"Don't be a Carluccio’s snob... you might be surprised"Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Funghi fans take note, mushroom season has arrived at [b]Carluccio’s[/b] in Covent Garden and with it comes a deeply delicious seasonal menu you won’t want to miss. A mainstay of Italian cooking for centuries, from now until November the restaurant will be cerebrating mushroom season with a special range of artisan deli products, pop-up markets and a special menu enriched by treasures from the Antonio Carluccio’s book “The Quiet Hunt.”
While the Portobello Benedict sounds like the perfect way to start the day (poached eggs with hollandaise served on roasted portobello mushrooms) we popped in for midweek supper. We absolutely adored the Mushroom Fonduta, a delicious dish of mixed mushrooms in a rich and creamy taleggio sauce, essentially a cheesy soup with plenty of bread for dipping. I dread to think of the calories but it was worth every last one. Could there be a more indulgently autumnal starter?
A mouth-watering portion of Porcini and Truffle Lasagne proved rich and creamy, delicately seasoned with sage and gooey layers of sauce packed with porcini. A beautifully cooked chunk of Fillet Steak arrived with a generous pat of truffle butter, with a rich mushroom and porcini sauce and some hearty greens. You’ll be pleased to hear however that dessert doesn’t techically
involve mushrooms, but comes in the form of a ‘toadstool’ made of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, chocolate and hazelnut sauce, pistachios, hazelnuts, fresh raspberries and chunks of panettone. Inspired by Antonio’s vast collection of mushroom memorabilia, it’s an homage to this most versatile of ingredients in an albeit slightly sweeter form.
The menu is accompanied by two wines expertly chosen to complement the flavours of funghi, while visitors will also find the Carluccio’s deli next door home to some rather tasty treats to take home to the pantry, including the aforementioned truffle butter, truffle-infused olive oil and jars of Tritato di Funghi e Tartufi, coarsely ground mushrooms and truffle perfect for instant crostini and a rather special topping for steak.
I know a lot of Carluccio’s snobs, those who would turn they nose up at its chain status, but given this new menu I’m convinced even they can be turned. It’s a delicious array of autumnal flavours and while mushroom haters may want to steer clear, I’d heartily recommend it.
Laurel reviewed Carluccio's on Mon 14 Oct 2019