|a single stemmed yellow rose|
o was determined to start with foccacia as that is what we had shared on that october evening in two thousand and eight. it came with a small shallow bowl of balsamic and olive oil. sadly, it did not taste or look as it used to. it was missing the light olive oil sheen on its surface, as well as flakes of sea salt and it was most certainly not as moist as focaccia should be. my glass of prosecco (when it finally arrived) was good but could have been slightly more chilled.
from the two course menu o had the tortino di tonno (tuna and caper fishcake) and the gnocchi di patate con spinaci e gorgonzola (fresh potato gnocchi with a spinach and gorgonzola sauce). i had the linguine al fruitti de mare (linguine with squid, mussels and prawns) . the fishcake had a lovely and crisp golden crust with a restrained garlic mayonnaise. its only drawback was that it veered on the very salty side. the soft and slightly chewy gnocchi was a good base for the assertive flavours of the gorgonzola sauce. my linguine should have been al dente but wasn't and tasted merely of saltiness. i have had the linguine here before and it has usually has a stronger note of garlic and chili.
o always likes to conclude dinner at carluccio's with the cioccolato fondente which is really a warm kahlua spiked chocolate pudding with ground almonds. o and i have never been let down by this pudding. usually o and i battle it out for the centre which when it is warm and batter like in consistency is perfect with the vanilla ice-cream. tonight, it was a bit too firm.
there was a time when i loved coming to carluccio's. i think perhaps i had my first spaghetti vongole here the year i graduated from my bachelors, and there was a time when i loved the ravioli in sage and butter. but with a really good italian place near my house that will give me home made troife pasta with sea bass, clams and bottarga and an excellent tiramisu i am not that inclined to come here anymore. truth be told, it is with trepidation that i agreed with o that we should return to carluccio's for our anniversary dinner over the years.