Carluccio’s is, and always has been, one of my favourite places to eat out since my diagnosis. They were one of the first restaurant chains (that I was aware of) that had a completely separate gluten free menu. I remember the first time I went to one of their restaurants as a Coeliac and I was so excited about having a whole menu to choose from. Today, their menu still has a great choice and all of their gluten free pasta is made fresh on site.
The restaurant in Walton on Thames doesn’t feel like a chain. Yes it’s quite large in terms if space but there aren’t that many covers and you hardly ever see the staff running around like headless chickens. It’s always calm, reasonably quiet and pretty relaxed – quite unheard of for a chain restaurant.
Tonight, we selected a cushty corner table and ordered a few glasses of wine. Well, for me it was the Cranberry Reviver – a refreshingly light cranberry mocktail – as I was the taxi driver for the night.
No starter for me as I always know that I’ll want dessert (we’ll come to that later) and I fancied a risotto which is always dependent on the Specials Board which I imagine changes daily or weekly. Today, it was Risotto Di Pollo E Spinaci – a beautifully creamy chicken, spinach and garlic risotto in a very generous portion. I have to sincerely apologise.. I was so hungry and excited that I forgot to take any photos of my main meal. Infact, I didn’t remember that I needed to take a photo until the plates had been taken away, which is when I had my delayed “d’oh!” moment. I’m still new at this blogging thing!
My acquaintances had a normal pasta with meatballs which look delicious, and a chicken in sauce with roasted potatoes which was apparently quite bland. Overall, they were reasonably happy with their main meals and the portion sizes.
Onto the dessert. My favourite dessert of ALL time and the main reason I visit Carluccio’s. The Dolce Di Cioccolato is a divine, melt-in-the-middle chocolate pudding made with almonds, Kahlua and served with creamy vanilla ice cream. It is SO good I get excited every time I see it. Gooey, creamy, chocolatey and nutty – what more could you want from a chocolate pudding? A perfect ending to a lovely meal.