restaurants AGAVE, BASMATI, CHEZ ISABELLE, THE FLAVOR MARKET, THE GRILL, TOSCANA, SPICE
Casual elegance for gentlemen: Long pants, dress shirt, casual shoes or elegant sandals must be worn.
Casual elegance for ladies: Long pants, Capri pants, skirt, blouse, casual shoes and elegant sandals must be worn.
Not allowed: t-shirts, tank tops and / or beach sandals.
For Dinner Restaurants OREGANO, THE KITCHEN TABLE, THE LOBSTER HOUSE, MAGNA CLUB RESTAURANT, THE FLAVOR MARKET & SPORTS BAR
Casual for gentlemen: Short pants and Capri pants are allowed. Dress shirt, casual shoes or elegant sandals must be worn.
Casual for ladies: Long pants, Capri pants, blouse, casual shoes or elegant sandals must be worn.
Not allowed: t-shirts, tank tops, and / or beach sandals.
AGAVE Open: 6 PM - 10:30 PM
Agave is the Mexican cuisine restaurant at Excellence El Carmen. This is an open air second floor restaurant. The menu is extensive with multiple appetizers, a couple of soups, and a full selection of traditional Mexican dishes for the main entree: Using fresh fish, flank steak, chicken and beef you have options ranging from Burritos to Fajitas to Tacos and more. Dining here was good but we found the taste to underachieve compared to Agave options in Mexican Excellence Resorts. Then again, those are extremely impressive. Open for dinner only.
BASMATI Open: 6 PM - 10:30 PM
Basmati specializes in the regional dishes of India’s North-West frontier, mixing up tangy herbs, spices and cooking techniques. Uses traditional Indian decor and furnishings with mostly settings for two. Open for dinner only.
CHEZ ISABELLE Open: 6 PM - 10:30 PM
Chez Isabelle has always been a favorite of ours at other Excellence Resorts - and the version at Excellence El Carmen does not disappoint! This air conditioned French restaurant is terrific, even for those with demanding standards. In fact the menu has evolved. They offer many of the typical French appetizers you might expect including grouper, marinated salmon, and crunchy goat cheese; soups like French Onion and Shellfish soup bouillabaisse with aioli croûtons.
The Main Course is divided between From The Sea and From The Land. Options From The Sea include Steamed Grouper filet, grilled Red Snapper, seared sea scallops, seared salmon, seared tuna, and a fabulous confit escargot maitre d' with pumpkin cream and green oil reduction.
From The Land options include beef tenderloin, grilled rib eye, traditional raw beef tartare, chicken breast and filet mignon. Open for dinner only.
Lobster House lunch view
Lobster House Dinner
THE GRILL Open: 6 PM - 10:30 PM
Located in the main building, The Grill is for meat lovers. But there is so much more. The extensive non-main course menu includes a list of appetizers, salads, soups and creams, and two pastas, including spaghetti with strips of grill roasted beef.
Hamburger lovers will drool over this section of the menu. Choose between 7 oz burgers from beef, spicy beef, chicken, spicy chicken, and salmon. Bun options include traditional, whole wheat and sesame. And then there is the Special Burger portion of the menu. Five different offerings featuring the Oscar: beef and crab burger with asparagus au gratin in a buttered toasted brioche.
From The Grill: Beef - Flank Steak, Picanha, Beef Tenderloin, Sirloin Strip, New York, Rib eye and ribs. Plus pork, chicken and fish options. From The Rodizio: Beef - rib eye and picanha. Pork - ribs, loin, and Argentine sausage. Chicken - chicken legs. Turkey - turkey wrapped in bacon. Open for dinner only.
THE FLAVOR MARKET Open: 6:30 PM - 11 AM
The Flavor Market, air conditioned venue is more of a meet your friends and snack before dinner or late night munchie type of place. It is a friendly gathering place with Tapas samples, a great place to pair flavors from around the world with different wines. Open for dinner and late night until 11am.
To start with there are a number of salad and soup options. Tapas: Chicken & Ham Croquettes, Cod Croquettes, Calamari cornet, Eggs with French Fries, Galician Octopus, plus spicy treats like "Bravas" potatoes in tomato garlic sauce, and "Bravisimos" potatoes in hot sauce. Mini-Sandwiches: Veal with blue Cheese & Piquillo chili peppers, Mini-beef burgers, Mini chicken burgers, Sirloin Steak, Black Pudding mini. And Pots: Meatballs w/ tomato sauce & chili, Andalucia pot (shrimp, mussels & mushrooms), Spanish Sausage w/ Navy Beans in its juice, plus Pots featuring Sausage | Shrimp pil pil | Mixed Paella | Mussels in garlic sauce.
