This week, under the direction of CEO Neil Wickers, sees Carluccio’s open a ‘new generation’ of restaurant on its Spitalfields site in the City of London.
The new look reflects the ethos and heritage of the brand, but brings the deli and retail area even more to the fore, integrating them seamlessly with the restaurant to reinforce a Carluccio’s key USP. The interior layout has been altered to create a multifunctional space and houses a more defined grab and go food station, deli/retail area and comfortable dining space. The result is a more convivial dining environment that puts the spotlight on the ingredients/cooking.
Neil Wickers, CEO Carluccio’s said:
“The new generation Spitalfields restaurant celebrates and amplifies all the small things that have made Carluccio’s one of the most loved F&B brands in the UK. The premise is to emphasise and enhance those brand signatures that make Carluccio’s stand out from the crowd – its artisan suppliers, fresh dishes made on-site and unique combination of restaurant, food shop and deli.”
A first for the brand is the entirely open plan kitchen, complete with communal kitchen table, allowing diners to watch the chefs in action, creating dishes from scratch, bringing theatre and energy to the dining experience whilst underlining the brand’s freshly prepared message. The deli counter has also been brought to life with chefs using it to prepare antipasti and desserts; whilst ingredients sourced from Italy are on display such as salami aquilla from Abruzzo, guanciale (an alternative to pancetta), legs of Parma ham and cheese.
The menu, divided by dishes ‘from the deli’ and ‘from the kitchen’, features new recipes from Antonio that use impeccably sourced ingredients such as Datterino tomatoes from Sicily and lemons from Amalfi. New dishes include crab macaroni, duck pappardelle, fresh grilled Sicilian prawns and, for the first time, Carluccio’s has introduced pizza with four varieties on offer, all topped with ingredients from the deli.
Acknowledging Antonio Carluccio’s involvement in the development of the food and his MOF MOF (minimum of fuss, maximum of flavour) food philosophy, the walls are adorned with bespoke artwork telling the story of Antonio and illustrating his zestful approach to life. Shelving displays his cookbooks along with products from the deli.
Antonio Carluccio said: “This latest Carluccio’s really takes me back to the brand’s inception – our very first restaurant was in Neal Street Covent Garden. As a result of numerous requests from diners to buy the ingredients we had sourced from artisan producers in Italy for our dishes, we opened a shop/deli next door. Spitalfields brings the original premise of the brand – putting the spotlight on amazing ingredients – to the fore by assimilating the deli with the restaurant to produce exciting and fresh Italian dishes that deliver on taste and quality”.
The restaurant interior, created by Fusion by Design, builds on the brand’s clean, contemporary Conran heritage (original co-founder Priscilla Carluccio is the sister of Sir Terence Conran). Materials are natural and simple with the use of marble, brass and oak throughout, reflecting the artisanal quality of the ingredients. New branding has been created to ensure the link between the restaurant and deli is clearly communicated. The logo has been updated to read ‘Carluccio’s Deli and Dining’ with brighter graphics used throughout the store.
To optimise on evening trade, the lighting scheme has been completely redesigned to give a complete change in ambience from bright and fresh in the daytime to relaxed and intimate in the evening. The deli display table doubles up as group dining in the evening, giving an eight extra covers. In addition, the grab and go area has been elevated with elements from Carluccio’s new QSR brand extension, Via Carluccio’s, integrated into the restaurant.
Brand signature features from the Spitalfields location will be introduced across the group’s existing estate over time and incorporated, to a lesser or greater degree, in new openings, dependent on location and size of unit.