London WC2E 9BH
Since, I had had such a decent experience at the Carluccio's in Pinner. when my husband wanted to eat Italian, I had no hesitation in recommending the Carluccio's that was next door in Covent Garden.
The place was buzzing, They occupy 3 floors, with washrooms in the basement, the store and one seating space on the ground floor and 2 seating spaces on the first floor. The interiors were a classy white and red. The place was full and we thought that was an indication of how good it was. Sadly, the crowds belied the quality.
The calamari fritti (6.25) that I had loved at the Pinner location, was soggy and soaked in oil.
The Antipasto Massimo (13.95) had only meat on the platter unlike what was suggested on the menu. The menu said it would have - Foccacia, Napoli & Milano salami, roast ham, stuffed chicken, green bean salad, caponata, roast vegetables and olives. As you can see in the picture above, what arrived was very different.
We had to ask for some bread to be served with the cold meats. (It hadn't been served originally), the vegetables and salads were nowhere to be seen except for the olives and capers. Our request for olive oil to dip the bread in and temper the saltiness of the cold meats, never materialised.
For mains, we ordered the trio di pasta - a tasting trio for 2, including the heavily recommended ravioli. There was absolutely no hint of the sage in the dish and it felt like the ravioli had just been tossed in melted butter rather than butter browned with sage. When we brought this to the servers attention, he promised to get us a fresh plate properly made or to give us complimentary coffee, but we turned it down, since we knew we would not be able to finish the other two pastas that were quite good. The tortelloni with braised venison and the papardelle with mushroom, both of which had much more flavour to them and were much better tasting. (although the pasta con funghi was nowhere close to the version served at Pinner)
The servers were doing their best, but they were just too badly over worked. Too many tables and not enough staff. Plus the food had to be brought up to the first floor from the ground floor, turning it slightly cold in the meanwhile.
The beautiful decor, just cannot make up for low quality food.
If I wanted to eat at Carluccio's, I would avoid this location and try one of the 35 other locations in London.
Rating : 2.5 / 5