When you think about Christmas food, it’s hard not to imagine gluttonous platters that will leave you in a food coma for days. Italian gaff Carluccios has turned that on its head with its festive menu, which indulges you in rich, beautiful flavours rather than over-stuffing you like nana’s turkey...
That being said, we did go for three courses (£28pp). Just so we could give a fair opinion, obviously. For starters we feasted on crispy fish delights and a veggie mezze platter.
The mezze was filled with lots of lovely trinkets – but if they’d served a plate just with the salted focaccia and roasted red peppers, I would not have complained. Proper traditional, tasty antipasti. Often when eating out at Christmas, us veggies are either stuck with burned tarts or something else boring, but Carluccio’s knows what we all really want – a massive portion of porcini and truffle creamy lasagna. The vegan festive option is a plant-based escalope paired with butternut squash and kale that made me double-check the menu because of how meaty it was in flavour.
Puds was the panettone festivo – a beautiful mish mash of the sweet bread, with chestnut cream and chocolate and hazelnut sauce. It tasted like Kinder Bueno with an Italian twist – the dream dessert. The staff were welcoming, thoughtful, and happy to tell me about the Italian chefs in the kitchen and the ingredients sourced from the boot-shaped country. Good service can make or break an experience, and these lot made it with bells on.
I never knew I wanted Italian Christmas food but, now I’ve had it, I’m mega impressed and want more. And Carluccios, with options aplenty on the menu, a cosy atmosphere, and fantastic flavours… Well, what more could you want from a festive food experience?
20 Central Avenue, West Bridgford, NG2 5GR