Carluccio's - Italian, BYOB, S. 10th Street, Philly
Friday night we tried Carluccio's on 10th near Carpenter and the service and food were wonderful. My father was in town, and we usually try to hit a different Italian restaurant each time he visits. In the past we've really enjoyed Dante & Luigi's, so I'm always looking for something else like that. I'd read a few things about Carluccio's when it opened (in the former Shank's and Evelyn's space), and it seemed to have pretty good reviews around the internets, but not much on chowhound. So, we took a chance.
Didn't have any trouble making a reservation, in fact, we ended up being the only table from 7 - 8:15 or so. Prices seemed a little high, but it was a special occasion, so I wasn't concerned. In the end, though, the value for the price was good. Portions were more than gracious and we could have split fewer dishes.
Started by splitting three apps (thinking that they would just be smaller plates, but they ended up much, much larger, think large oval plate, instead of small salad plate): an octopus special of braised then quick pan fried octopus on mixed greens, bresaola (maybe 8 large slices) with arugula on top, and another special: warm figs on a bed of thinly sliced prosciutto, drizzled with balsamic. Figs were heavenly. I noticed also that they had a meat slicer and were slicing things to order.
For entrees, my father had the veal chop. Grilled to preferred temp, served with portabello and shittake mushroom caps and broccoli rabe. He raved about it for the weekend. My husband had the lamb chops (also served with broccoli rabe) and ended up with much of a rack of lamb, there were at least four double chops on the plate, also cooked to his ordered temp. The kitchen must have asked the server to make sure that both meats were cooked to their liking, which I thought was a nice thing to do. Both were really simply prepared, not heavily sauced or seasoned, just letting the meat flavor rule the dish.
I had the seafood risotto, which was lovely. Clams, mussels, shrimp, in a large bowl of risotto that wasn't gummy or overcooked and had a great seafood flavor (maybe they used a fish broth?). More than I could finish after all the apps. I was worried I'd made a too heavy choice for the summer, but it was surprisingly light.
I think the bill was $134 or so before tip for the three of us and there was more food than we could eat. I could definitely see my husband and I going back on a week night and spitting an app or two and an entree. I was worried when it was so empty, but it was really fantastic, so I hope they survive the summer lull!
932 S 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147