Julian Bray writes: My good friend from London in the 70's, Antonio Carluccio, the mushroom king and larger than life television chef, will be in Peterborough for the official opening of the latest Carluccios Caffe/Restaurant on Tuesday.
The full story of how Julian Bray and Antonio met and became friends, is in Antonio Carluccios' latest candid and in places gripping biographical journey A Recipe for Life ISBN 978-1-74270-392-3 (plus excellent recipes), and our meeting and involvement retold on pages 174,175 and 179, sandwiched between Spaghetti with garlic oil and chilli and ironically [Miss] Pears in Vin Santo but suffice to say Julian Bray once owned one of Londons' earliest wine bars, Brays in the Fulham Road, the 70's heart of cafe society in Chelsea, London
|You've not met Paul Stainton yet? He's very big on Breakfast too...|
It was then Antonios' regular place to relax, and he would meet many of the society people who would shape and guide his future....
Ironically Julian Bray briefly controlled the destiny of Miss Pears Champagne Bar, as a consultant, in the final chapter of the Peter Boizot empire, the building in which Carluccios is now located, just off Cathedral Square, and ideally placed to tap into the future of Peterboroughs own developing cafe society.
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The restaurant closed for the private launch event hosted by Antonio Carluccio. The cafe/ deli/ restaurant/ shop then opens for business as usual from Wednesday, February 6th onwards. It will offer breakfast, coffee and pastries, light lunches and evening meals, to include Italian dishes such as antipasti and fresh handmade pasta, seasonal fish, meat and vegetarian mains, and desserts. The deli will include ciabatta sandwiches, piadina (Italian flat bread), light salads and sweet treats.
The food shop features Italian products, many sourced directly from small artisan producers, including oil, wines, coffee, biscuits, pasta, rice, antipasti, sauces and handmade chocolates.
This is what the Carluccios' says in its media press pack:
LA DOLCE VITA ARRIVES IN PETERBOROUGH
Carluccios is delighted to announce its official opening in the vibrant city of Peterborough, welcoming local residents and visitors for a genuine Italian dining and shopping experience, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Carluccios will offer an all-day Italian restaurant, food shop and deli within a Grade II listed building on Cumbergate, with an entrance leading onto the newly refurbished piazza of Queensgate shopping centre. Mixing contemporary design with charming nods to modern Italy, Carluccio’s is the ideal destination for an Italian coffee and hearty breakfast, right through to three-course candlelit suppers, or a festive family feast, and even a spot of foodie retail therapy.
Using the freshest seasonal ingredients, many sourced directly from Italy, the varied restaurant menu provides something for everyone, with dishes prepared on site daily by Carluccio’s chefs. First courses include appetising soups, crisp Italian salads and, designed for sharing, a selection of antipasti plates laden with traditional specialities such as Parma ham, buffalo mozzarella, balsamic onions, caponata, rustica olives and juicy artichokes.
There are over 11 pasta dishes on the menu – must tries include a delicious Spaghetti Alle Vongole In Bianco (Neapolitan spaghetti with whole fresh clams, garlic, herbs and chilli) and Carluccios signature dish of Penne Giardiniera (Pugliese penne with courgette, chilli and deep fried spinach balls with parmesan and garlic). Can’t choose? Try the popular Trio di Pasta (tasting trios of our pasta dishes) - the homemade Ravioli, Funghi and classic Luganica with Italian sausage go particularly well together. Other mains include Milanese di Pollo (flattened chicken breast, bread-crumbed and fried, with green salad), Brasato di Manzo (beef stew slow cooked with Chianti, served with grilled polenta) and Fritto Misto (crispy calamari, whitebait, prawns and sea bream, lightly floured and fried, served with garlic mayonnaise).
Home-style desserts prepared by hand every day include an indulgent and classic Tiramisu and Cioccolato Fondente (a warm chocolate pudding baked with almonds and Kahlua).
A special Valentine’s Day menu features a four-course meal for just £25 per person, available until 16th February. Options include a sharing platter of Italian antipasti to share with your amore and heart shaped pumpkin and ricotta ravioli to start, followed lobster lasagne for main course. For dessert share a dark chocolate heart filled with a light passion fruit cream and a white chocolate panna cotta with raspberry coulis. Chocolate hearts seal the deal or why not make the occasion even more special with a glass of prosecco or wine?
THE FOOD SHOP AND DELI
Head to Carluccios food shop to browse shelves bursting with beautifully packaged Italian products, many sourced direct from artisan producers in Italy. From regional olive oils to pre-prepared pesto and sauces, squid ink pasta to dried porcini mushrooms, traditional Italian biscuits and superb chocolates as well as excellent wines, it’s the destination of choice for Italian food lovers.
Look no further than Carluccios food shop for a sophisticated range of Valentine’s Day gifts, including long stem milk chocolate rosa – an edible slant on a classic available to buy individually, by the half dozen or as a statement bouquet of twelve. Other foodie treasures sure to impress include a heart shaped raviolo cutter and a decadent box of ‘Gianduiotti’ soft milk hazelnut chocolates.
Carluccios delicatessen is brimming with freshly made dishes available for lunch on-the-go, including tasty ciabatta sandwiches, Piadina (Italian flat bread), while light salads and top quality cured meats and sweet treats are perfect for Italian dinner parties at home.
Carluccios – offering a genuine taste of Italy in Peterborough just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Carluccio’s, Cumbergate, Peterborough, PE1 1YR
T: 01733 890 752
Follow on Twitter @carluccioscaffe
POLICE 101, Emergency 999, Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 & NEWSDESK 01733 345581 E&OE