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Carluccio's (Restaurant)

Picture of Carluccio's in Maida Vale & St Johns Wood, London

60 St Johns Wood High Street, Maida Vale & St Johns Wood, London, NW8 7SH
Cuisine: Italian
Tel: 020 7449 0404 | Email to Carluccio's | Transport: St. Johns Wood | Write review

Carluccio's Review

Which would you prefer: exposure to rain or noisy kids? The selection is almost as tough as choosing between Brussels sprouts and cabbage. I just had to look back outside to realise I was happy to endure a buzzing restaurant with a large clientele of children. I decided not to go back into the torrent, but rather to put my head down and soldier through the kid cacophony. I did have a job to fulfil after all, albeit eating food conceived by genius Antonio Carluccio; the load to bear is just too much sometimes. Maybe I’d cope after all.

But ‘cope’ is not really what I wanted for my night out. I wanted to enjoy my evening, and allow my senses to be indulged. The first taste of this came in the form of a peppery Shiraz knock off – but a wine in its own right – the Salice Salentino, which was nicely soaked up with breads served in perfect Italian style. It was, however, opened before it arrived at the table; poor form, if you ask me. I wasn’t bothered to point a finger, the place was pretty busy. Nerves calmed after a glass or two, and gradually the rambunctious chatter of the neighbouring kid-clad tables didn’t seem so bad. I could hear my inner voice whimpering, “Aw, the little tykes”; almost.

As mentioned, the restaurant was busy. There were some lil’uns and there were some big’uns. Yummy mummies sporting Prada and Armani sat in the ‘grown ups’ section of the restaurant, nattering away to their heart’s delight. At the back, nannies kept crowd control, with evenings no exception, as we discovered. For once, sitting at the rear didn’t have its usual positive ramifications. So, kick any hopes of Italian romance out the window. Although tempting enough, you won’t likely sneak a snog in a corner or footsie under the tables since they are small and placed together rather cosily.

An antipasto platter is my old time favourite. A sampler by heart, I fell head over heels for the scrumptious salamis and oven roasted tomatoes which sent my taste buds to tango land. Tango was sadly stifled by the stuffed chicken which was about as good as what you could get from the leftovers of a church fair. Still, on the whole, I found myself licking my chops like a big bad wolf. It was good.

Carluccio himself is the magnific mushroom master, so I had preconceived ideas of having a recommended mushroom dish for mains. My date, on the other hand, went for the lamb leg steak. Although my pasta was edible, it left me with the nagging question: what IS the big deal? Mr. Lamb Leg Steak had little to say about his main, other than “I’ve never had a lamb steak before” and “salty”.

Desserts came and went. A peach in Dolcetto wine was doused with so much chutney-looking peach puree, you could mistake it for some form of fruit soup. But, things got better with the chocolate gelati ice cream which was intense, deep and rich (reflecting the essence of the perfect man) - how could I possibly fault it?

Towards the end of the evening, the younglings had, on the most part, disappeared. The lights were dimmed and I could finally hear the Italian opera playing on the stereo. The light shades reminded me of a small version of something Cheryl Cole might wear: white, frilly and flowery.

It was nearly time for us to disappear, but not without a limoncello. According to Mr. Lamb Leg Steak, leaving without trying one would be sacrilegious. So, bottoms up we went – served cold and sooo lemony – it packed the kick of a mule.

So, my overall impression? Economically priced, quality food, passionate staff and with good service, the fuss over Carluccio’s is fair after all. We left happy, a little red nosed – damn that mule - and smelling of cheese.
...read more

Philippa Morton

Customer Reviews for Carluccio's

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Carluccio's.

“i went here with a friend one night during the week. although the food is extremely well-priced i have to say, when ever i think back to the food, i think: stodgy. People raved about carluccio's so much - thought id go back a second time and order something else. Still, stodgy. maybe italian and i dont mix so well.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
christine, london (4 years 7 months 21 days ago)

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Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Italian
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: Carluccio's

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Venue ID: 1881

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