Review: Menu Festivo (Christmas Menu) at Carluccios

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas – especially when restaurants start serving up their set festive menus!  We tried out the brand new ‘Menu Festivo’ at our local Carluccios in Cardiff Bay last night. The restaurant was beautifully decorated with colourful Christmas gifts, baubles and twinkling candles and there was a warm, charming atmosphere inside on a particularly stormy night by the sea!

The menu costs £16.99 for two courses, or £19.99 for three and there are three starters to choose from, four main courses and three desserts.

My other half and I both chose the Antipasti Della Casa to start – a generous selection of Milano and  Ventricina salami, Buffalo mozzarella, garlicky marinated aubergines, minty courgettes, peppers and rustica olives with bread sticks (there was also a roasted squash soup and chicken liver pate on the starters’ menu). For main, I opted for the Prawn Fettuce – ribbons of fettuce pasta with king prawns in a sauce of halved cherry tomatoes, white wine, extra virgin olive oil and fennel seeds and – which was light and not too filling. My partner enjoyed a nicely cooked Truffle Butter Ribeye Steak served with rosemary and garlic roast potatoes.

Puddings were Torta Cioccolato – a chocolate torte with a nicely sharp raspberry coulis and the star of the show was my other half’s Panettone – Carluccio’s award-winning cake drizzled with a Vin Santo syrup and served with vanilla ice-cream.

After our meal we browsed through Carluccio’s 40-strong range of seasonal products – everything from hand-decorated milk, dark and white chocolate Christmas trees, advent calendars, chocolate coin stocking fillers, Christmas crackers wrapped in vibrant geometric prints, Baci di Dama biscuits, chocolate coated figs, all with jewel-toned ribbons or in gold-trimmed gift boxes. Plus of course Carluccio’s’ award-winning Panettone. Shop in store or online at www.carluccios.com

Let me know if you’ve eaten anywhere fabulous recently…

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