While it’s had a relatively low key foothold in York for a few years courtesy of its presence in Fenwicks, Carluccio’s has now upped the ante dramatically with a fabulous refurbishment of the former Terry’s building on St Helen’s Square. Excitingly, the great man’s 80th birthday coincided with the York Carluccio’s opening, so I dutifully turned up for a photo op’ and canapés.
There’s no doubting the effort that’s gone into the refurbishment. This building has been home to a gift shop and crystal ornament shop in recent years before a period of vacancy, but there’s no sign of neglect these days. Glass and polished metal feature prominently while none of the details jar with the building’s heritage. On the evening of the party, the restaurant areas bustled with servers delivering classic Italian dishes as the party was buzzing upstairs, while the man whose name adorns the building circulated for countless photo opportunities.
Star amongst the canapés was an intimidatingly large parmesan with balsamic drizzling ready for gluttonous chiselling while other bits on offer included arancini balls and cured meats. Based on the snacks we had, I’ve high hopes for the inevitable return visit to check out some Italian staples.
Turning up to an Carluccio’s opening event at which you know the majority of the attendees will want to take your photo while you turn 80 might be daunting, but Antonio was up to the task, gamely shaking hands and posing for all concerned before opera singers and birthday cakes came out to mark the occasion as we joined a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’. It was a fantastic evening and great to catch up with some other guys from the local food, news and blogging scene. I’ll look forward to checking out the menu proper.