Carluccio's is an international Italian restaurant group that offers a unique combination of all-day dining coupled with an in-house market with over 80 imported products sourced direct from small artisan producers allover Italy. Founded in 1999 and named after the founder and acclaimed cook, author and TV personality Antonio Carluccio, the Carluccio’s group has over 100 restaurants operating internationally in the UK, Ireland, Turkey, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. On June 3, 2015, the first U.S. location opens in Alexandria, VA on the corner of King Street and South Union Street in Old Town.
|prosciuto wrapped breadsticks; Parmesan Reggiano; olio al limone|
Working with both UK based architect firm DesignLSM and Washington D.C. based architect firm, Studio3877, the first U.S. location embodies a bustling, Milanese ambiance, offering a modern approach to dining while staying true to its Italian roots. Upon entry, guests are greeted by the colorful retail and deli offerings in Carluccio's market, most imported direct from Italy. The 6500 sq. ft. space has over 150 seats for dining, including a main dining room which features a bar area where patrons can enjoy coffee, cocktails or share antipasti.
|Prepping nibbles of veal, cod, and roast beef.|
|arancini; marinated olives; pancetta wrapped prawns|
Carluccio's has had an overwhelming response to their arrival in Alexandria. Because of this, they have changed their hours for June and will be open only for dinner starting at 4 pm. They are also looking for additional members to add to the Carluccio’s family! If interested, contact
To start the day, guests can enjoy the Breakfast Magnifica, a choice of eggs with grilled smoky pancetta, sautéed mushrooms, tomato and toasted Italian bread, served with coffee or tea and a juice ($10); the Breakfast Sandwich with a fried egg, mortadella sausage and melted provolone cheese on ciabatta, served with rosemary potatoes ($7); Tegamino made with two eggs poached in a spicy marinara sauce with roasted peppers, topped with Parmigiano cheese and served with rustic Italian bread ($12); and Panettone "Italian Toast" served French toast style with fruit compote ($9).
Lunch and Dinner include a wide variety of options including a selection of Italian starters, antipasti and salads. Traditional pasta dishes include the Penne Giardiniera, made exclusively by Antonio with Carluccio's imported giant Pugliese penne, zucchini, chilli and fried spinach balls, Parmesan and garlic ($13); Daily house-made Lasagna Tradizionale featuring layers of egg pasta, béchamel and a ground beef and pork sausage ragu ($14); Pasta con Funghi, Antonio's recipe made with Carluccio's imported egg pappardelle, shiitake, oyster and button mushrooms ($14.50); and Trio di Pasta, a choice of three pasta dishes to share ($30). Fresh fish and meat selections include Branzino e Basilico, pan-fried sea bass fillets on crushed potatoes, basil and sundried tomato with black olives ($24); Zuppa di Pesce, a traditional fish stew with shrimp, clams, pollock fillet and mussels with spicy sausage, tomato, garlic, chilli and anise ($17); Osso Bucco, veal shank, slow braised in Chianti and herbs and served with saffron risotto ($29); and Tagliata di Manzo, thinly sliced, chargrilled 22 oz. flank steak for two, served with arugula, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, rosemary potatoes and tarragon mayonnaise ($50). The flank steak is grass-fed, grass-finished and antibiotic free. Guests can end their dinner on a sweet note with a selection of desserts, including Carluccio's House-Made Tiramisu ($7.50); Meringa con Panna al Frutto Della Passione, crushed meringue with a passion-fruit cream, fresh strawberries and a raspberry coulis ($8.50); and Formaggi, a selection of three Italian cheeses served with truffle honey, walnuts and Italian flat bread ($12). Carluccio's cheeses are imported from all over Italy, including regional specialties and hand-made favorites.
|The market features 80 imported Italian products.|
Carluccio's is a welcomed addition to the U.S. and features the new trend of market/restaurant combinations. I am intrigued to try the full menu, especially the pasta offerings. Next time you are in Old Town Alexandria, stop in to Carluccio's for simple Italian nibbles and drinks, or pick up an espresso and some treats at the market to take home.
Next, we had an option for a hot egg dish. I chose the Colazione, a traditional breakfast of scrambled eggs with mushrooms served on a lice of rustic bread, with a side of thick bacon and a grilled tomato. I love mushrooms and these added an extra savory element to the dish.
Keith enjoyed the Eggs Benedict, featuring a thick slice of Italian ham and the famous rustic bread. The eggs were perfectly cooked with a creamy hollaindaise sauce.
Italian cookies were served at the end to accompany your last cup of cappuccino or espresso. Check out Carluccio's for an Italian Brunch offered daily.