Another Italian place in Dublin. What is going on?
We were drawn to Carluccio because of its reputation for good food at a low price. You may have already noticed but eating out in Dublin is quite pricey, especially around dinner time. We found the prices only mildly lower than the average rate, but hey, less money is less money. I didn’t realize this until writing the review but Carluccio’s is a chain restaurant with a number of locations spread throughout Ireland and the UK, which is probably why it’s able to offer a slightly more inexpensive menu.
The place was packed. Because of this, service took a while, but eventually we were able to place our orders and receive our food. Jack’s dish was a tortelloni di cervo (€12.50), handmade and stuffed with wine braised venison. He found the flavor this time to his liking but thought the pasta could have been cooked a bit more.
I ordered the gnocchi al gorgonzola (€13.45), also made fresh and covered in a Gorgonzola sauce and served alongside spinach. The sauce was delicious and the gnocchi fluffy, but the spinach seemed to have been merely boiled and tossed in at the last moment, rendering it quite tasteless even though it was surrounded by cheese and pepper.
52 Dawson Street,
Dublin 2, Dublin
Pros: The food here is decent and the atmosphere bustling. Prices are also relatively cheaper compared to other dinner restaurants, but only by a bit.
Cons: Minor components of both dishes that we sampled could definitely be improved. Service was also quite slow but we certainly weren’t visiting Dublin at a busy time of year.
If I want Italian, I think I’ll go back to Ciao Bella Roma, even if it’s only for their set menu. That’s not to say that Carluccio’s is bad, but given the choice between supporting this particular chain and a small business, I’d choose the small business any time.