Breakfast: 8 AM - 11 AM Lunch: 12 Noon - 5 PM Dinner: 6:30 PM - 11 PM
Lobster House, an open air restaurant, circled by a lazy river pool and overlooks the beach and ocean, providing comfortable breezes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Simply put, this is the place for Lobster. But let's start with the first meal of the day. Breakfast (Order from the menu): Fresh fruits, juices, coffee, cereals, waffles, sweet rolls, and egg dishes. Lunch (Order from the menu): Ceviches, seafood appetizers, salads, sandwiches, an extensive burger selection, pastas, and grilled dishes.
And for the main event, Dinner (Order from the menu): Cold Appetizers: Crab cakes, Seafood ceviche, and shrimp Cocktail. Hot Appetizers: Charcoal grilled octopus, Mussels in wine sauce, Coconut fried shrimp. Salads: Roasted salmon, Caramelized shrimp. Soups: Lobster Bisque, Seafood (squid, scallops, crab and fish with aioli toasts). Pastas: Clams in lime sauce, Buttered Parmesan & chili linguine, Seafood Lasagna with asparagus and coral bisque. Main Entrees: Fried Grouper, Lobster Risotto, Seafood Risotto, Pan Fried Snapper, Salmon prepared in Chardonnay, Surf & Turf (Lobster & Flank Steak), Steamed grouper filet, Grilled or steamed Lobster with a selection of sauces - garlic "mojo" sauce, "ajillo" style, "meuniere" salsa sauce, white wine with celery sauce, thermidor sauce, lime tartar sauce, or saffron creams.
Lobster House is a great choice for a breezy ocean view meal any time of day or night, but if you crave Lobster and seafood - you must do dinner here. Once or twice, at least.
SPICE Open: 6 PM - 10:30 PM
A beautiful air conditioned Oriental designed restaurant with tasteful Oriental background music. Spice has a terrific Pan-Asian menu featuring dishes from Japan, Vietnam and Thailand, plus a private Teppanyaki area.
For starter check out the Sushi Bar. The menu features a wide selection of salads, soups and rice & noodles combinations. Main Entrees include Grilled marinated Tuna fish | Fish filet stir-fried curry paste with ginger | Spicy curry stir-fried shrimp | Grilled grouper fillet | Crispy shrimp & vegetable tempura | Grilled beef skewers with bell peppers | Pork marinated with sweet vinegar sauce, pineapple & grilled vegetables | Diced chicken breast stir-fried. There is also a complete vegetarian menu.
Lunch: 12 Noon - 4:30 PM Dinner: 6 PM - 11 PM
This open air beachfront location serves everything Italian - for lunch and dinner. For Lunch choose between a half dozen appetizers including a fantastic mussels au gratin | Sandwiches like Chicken Breast Club, Focaccia with grilled turkey or Focaccia with smoked salmon. Pastas include Spaghetti and Beef Bolognese. We had a menu with 7 different pizzas including the original Dominican: Tomato sauce, chorizo, bacon, onion, plantain, red bell peppers, mozzarella cheese and Dominican cheese. And for the Main Entree: Chicken breast with lime & thyme | Pork loin layers | Beef lasagna | tuna fish | salmon filet | squid stew with sausage, that I loved. *Let me tell you this menu with ocean views and breezes sure beats the heck out of suffy buffets many resorts force on guests!
Dinner menu is exceptional and of course you are cooled by gentle ocean breezes. Appetizer options include beef carpaccio, tuna, and an outstanding antipasto platter. Soup selections include a delicious fish, mussels and calamari soup. Several Pasta dishes include seafood and spaghetti. Have Pizza your way with six different choices. Main Entrees include tenderloin, veal, breaded pork, stuffed chicken breast, grilled tuna fish filet, grilled shrimp, and grilled grouper.
