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Carluccio’s, Covent Garden, London

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Having spent the morning on the underground going from shopping area to shopping area across London, we decided to get off at Charing Cross and walk from Trafalgar Square to Covent Garden, to have a look at the smaller shops, galleries and restaurants along the way. The last time we did this, we ate at the Med Kitchen near the Coliseum which was very nice. After we left on that occasion to get to Covent Garden, we walked along Garrick Street WC2 and stumbled across Antonio Carluccio’s self named restaurant. Looking at the menu by the door, we noticed the prices we so similar to what we had just paid and of course it wasn’t a part of a restaurant chain – so we promised ourselves we would come back next time we came to London.

We were welcomed in and taken upstairs to a lovely bright airy room which wasn’t over-bearing and as my girlfriend said was ‘just enough and not over the top’! We dont often eat out in what we class as a ‘top nosh’ restaurant, so this was going to be a treat we hoped.

The waiting staff were very attentive and after asking for a wine recommendation, the waiter chose one of his personal favourites after asking what I kinds of wine I enjoy. So while going through the menu, a large glass of Salice Salentino Reserva, Candido 2005 from Puglia arrived for me and a Peach Belini for my girlfriend.

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We both ordered and not too long a period after, our starters arrived. Between us we had a plate of Bresaola (Thinly sliced cured beef with rocket, parmesan & lemon) and a Bruschetta of fresh tomatoes with basil, oregano, yellow peppers and olive oil on a toasted Toscano bread rubbed with garlic. Both were superb and just enough to get us ready for the next course.

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For our mains we both chose the same dish being big seafood fans and so chose the Linguine Al Frutti Di Mare – Linguine pasta with squid rings, mussels and prawns with garlic , herbs and chilli. It was simply mouth-watering and perfect for a lunchtime treat on our day out. I am always worried when choosing something with squid in but I didnt have to worry as it was cooked to perfection and was very soft. The wine was a perfect choice as an accompaniment too.

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After enjoying our two courses, we didnt have room for a dessert, so asked for the bill and again was very pleasantly suprised with it being under £40. We left a nice tip, said our goodbyes and thanks to the staff and went back downstairs to the shop to have a look at the goodies on offer. It was a perfect lunchtime treat on a very warm ‘end of summer’ day and a restaurant I would recommend to friends and family who want to something slightly different from the norm of eating out in London!

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