It’s been quite a while since we tried Carluccio’s. Pip last visited a little over a year ago when she ate at the Metrocentre venue and I’ve never been. I’ve always been a huge fan of Italian food and since going to Naples in the summer I now have a greater passion for it. Those I work with you will tell you I can often be found harping on about tomatoes!
We headed down to Carluccio’s on a Friday night and it was fairly busy when we arrived at 6pm. Staff were very friendly which I always find to be a nice start to an experience.
We were asked if we’d like some wine at the table which we entertained and it was nice to see that the wines were marked as vegan on the wine menu. Pip doesn’t like having to ask the waiter who then has to go and check the bottle or search for it on Google. The waiter commented that it’s becoming more common place for the bottles to be marked as vegan but not always. Olives were to accompany whilst we decided on what were were going to have from the menu.
We don’t have a photo of the menu but you can find it here. Pip chose to have the Tomato Bruschetta to start and I went for the Sicilian Arancini. I don’t think you can go wrong with Bruschetta but it depends on how good the tomatoes are (here I go again!). Our standards due to the trip to Naples are extremely high and without trying to be biased because of that, this was ok. I had Arancini in Naples and it was delightful. The Arancini from Carluccio’s again were ok. I’d like to try it in a few more Italian restaurants in the North East to see how it compares.
One of the things I will mention is that all of the food came out very timely. We weren’t left waiting for very long at all. For our mains Pip chose the Celeriac and Chestnut Rigatoni and I went for my favourite, the Lasagne. Pip has said that she liked the unusual pairing of the celeriac and the chestnuts.
What happened with my lasagne was a gift and a curse. It arrived at the same time as Pip’s Rigatoni and I noticed that one corner was a bit thin and slightly charred. To be honest, I didn’t really think much of it and ate it regardless. Just as I finished it, the head waiter arrived with another plate of Lasagne! He said that he’d noted when the first one came out that it wasn’t good enough by his standards and asked for another one to be prepared as soon as possible. I wasn’t told, ate the first and of course couldn’t waste the second. No one gets between me and good lasagne!
The vegetables that came out with the meals were very nice, more so because they were laced in garlic which is another thing we both love.
For dessert, Pip opted for the Plum Tart with Raspberry Coulis and I went for the Chocolate Torte.
Pip’s dessert was quite tart, especially with the coulis, and needed something creamy to offset the sourness. The chocolate torte with vanilla ice cream was tasty and very rich. I ate it a bit slower to savour the flavour.
All in all, we had a lovely evening in Carluccio’s. The staff were fantastic and the service was great, even with the confusion surrounding my lasagne. I ate two mains, so it definitely worked in my favour!
If you’re travelling into Newcastle by car on an evening, Grey Street and Dean Street are closest to Carluccio’s for parking. These do get busy on an evening so spaces might be sparse. If you’re enjoying a longer evening with drinks and travelling by metro, Monument Metro Station is just a short walk away.
Thanks for reading,