If you’ve been living under a rock or possibly one of the Cathedral Square paving slabs you will have missed that Peterborough’s latest restaurant – Carluccio’s has finally opened.
Founded by the “Godfather of Italian Food” Antonio Carluccio (but since sold to a Dubai-based investment company), the restaurant is styled more as a smart-casual caffè where you can pop in for great food whether it’s a breakfast pastry or an evening dinner for two. As chain Italian restaurant, Carluccio’s gets mentioned in the same breath as PizzaExpress, Ask, Prezzo, etc but really it deserves a bit more respect.
What I appreciate about Carluccio’s is that it’s always about the food – great Italian food – despite being a chain restaurant. They don’t even need pizza on the menu, just a veritable smorgasboard (and then some) of dishes.
So when I received an email from Queensgate PR on the matter of Carluccios I admit I got my hope up that I would be invited to the opening of the restaurant, maybe even a chance to share a plate of canapes with some of Peterborough’s heavyweights – come on, who doesn’t like the offer of a free dinner! But sadly it wasn’t to happen. There was no golden ticket and no chauffeur driven limousine – not even a Megarider ticket on Stagecoach’s finest. But I was in good company with BBC Radio’s breakfast show host Paul Stainton also overlooked (don’t worry Paul, the invitation to share a Findus lasagna still stands)
I suppose on the plus side, by having to buy my own dinner (such a hardship I know) I don’t feel obliged to give the restaurant a biased review. So with that in mind I took myself down to Carluccios, got seated and ordered a breakfast. Like the coffee, I’m not bitter and whilst seated I took in the decor and watched the staff busy at work with no drama although it was still morning service.
The refurbished building certainly looks different since my last visit – a couple of decades ago when it was another Italian restaurant, but the work seems to have paid off. The outside seating area has welcome patio heaters too for those that want to embrace the cafe culture whatever the weather.
I think Carluccio’s will do well in Peterborough and has given a welcome boost to our restaurant offering in the city centre.
Have you visited Carluccio’s yet and if so, let me know how you got on – was it busy, what did you eat and would you go back?
Main image by S.Tore