There are few problems that a bowl of rich, comforting pasta can’t fix.
Italian food has become an integral part of British cuisine, from quick midweek fixes to family favourite restaurants serving up gooey lasagnes, romantic candlelight and wine by the bucketload.
Carluccio’s is a little different. There’s no pretence of old world Italy here — much like other restaurants in the celebrity chef’s successful chain, the new Silverburn branch is bright, modern and minimalist.
Whitewash walls and round white tables mean that your attention is grabbedinstead by a shopfront of imported pastas, oils and wines, not to mention tempting treats of the cake variety — all fitting for a shopping mecca like Silverburn.
The other half’s starter — a classic insalata — was great; fresh clouds of buffalo mozzarella, red and yellow tomatoes, punchy capers and rocket, all dressed in a high quality olive oil. There’s nothing like top quality ingredients without fuss to cause a little food envy.
Mine — chargrilled sardine with radicchio, rosemary and balsamic dressing — was a little limp; the fish lacking in crispiness and overpowering the rest of the dish.
The OH was more than impressed with his next course, tortelloni filled with wine-braised venison; the pasta tasted very fresh, the filling meaty and moreish enough to carry this simple yet effective dish.
I opted for penne giardiniera; Pugliese pasta with courgette, chilli and fried spinach balls dressed in garlic — a delightfully different dish, lacking in richness but perfect if you’re easing your tummy into the full-on festive season.
We finished with a well-presented affogato and tarter-than-tart lemon tart and made our way out through an ever-increasing number of diners grabbing a post-shopping bite to eat.
Traditional it’s not — but among the upmarket chain eateries vying for attention at Silverburn, Carluccio’s can more than hold its own.
Silverburn Shopping Centre
Tel: 0141 876 4326