I love al fresco dining smack-bang in the middle of a city. There’s something about getting to sit, sip a glass of wine and slow down your pace as the world rushes by.
I equally love al fresco dining far enough outside a city that the pace is already slowed down.
In Carluccio’s case, they offer both options, with a restaurant on the central, buzzing Dawson Street, and another in the sleepy seaside town of Glasthule.
Although there are now branches across the UK and Ireland, Carluccio’s seems to have stayed true to its original ethos of using Italian suppliers, and a mantra of ‘minimum of fuss, maximum of flavour’.
It’s open for breakfast, lunch (from 12:00 – 19:00, so you can linger just like a real Italian!) and dinner, with a two-course lunch for € 14.99 and dinner for € 18.99. The portions are generous, and the food is good, making the prices more than fair.
My favourites include the bruschetta with pea, mint and ricotta, and their homemade ravioli served simply with fresh sage and butter. My favourite dessert is one of the pink meringues that sit so prettily in the window. They also have great vegetarian and vegan menus.
On my last visit I noticed that Carluccio’s will now pack you a picnic from their deli-counter groaning with Italian meats, cheeses and breads. Two of our loveliest parks, Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square, are close to Dawson Street, and you’re right beside the seaside in Glasthule, so this is a must-do for next summer!