Restaurant review: Carluccio's in Leamington still going strong after six years
Relaxed and comforting for the coming winter months, Carluccio's in Leamington is still going strong six years after it opened.
And its new manager Joanna, previously of the Grand Central branch in Birmingham, is doing her upmost to ensure this branch successful chain restaurant offers a friendly atmosphere for customers on evenings where - special occasions aside - many will be keeping their powder dry in regard to dining out in the expensive run-up to Christmas.
It's obvious the branch is preparing for the festive period and soon to open its pop-stall outside for Christmas as freebies were being handed out with the deli side of the business in mind.
Customers were being offered samples of the popular panettone and given goody bags to take away containing treats which customers could be back to buy as Christmas presents.
The Leamington branch is a pretty sight from the outside when lit up on a rainy night (see photos) - not looking a day older than when it opened in 2013.
And the three-course meal my partner and I enjoyed was tasty and interesting.
We chose seafood to start - knowing our pasta-based mains would be filling.
I had the Calamari Fritti, which was light and crispy with the lemon mayonnaise being the ideal accompaniment.
My partner went for prawns marinara - a favourite dish of hers which she, unsurprisingly, enjoyed.
Keeping with the seafood theme for her meal, she opted for Crab and Langoustine Fettuce which was creamy and smooth with just the right hint of white wine.
My Beef Ragu Papardelle was hearty and rich.
It was my first experience of a traditional Italian ragu dish and it was a very pleasant one.
I also had a first experience of Cannoli and it was fantastic - especially when washed down with a strong black coffee.
Carluccio's has been in Leamington for a while now yet it still has the overall feel of a brand new restaurant eager to impress.
That's the reason why it'll most likely continue to be a recommended place to eat in the town centre for many more years to come.