Last week I went to the launch party of Carluccio’s, on Greek St in Leeds. It had an exciting, vibrant atmosphere no doubt helped by the endless bottles of Prosecco that kept doing the rounds! A bit like a wedding reception, but even more tiddly. Unfortunately though, Le Bump prohibited me from partaking in this aspect of the night, but it was amusing to see other guests gently begin to sway whilst they got increasingly loud and flushed.
There were plenty of canapés to line the stomach though, which included generous portions of prociutto served wrapped around breadsticks, prawns and deep fried rice balls with different variations added like ragu, or mozzarella and pesto. I’ve never had these before and they were tasty and interesting, if a bit claggy. Also, the tendency for them to get stuck on your teeth was a little problematic and not the most attractive look! The real winner apparently was the beef, served on toasts with a fresh horseradish mayonnaise, (I couldn’t try them – bump restriction). People seemed to love them and they did look fantastic.
Later on they served plates of fresh mushroom risotto – DELICIOUS. If this is anything to go by, the food there should be excellent. Having the appetite of a herd of horses, I devoured it in seconds, but the small portion surprisingly turned out to be ample.
The most entertaining aspect of the event was the jolly Italian singer with his accordion who meandered his way through the throng. Admittedly, it was more fun when he was interacting directly with you and embarrassing people like Mr M by trying to get them to sing, than it was when he was further off and just being LOUD.
I’ll be really interested to go back to Carluccio’s to try the menu, and see what it’s like to spend a normal evening there. Judging by the staff at the launch, the service should be professional but really friendly, and the place certainly seems to have captured the vibrant Italian atmosphere, but as I said, that might have been down to the free-flowing Prosecco!
Antonio himself didn’t make an appearance, but I saw him on Saturday Kitchen so I know he was in the country! Anyone would think this was just one in a gigantic money spinning chain for him?!