Are you ready for a super foodie post today? I hope so, because this post is carbtastic and will hopefully leave your mouth watering - well that's the intent anyhow.
The best thing for cold winter days and nights, has to be really great food am I right? Especially when it is cooked by someone else. And even more so if it reminds me of travels. Basically I can eat Italian food from dawn until dusk, and a bit later than that too. It's pretty much the perfect food group - yes it's definitely a food group - usually carbs, definitely filling and warming, and reminds me perfectly of my honeymoon which consisted of backpacking around Italy for two weeks. Perfection!
So we were invited along* to the new Carluccio's in Southampton's Westquay, and I couldn't say no to really good authentic Italian food. And neither can Dann.
We rocked up to lunch last Wednesday with a nicely cheerful Henry, and were seated straight away in probably the most baby/pushchair friendly zone of the restaurant - not going to lie, that instantly made me happy as it's so hard to find spots in restaurants that give you room for a pushchair and a highchair, without blocking all access to everyone else walking by.
We were given drinks pretty much straight away by our lovely waitress - whom I didn't get a name, and now totally regret as she was so so good and accommodating. Then we went through the menu. It's not the largest menu on the planet, but it has something for everyone which I love as it can be a little hard to navigate really diverse menus, especially if it's your first visit.
The Bruschetta Trio
Slow cooked beef rib with polenta and tenderstem broccoli
Smoked Salmon Fettuce
and finished with
Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding
Now did I mention I love carbs, because yes that is carbs for my starter and my main, and well, a shed load of sweetness for dessert.
What I really loved about this meal was that nothing was too heavy. You'd think with that many carbs and pasta, and creamy sauces, and massive plates, it would be hugely filling to the point it makes you regret your food decisions, BUT it didn't. We were full by the end, truly, but not in a let's roll back to the car kind of way, more a I'm happy and satisfied, let's take a little walk, kind of way. And I think that is what is key to really good authentic Italian food, it's got all the great flavours, and looks exactly like you would expect, but it's not so... dense.
Also Henry loved the tenderstem broccoli (great for BLW) - taken from my Fettuce. And we even got a few extra raspberries for him - I told you our waitress was lovely - which was great for him, and highly amusing for us, and the staff that saw his red chin.
Both of us (Dann and I) thoroughly enjoyed our meal, and would definitely go back for a little date night, there's so much on the menu that we both really wanted to try, like the calamari (can you ever go wrong with a calamari starter?) and the seafood linguine.
Also I just have to mention the awesome deli and shop they have right at the front of the restaurant. One because, oh my gosh, look at those amazing meringues EVERYWHERE! *heart eyes* Just stacked in delicious sweet piles! And two because I just love that you can actually buy loads of great Italian food to take home with you - and the gifts look great for any foodie.
You can find your local Carluccio's here.
Have you dined at Carluccio's before? What did you think?
*meal provided for review purpose - all opinions as always are my own.
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