Review: Carluccio's in Colchester

Sunday, 25 February 2018

In January I spotted a voucher mentioned in the Money Saving Expert news letter - buy one main course and get a second for £1 at Carluccio's. I'd recently spotted a Carluccio's tucked away in the corner of the top floor in Fenwick's in Colchester, so this seemed like the ideal time to have a discounted lunch date with my husband! 

We booked ahead and I was very glad we did as the space was quite small. We saw several people get turned away as they didn't have a reservation and all the remaining tables were booked up. Despite it being busy the service was still very good and we order drinks while we browsed the menu. Well, I should say while my husband browsed the menu - I'd already looked at it several times on Friday night and decided what I wanted XD

For a drink my husband had a very odd "Rosemary water", which I'd never seen before. It's sparkling water infused with rosemary, and came with a sprig of the herb in the glass. I had a little sniff at the bottle and smell was overwhelming, but my husband said it was very nice. 

For starters I ordered the garlic bread. This was possibly the best garlic bread I've had in years. The bread was a freshly made focaccia, with a lovely garlic butter melted on top, and then placed on a grill to give a fabulous chargrilled taste. I'd already told my husband to have half of it, as I don't like filling up on starters, but I seriously regretted saying that after finishing off my piece XD My husband had calamari, which he said was very nice and came with a little pot of sauce and a slice of lemon.

My main was a spaghetti carbonara. This was the key reason why I was so happy at getting the voucher, I'd been wanting a proper Italian carbonara for weeks. It was as good as I had hoped, although I thought there was a bit too much parsley on top. But apart from that it was lovely, the pancetta had a wonderfully strong taste and there was just the right amount of sauce to cover the spaghetti. Husband went for the Penne Giardiniera, which was large penne with courgette, chili and garlic, with crispy spinach balls on top. It genuinely wasn't something I thought he would pick as he's not a huge fan of spinach, but he said it was delicious and he was very happy with his choice.

The only problem I had was that at the end of my very large bowl of pasta I had no room for dessert! I had sacrificed half my starter to no avail. I'd already seen someone's tiramisu go by (husband thought my reaction was hilarious) and had been determined to order one myself, but there was no way I could fit a dessert in to my full tummy. 

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