THE KITCHEN TABLE Open: 7 AM - 11 AM 12 Noon - 4 PM
The Kitchen Table is the resort buffet at Excellence El Carmen. Unlike most all-inclusive resort buffets this one is open only for breakfast and lunch. So you don't have to be worried about being rejected from the "specialty" restaurants and forced to eat at a buffet for dinner. And you don't have to be concerned about stale food sitting under heat lamps. Their are food stations galore to prepare your dish in front of you from omelets at breakfast to pasta dishes for lunch.
SPORTS BAR Open: 4 PM - 11 PM
Our only complaint here is that the Sports Bar is not open for lunch. Once you see our menu description you'll likely agree this is prime afternoon food to watch football, soccer or MLB during the afternoon. It is open daily from 4 pm until 11 pm. Jay never missed an opp to munch of the outstanding buffalo wings and cold draft beers, either for a late lunch or pre dinner holdover!
Here's a look at the five menu categories. Wish we had more days here to sample it all. Appetizers: Spicy Chicken Wings (these are the real thing!) | Cheese Fingers | Battered deep fried onion rings | Fried Chicken roll | Fish Fingers | Chicken Fingers | Nachos. Salads: Cobb | Sante Fe | Caesar. Sandwiches & Wraps: Reuben | Crab | Pepito (flank steak) | Hot Dog | Chicken Wrap | Shrimp Wrap. Burgers: Excellence (with caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, arugula, cherry tomatoes, garlic mayo) served on a sesame bun | Ole Ole! with Serrano ham | Speedy Gonzales (grilled flank steak, onions, melted cheese and avocado) | Si Senor! with crispy bacon, Swiss & cheddar cheese, grilled onions, romaine lettuce & dijon mustard | Cuba's Classic with roasted pork leg | Under the Sea with crab meat & cabbage salad. Pizza: six popular selection.
MAGNA CLUB RESTAURANT (Exclusively for Excellence Club guests)
Breakfast: 7 AM - 11 AM Dinner: 6 PM - 10:30 PM
One of several exclusive amenities bestowed on Excellence Club guests is access to this exclusive restaurant for breakfast and dinner. Dine in air conditioning or outdoors with garden views. A quick glance of the breakfast offerings include three pre fix options and a load of a la carte selections. One of the pre fix options is Gourmandise: Mimosa | Exotic Fruits (pineapple, papaya & mango) | Natural Fruit Juices (orange, pineapple, grapefruit, cantaloupe, watermelon) | Waffles w/ chocolate sauce and chantilly | Eggs: bagel w/ smoked salmon, topped w/ poached eggs or Canadian pork loin topped w/ poached eggs glazed w/ Hollandaise sauce | yogurt w/ muesli. And of course you can order a la carte including fresh breads and sweet rolls, fruits, smoothies, cereals, waffles, pancakes and six styles of eggs from omelettes to scrambled with shrimp.
Dinner includes five appetizer options ranging from a salad with blue cheese and figs, to a calamari and cabbage spring roll. Two soup options include fish & shrimp, and cauliflower veloute with diced chicken breast. There are several pasta options. The Main Entree section is extensive, including Salmon, Lobster, White fish filet, Grilled scallops, marinated tuna fish steak, Grilled Lobster thermidor, Grilled Sirloin, Beer-braised beef ribs, 12-Hour marinated rib eye, Lamb, and Chicken Ragout.
LAS OLAS (Snack Bar located on the beach) Open: 11 AM - 4 PM
You won't even have to leave the beach to enjoy fast food, salads, wood-oven pizzas, and a daily changing theme buffet at Las Olas. Of course you can enjoy your favorite beverage as well.
FOOD SHARK (Food Truck) Open: 6 PM - 12 AM
You simply cannot go hungry at Excellence El Carmen. The food truck concept is alive and well here from 6pm until midnight. And smartly located outdoors, just steps from the Lobby Bar. Check out some of the available items to munch on. Sandwiches including Roasted Cuban pork leg, Marinated Ham, plus various Hot Dogs and Brats with fries and other assorted sides. For Tex-Mex try the Nachos with melted cheese, Nachos with chili, Tacos or Fajitas. And oh by the way, your Hamburger choices consist of beef, ribs, chicken or Philly style.
ROOM SERVICE 24-Hours
in addition to the 11 restaurants and snack bars you have access to 24-Hour Room Service or wherever you decide to order from. And believe it or not, at Excellence el Carmen this service includes alcoholic beverages and wine.