- a blog about food and value

Restaurant Review: Carluccio’s

carlucciosThe UK chain Carluccio’s now has a branch on Dawson St, comprising a restaurant and a deli selling their beautifully packaged, hilariously overpriced Italian treats.

Our reader Joanne tipped us off about their €12 menu del giorno, which includes a starter, a main and a coffee. You can also add a large glass of wine to that deal for €4.95 (the wine would usually cost about €6.50).

Eight of us went there for dinner on Tuesday, and the special menu offered the following choice:

Starter: Mixed salad or Pea and ham soup

Main: Ravioli with spinach and ricotta or Penne Alla Luganica (spicy sausage)

What was good about it?

  • I thought the special menu was really good value – my spicy sausage pasta was delicious, and the price is great. It runs all day long and isn’t restricted to early bird hours like so many restaurant deals.  My pea and ham soup was a little bland but very comforting, and came with the best focaccia I’d ever tasted.
  • The interior is really pretty, it’s a lovely fresh space, all decked out in white and aqua.
  • They don’t take bookings, but were accommodating when we turned up with a large group.
  • Two people shared a chocolate bread and butter pudding for dessert and pronounced it delicious.

What was bad about it?

  • Those that ordered the ravioli found it a little bland.
  • The service was a bit funny…not bad exactly, the orders all came very quickly, it was just small things like attempting to take plates away before they were finished.
  • The room was very noisy and it’s hard to talk, but that probably wouldn’t be as noticeable with a smaller group.

I’d be happy to go back to Carluccio’s again, I really enjoyed my meal.  Our bill came to €160 for eight people, and that included lots of glasses of wine and a dessert, and no service charge was added even though we were a large group.  If you don’t avail of the special offer and order from the standard menu, starters come in at around €7 and pasta dishes are around €12.


  1. The problem with this restaurant is it is so so so slow, gave it the benefit of the doubt last week after a slow experience but again it took 40 minutes to be served at lunch time – not good enough and arrived cold…

  2. I’ve eaten at Carluccio’s three times now. Twice it was excellent and the third time not quite so special but still good and good value too. I like the environment, a bit bustly and bright open surroundings (ground floor). I have gone to meet a friend there, gone with my sweetie for lunch and eaten on my own. The pasta all seems to be freshly made and the coffee is the best. Not just the usual dishes either, some unusual and very tasty (fried spinach balls) variations. The lemon sorbet is amazing. This would be a good place to buy a gift if invited to friends for dinner – nice looking deli stuff.