Carluccio's on the upper floor of the Intu Derby Centre in Derby is easily one of the nicest restaurants I have been to in months and it's definitely a venue that hosts the perfect date night experience. A restaurant which has a celebrity backing always brings with it a sort of expectancy that sits above all other dining venues. Antonio Carluccio's Italian restaurant's aim is to provide great quality, authentic Italian food all at sensible prices.

The restaurant comes with a great open-plan layout, it's walls dressed with framed pictures of the Italian food, it's finest and Antonio's various cookbooks available for purchase if you'd like to try recreating the dishes for yourselves at home. There are also window seats which are perfect for the avid people watcher like myself, sometimes you can't help yourself. It has a real airy and expansive feel to it.

For our starters I decided to satisfy a craving of mine and went for the Prawns Marinara. Marinated prawns which were sauteed with white wine, baby plum tomatoes, chilli and fennel seeds in a tomato and basil sauce. It was served with grilled ciabatta, perfect for dipping! I loved this product, the marinated prawns sat alongside the more tomato based sauced than I had expected and definitely a dish I would have again.Jordan opted to have the Sicilian Arancini on my recommendation, I had tried something similar in Zizzi's before Christmas and knew Jordan would enjoy a dish on the same kinda taste buds. He definitely found the one crispy rice ball filled with provolone cheese, beef ragu and peas to be more to his type, he felt that the one filled with buffalo mozzarella and basil was too bland for him and definitely needed more of a 'kick' of flavour to it.


For our mains myself and Jordan both opted for a pasta dish with some of their Garlic Bread on the side, smothered in cheese this alone was great for dipping into both of our pasta dishes to pick up the sauce. Jordan had the Roman classic dish, Spaghetti Carbonara which was the right balance of flavour between the Grana Padano cheese and the smoky guanciale. I decided to try their new dish the Beef Ragu, a spaghetti dish served with a rich beef and tomato ragu, topped with crispy Parma ham. It was absolutely delicious, it had a real 'spaghetti bolognese' flavour to it which is a traditional dish I really love. There was so much food on the plates for our mains that I am surprised that we eat as much as we did.


Having had a lot of food, leaving me pretty much unable to walk out of the restaurant and probably in need of a wheelbarrow to carry me out we had to give some of their desserts a go! (we risked it!) I decided to go for something on the smaller less filling side with their Chocolate and Salted Caramel Sundae which came topped with crushed Amaretti biscuits, delicious! Jordan was quickly sold at seeing meringue written in their menu and went for the Meringa Con Panna Al Frutto Della Passione. It was meringue with a passion fruit cream, fresh raspberries and a raspberry coulis, for me a perfect dessert dish when the warmer months come around (when they arrive!)



The restaurant also comes complete with a small shop on it's site where you can purchase an array of great gift ideas as well as some of their best products you can take away with you, including some great looking meringue's! 

I couldn't fault our dining experience at Derby's Carluccio's. We were so well looked after by the waiting and managing staff of the restaurant who ensured we were well fed and had enough drinks during our experience. I would definitely hand on heart visit this venue again, especially to have a flavour of really authentic Italian dishes that I enjoy!

thanks for reading,
*Restaurant Review. Invited to review Intu Derby's Carluccio's restaurant. All photos, views and words are my own.