Jamie’s Italian in Nottingham and Carluccio’s too – How lucky are we?

Jamie's Italian Nottingham - I can't wait

Over Christmas, we ate in Carluccio’s in Canterbury and I have to say that I think it was the nicest food I have eaten this side of Venice or Rome. It was beautifully fresh, incredibly tasty and pretty remarkable value. Five of us had starters, main courses a bottle of wine and some drinks for the kids. It came to £80. Not absolute KFC bargain bucket, but great value for such top quality cooking and simple unfussy service. Carluccio’s wasn’t a brand I had been particularly aware of before this, so it was a nice surprise as my expectations probably weren’t that high.

So I was quite pleased to see they have a new one opening in Nottingham. Building work is well underway. I guess it will be February or so for the opening.

The website just says it is opening soon.

Also over Christmas, I cooked a rather gorgeous turkey and leek pie that I adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe. Basically I added ham and some other leftover veg from Christmas dinner to make sure I had enough to feed the 14 hungry mouths around the table. It got quite remarkable critical acclaim, so thanks Jamie. I have to confess that I do rely on a few of his recipes, with his pizza base and tomato sauce topping recipe from his Italian book still being the nicest one I have ever made.

And then, I noticed that there is an all new Jamie’s Italian opening just up from Carluccio’s in February too. The difference is, I have high expectations of the Jamie Oliver brand. I know it so well, that I expect it to be excellent simple food and good value too. The whole Jamie Oliver brand is built on this platform, so it has to deliver.

I am genuinely excited to have an ‘eat off’ and see who does the best grub. I am convinced that the food in Jamie’s will be absolutely gorgeous. Friends have been rubbing it in about which ones they have eaten at and the reports are excellent.

It’s my birthday later this week, so I’m asking for a meal at both of these new places (when they open) rather than a conventional present.

I may invite AA Gill along so he can review them both with me. I’m sure he’s very welcome anytime in Nottingham.

According to the Nottingham Evening Post, Jamies Italian will open on Monday 7th February. Hopefully see you there soon after.

Updated 07.02.11
Just spoken to a friend who went last week as part of the soft launch. This was open to friends and insiders and seemingly, those who worked for Boots and was half price!

The verdict?

Fabulous food, really well thought out layout for a potentially difficult building, great value (even better at half price) and superb service.


5 thoughts on “Jamie’s Italian in Nottingham and Carluccio’s too – How lucky are we?

  1. John – I had an email from Jamie’s team suggesting they would open in late January / early February. The official opening night of Carluccio’s is 17 Feb… by invitation only!

  2. Carluccio’s is an interesting one. I went to their place at Kingston a couple of years back and got the feeling the vibe created by the restaurant and the deli was a nice little earner in the right kind of sophisticated surroundings. It’s a riverside location there and it worked brilliantly.
    You’re right, though – there should do a live blog-off between Jamie and Carluccio’s. On the same night. Sponsored by Settlers…

  3. I’m never sure about the deli side of it. I almost think the likes of Waitrose do it too well these days for it to get the footfall needed to allow the stock to turn over. I hope the focus is more on the eating tan the deli as I think it is far more likely to be a success.

    In my very brief experience in canterbury where Carluccio’s was within Fenwicks, there was a packed restaurant and no-one in the deli side at all.

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