Review: Carluccio's

Carluccio's is Antonio Carluccio’s Italian caffè business. Antonio continues to work with the Carluccio’s team on menu development and chef training whilst also concentrating on new projects. I first ate there about 5 years ago but never had the chance to go back since. I was invited to try their evening menu, and took my Mum along with me to try it out!

The Exeter Carluccious is located in the centre of Princesshay. There is an amazing window display of delicious looking cakes, fluffy meringues, and other fresh deli food. Upon looking around I found loads of great Carluccio's branded pastas, sauces and wines- I could spend a really long time and a lot of money in there!

While we perused the menu we were served with fresh Ligurian foccacia bread (which we were told was made from scratch every morning!), with olive oil & balsamic vinegar. I was amazing at the size of the bit of bread, but still had no problems finishing it all off and enjoying ever last bite!

For starters I had Gnoccchi Sorrentina- fresh potato gnocchi with tomato sauce, melted Buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. It was really nice and a very generous portion size for a starter. The gnocchi was really fresh, nicer than I have ever eaten before. The overall flavour of the dish was a little plain, but the melted mozzarella definitely made up for this making a great starter overall.

Mum decided to step up and try the calamari, as this is what Nick chooses any time we ever go out! It was really crispy on the outside but perfectly cooked in the middle.

Mum chose one of the Chef's specials, a tender grass fed 7oz pan fried rump steak served medium rare with cavelo nero, cherry tomatoes, roasted peppers and olives. The steak was tasty and tender and well complimented by spinach and veg. The dish didn't come with any sides but Mum ordered some rosemary & garlic roasted potatoes, which is what was served with my main.

After a lot of deliberation over the main course I finally settled on chicken saltimbocca. Saltimbocca means ‘to jump in your mouth’, and is chicken breast, flattened and wrapped in Parma ham, with a white wine and sage sauce. Served with rosemary & garlic roasted potatoes. I don't think this picture really does justice as to how delicious this is!! The chicken was beautifully succulent and the sauce was a great finishing touch. The potatoes were crispy and really well flavoured. On the side I had funghi fritti - mixed mushrooms, lightly breaded and fried with garlic. These were amazing little crispy strips that tasted delicious! They went perfectly with my main for a bit of crunch on the side!

Mum went for a delicious vanilla panna cotta with rum flavoured cream and candied orange and I went for a salted caramel & chocolate sundae- scoops of vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate and salted caramel sauces, topped with crushed Amaretti biscuits. The panna cotta was delicious and creamy with a good taste of rum. I think the Amaretti biscuits were a little overpowering of the salted caramel flavours on my sundae, but that is down to personal preference. I rarely manage to eat 3 courses, so the fact I succeeded is a testament to how nice it all tasted!

Find your nearest Carluccious here

Food **** Atmosphere ***** Service *****

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