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Eating Out
   Carluccios, Bury St Edmunds
Christmas flavours given an Italian twist are well worth trying says John Seery
Right now most restaurants and pubs will be offering diners festive fayre like turkey and Christmas pudding. Nothing wrong
with that, of course, except that’s probably what you might be eating at home on the big day. In the run-up to Yuletide you may fancy tasting something that recognises the flavours of the season but served in a different way.
So step forward the clever chefs at Carluccios whose new Christmas menu has, as its centrepiece, a delicous Lasagne di Natale. It features layers of turkey mince, pork stuffing and brussels sprouts in between egg pasta and (having tasted it shortly before this magazine went to press) it really is a savoury showstopper. If nothing else on their list of festive offerings can quite match it I’d still head for this arc-based restaurant. Because if
that doesn’t float your boat there’s chicken breast with 24 month aged Parma ham, topped with mushrooms in a rich Vin Santo, sage and cream sauce (served with rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes.)
To follow try the Panetttone Bread and Butter Pudding sitting on creme anglaise. It’s a beautifully indulgent dessert (and the portion size is about right after you have virtually licked the plate clean after the lasagne).
Just as tempting for those with a sweet tooth is Mince Pie Panna Cotta which comes with mincemeat, topped with rum- soaked raisins and is served with a lingue di gatto biscuit from their deli.
So wonderful mains, lip-smacking desserts - what about the starters? Well, they are fine too if - as I’ve said, a little overshadowed by the aforementioned dishes. My Duck and Chestnut Bruschetta was certainly festively inventive - a
chestnut puree and red onion marmalade topped with confit duck, rocket, spinach, pickled cranberries and roasted hazelnuts served on toasted sourdough bread. Nice, but I couldn’t help looking jealously at my dining partner’s Bocconcini - deep fried buffalo mozzarella in lemon and marjoram breadcrumbs accompanied by a spicy tomato sauce.
The latter isn’t part of the festive menu, by the way, but taken as a whole their tasty December line-up of specials can be summed up by one word: bravissimo.
Carluccio’s festive menu
Two courses for £21.60
Three for £26.50
(You get a glass of Bole sparkling Italian wine for £5.50 with any of the Christmas specials).
24-26 Auction Street, Bury St Edmunds Tel 01284 332865
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