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Carluccio’s signature blue & white awnings have been brightening up high streets (& boosting house prices) since 1999. These classy-looking caffè/delis are places to use rather than adore,
whether for a mid-shopping pit stop or for an impromptu lunch with pals or family. Open all day, they’re a good shout for a pick-me-up espresso or Prosecco (depending how the day’s going). The
mid-priced food is ‘reasonably good’ rather than stupendously so, but the chattering classes still pile in for their fix of Puglian olives, wild boar ragù, pasta alla puttanesca & osso bucco
milanese. ‘Stick to the simpler stuff’, advises one regular. The produce in the shop is rather more drool-worthy: ‘I would refuse to leave without making a purchase from the deli’, insists one fan.
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20 January 2010
Had one of the worst experiences in Carluccio's yesterday.
We booked a table for 6 earlier in the day, but only 4 of us turned up and we were shown to a table beside the door. Tried to negotiate getting a better seat (with sofa seatings and larger table) without much luck. The waitress kept insisting that the place was already booked and she cannot do anything about it. Minutes later, a similar table is cleared and I wondered if we were going to be allowed to sit in the better seats. Obviously not.
When the meal came, one of the 3 steaks consist mainly of fat, not really our cup of tea. So, my mate asked for it to be changed. A similar piece was brought out to our disgust. The waitress insisted it was not the same piece and they were not allowed to cook the same piece of meat twice.
We finished our food in a huff and our plates were duly cleared and the bill was presented. Feeling dissatisfied I commented to the waitress the the table we could have been placed on was still empty. Further more a party of two was seated in the table vacated not long after we made our orders.
She then apologised and claimed that it was the porter's (captain?) duty in placing customers, not hers and she has no control over seating. Not very sincere as it was her who told us earlier that she checked and the table was booked. Furthermore, we originally booked for 6, so that table must have been ours in the first place. Luckily, we had some vouchers to limit the damage to our wallets.
Also after the waitress complained to the porter, he gave us a further reduction on the steak that wasn't finished. But, service is service and if Carluccio's want to charge the prices they charge for the food, then the service should have been much better.
Don't think I will return to this restaurant anytime soon.
27 July 2009
When the waiter, who was extremely pleasant, agreed with us all that the two swordfish steaks we served raw and were totally unacceptable one had the feeling that this poor level of cooking was not the first time that this occured. The sirlion steak i was served was fatty but edible. 2 starters of garlic prawns were also server raw. A hefty chunk of the bill was removed however the total was still £130. Over priced, inadequate food served by staff that were obviously all too aware of the kitchens incompetancy. A real shame.
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