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“So, so”

Carluccio's - Chester
Ranked #69 of 575 Restaurants in Chester
Price range: US$14 - US$28
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Groups
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 21 November 2010

After reading some of the reviews I was a little apprehensive of visiting Carluccio's. The good points - the service and the atmosphere. Food was very average and quite disappointing when it comes with a big name. There was nothing particularly wrong with it but it wasn't special either. The "special" risotto had some distinctly uncooked bits of rice in it and the lemon tart with just that - a piece of tart - not even a bit of "garnish". There are plenty of better restaurants in Chester with similar prices so probably won't go back.

Thank Superb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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990 - 994 of 1,011 reviews

Reviewed 13 November 2010

First of all, we couldn't book at lunchtime on a Saturday which was dissapointing.
Returned on a Friday lunchtime without a booking, but got seated straightaway. The only table left was the 'communal table' which I thought was a good idea (our party took it all up anyway)
Service was fine. I don't think any of the staff we spoke to were Italian, but they had obviously taken the time to learn how to pronounce the dishes correctly. Therefore if asking in Italian, at least they understand you unlike some other places.
Staff were friendly enough.
Whe we asked for a glass of house red, the waiter suggested paying a pound extra per glass to get the next wine up from house red. Whilst we didn't mind this, some might find it cheeky. It was nice though.
The food was excellent and I can't fault it at all. Everything they use is high quality, from the pasta to the bread, balsamic vinegar and parmesan.
The food came very quickly, but they were quite happy for us to linger with coffees afterwards and read one of the Italian papers or one of Carluccios books (also available to buy!)
Toilets are very modern and clean and although a bit of a climb up some stairs, there is a disabled toilet downstairs.
The restaurant itself is open plan, light and airy. It works well for lunch, but I wonder how it would look at night and what the atmosphere would be like.
If you want an intimate romantic meal, you probably need to look elsewhere. However, I will definately be returning as I enjoyed the whole experience and the food was the very best. It was a bit busy, but would have liked to have bought some of the food from the small shop which is inside the restaurant to take home.

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Thank Bianconero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2010

From the outside this looks like a clean and modern italian deli/cafe/restaurant. My first impression from the inside was that the restaurant seating / layout towards the back of the building was strange. Along each side of the restaurant are semi-circular booth-like seats (which needed a couple of extra chairs to complete a circular table for the 6 of us) where most people were seated. In the middle of the restaurant were normal tables which were empty and which created an environment lacking in atmosphere. My meal was average-poor. Garlic bread to start was more like a big thick piece of grilled toast - could not taste any garlic. Spicy sausage penne pasta main was dry and there wasn't that much sauce and the tiramisu was not moist or rich. The best part of the meal was the waitress who was very attentive and pleasant from start to finish. I don't have any plans to return.

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Thank DottyUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2010

Where do I begin? Waiting 10 minutes to be seated before finally asking only to be told to wait, even though the restaurant wasn't even half full? Being seated at a uncleared, dirty table? Having to ask for menus, drinks, to place our order? There is so much wrong with this establishment I recommend they close, re-train their staff on the basics of customer service and reopen at a later date. It was so bad we actually stopped being angry and started laughing in anticipation of what was going to happen next. We were waited on by no less than 7 different servers, yet not once where we asked if we wanted another drink, how our food was, etc. The time between mine and my husbands meal and our two older childrens meal was 30 minutes... they both had paninis! At £55 for the liberty and with so many other choices in Chester, I will definitely be giving this one a miss.

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2  Thank spageej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2010

"Carluccio", the name conjures images of a rotund Italian that has a passion for mushrooms! Well I beliveve that he is the Carluccio but now only has a small equity holding but oversees the menu, and it shows. The food was freshly prepared, I had squid followed by pasta, and served by attentive staff. The squid could have been crisper but the pasta made up fot it. My wife had pea and ham soup, hardly Italian, but it was tasty and certainly warmed the soul on a day that was typical British weather.
The place was spotless and offered a good range of menu selection and a few specials. Wine list was suffucient without being over the top. We ate at lunch time and the place was busy. You can also get sandwiches, cakes, soup and other goodies to takeaway. When I visit Chester again I would not look anywhere else to eat. Good value.

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Thank Indimenticabile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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