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Carluccio's (Restaurant)

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305-307 Upper Street, Angel & Islington, London, N1 2TU
Cuisine: [Other/Unclassified]
Tel: 020 7359 8167 | Email to Carluccio's | Transport: Angel | Write review

Carluccio's Review

Emma and Charles Darwin, the Queen and Prince Philip, Richard and Judy, George and Jane Jetson, even Barbie and Ken... all marriages of longevity and unquestionable compatibility. And I’m ‘proposing’ that Carluccio’s be added to this grouping of joyful conjugality, as the amalgamation between restaurant and deli has never resulted in such a blissful partnership.

Nor is the Carluccio marriage childless; this spousal tying between restaurant and deli - which began in 1991 when Antonio and Priscilla Carluccio started a small cafe and shop - has resulted in a brood bigger than that of the old woman who lived in a shoe, with a Carluccio’s being found at Canary Wharf, Covent Garden, Notting Hill and many other locations, both in and out of London.

My trip was to the Islington branch; an atheistically pleasing and intimate space, with large mirrors adorning the greater volume of wall space, advertising daily specials and events through the scrawling of a thick nibbed pen. On a chilly Friday evening, these mirrored walls depicted images of happily feasting families with chocolate mouthed children, handholding couples canopied in the low lighting of the enchanting backroom that’s shrouded in red paint, and friends relaxing out front in the blue booths indicative of an old school canteen, sharing good food, good wine and good company (I’m completely guessing with that last bit, there at least seemed to be no animosity between them).

Underlying the buzz of the dining crowd was the nondescript plucking and strumming of Italian guitars that wafted from concealed speakers, conjuring images of moustached men wearing olive complexions and bow ties, playing patronage to the rustic Italian food being served.

Ah yes, and what of the food? Although Antonio may not be under the kitchens hot lights himself, he’s damn well made sure to whisper his secret recipes audibly into the ear of the well representing chef, secrets which have doubtlessly made this company so successful, causing families to dispose with dreary Dolmio meals and instead cry out ‘when’s your Carluccio day?!’

Antonio’s aim is to produce great quality, authentic Italian food at sensible prices; an aim that has been successfully met, with plenty of antipasti sharing plates on offer and, of course, a large selection of pasta dishes. The Penne All A Luganic (tubes of pasta with rich and spicy Italian sausage to you and I) was met with cries of ‘eccellente’ and the flavoursome bone in rib steak was left as nothing more than a skeleton of its once fleshy form. A classic bitter chocolate gelati artigianali - a delicious traditionally made ice cream – accompanied with what ended up as a whole packet of wafers (our waiter was extremely generous), finished the meal better then Michelangelo finished the Sistine Chapel, and I was left with a contented smile upon my face, rubbing my tender and bloated belly with the same affection of a woman 8 months pregnant.

But how about the restaurants spouse? As mentioned previously, the deli works in perfect harmony with the restaurant; the shelves of coffee, biscuits, herbs and spices, wines, oils, chocolates, fresh pasta and sauces all stand proudly in a display facing out of the original marble shop front window. Hurrying passersby stop in their tracks at the sight of the whimsical food shop semblance, probably half expecting to see Bagpuss front and centre, as a series of sepia photos start playing in their heads.

All in all, with its warm atmosphere and belly warming food, I anticipate the sound of divorce bells will never be heard at Carluccio’s. Here’s to a long and happy marriage.
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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 had such a lovely time at Carluccio’s! The staff were all so welcoming and friendly and even found some crayons to keep my four-year-old occupied whilst I managed to enjoy a glass of wine (or two) and my yummy food. They definitely know what they’re doing in the kitchen! I know Carluccio’s is part of a chain but it doesn’t feel that way in the least, in fact the space feels very intimate and unique and the deli at the front is a lovely touch, I even picked up some fresh pasta so that I could give emulating the linguine with prawns and garlic sauce dish at home! I will be back again and will be recommending Carluccio’s to anyone who can stand my gushing!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Tabitha Grimshaw, London (9 years 6 months 22 days ago)

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