Food, presentation and staff were one if the best on my week long visit! Avocado Bernardo was beautiful and tasty full of shrimp!
Staff were helpful and engaging with our eclectic work group! This will be a definite stop on future business trips!
The chefs at San Carlo clearly don't need any lessons in flavour.
The scallops I had were deliciously tender and lightly fragranced with lemon, garlic and white wine whilst the Pasta Alla Norma literally sang and tap danced across my tongue. The pasta was perfectly cooked and the aubergine, tomato and garlic sauce had a rich and robust depth to it. The creme brulee garnished with fresh raspberries was equally delicious, though a little more sinful.
So, why am I not giving San Carlo 5 stars? As much as I loved and appreciated the food, I'm not a fan of the decor or usual clientele. The blue champagne bar and red and white furnishings remind me of the 80s and the customers tend to be a mix of affluent business types and footballers wives. If you don't mind being surrounded by people that love the sound of their own voices that's fine but personally, I do.
Every Christmas my brother and I head back up to Liverpool to see the family and the structure is always pretty much the same.
Christmas Eve as long as I've done all of my wrapping we go out into town to catch up with old friends, Christmas day is with the family at my Aunt's, Boxing day, if we are lucky we take in a game at Anfield to watch Liverpool and my cousin then normally has a party in the evening, thank god there was no Karaoke this year! The following evening my Aunt always books a table at her newest find.
This year we went to the Newly opened San Carlos in Castle Street.
I always think first impressions are so important and create the setting for the rest of the evening, we had all met at another bar in Town and then went for a 15 min walk through town to get to the restaurant, for some reason I was expecting something rustic, instead we walked up to a glass entrance and a very smart "San Lorenzo" type, modern looking restaurant with a long bar at the front and a bar area.
The good thing was as soon as we came to the door one of the waiters ran to the door to open it for us with a big cheesy grin and one of those big warm italian greetings you only ever expect from your favourite italian local, always a good sign.
We where then led through to the restaurant area, again very smart and light although I couldn't help smiling at a wall on the left that had photos of previous patrons to the restaurant, again another cozy feature.
For starter I shared an antipasto plate for 2 with one of my cousins and to be honest it would have been more than enough for 3 as a starter, a selection of cold meats, olives, artichokes, mozzarella and deep fried goats cheese which was my favourite. Everyone else thoroughly enjoyed there starters too.
For main course as it was Christmas I stayed away from the Specials and opted for comfort food and went for the Escalope Milanese but asked for pasta instead of veg. I always gauge my Italians by this dish because even though it is a fairly simple dish if its not right i don,t come back,full stop. This was great, the veal was thin but cooked perfectly inside and tasted fresh and not as if it had been breaded and left in a fridge with a million other things overnight, the pasta was "al dente" and the tomato sauce tasted fresh and herby.
My brother had the Osso Bucco from the specials list that was equally good although my uncle found his fish dish a little on the salty side.
By this time the place was completely full and had a very good buzz around it, typically italian ,loud but more atmospheric than ear splitting with alot of smiley waiters running around keeping everything ticking along.
We also recognized a couple of faces on other tables, ie a certain useless Italian footballer was on one table and the red haired girl from Girls Aloud was another.
All in all it was a good evening with good food and good service, there was one hiccup at the beginning when we waited 15 min for bread but sometimes these things happen and once the maitre d knew of this he was quite prompt in coming over, apologizing and more importantly rectifying the situation, to be fair we weren't in a rush and half the table had hardly noticed.
All in all I'd say that this is another decent addition to the city centre and yes I will be coming to eat here again.
San Carlo has arrived in Liverpool. This has always been a bit of a hunting ground for older suits in my experience. However over the last few years the Italian chain has gained some popularity with young professionals and celebrities alike. With talks of franchises opening in Abhu Dabi and Dubai, San Carlos is setting sights on global domination indeed.
The food is sensational, with Linguine Con Vongole E Gamberoni
Pasta deserving a special mention. This is my pasta of choice which comes with clams, tiger prawns, tomato sauce, touch of garlic, cream and sun blushed tomato. Wham, bam thank you maam indeed!!! I have smashed this one out the park with ease on my latest visit.
There is more of a sense of space also with this one compared to its sister restaurant in Manchester, which is refreshing. With it being in the business district expect lunchtimes to be very busy, and booking in advance is advised. It is pricey, which means mere mortals may not have the luxury of dining here as often as the likes of Alex Ferguson, Roberto Mancini, Julia Roberts et al, all of whom have been seen dining here. For that special occasion though this is well worth a look, whether you are in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol or Leicester.
The San Carlo group now spans five superb cities in the UK, including Manchester and Liverpool. The north westerly ones are the places we're interested in here, and this one's located right in the heart of Merseyside's business district which means the restaurant is an exciting bustle of suits, mobile phones, briefcases with papers and wind-downs with wine. This all adds to the atmosphere, but don't think that excludes ol' Carlo from having boho/student/family visitors. It's eclectic enough.
The menu adopts a traditional Italian spectrum and the antipasti is the perfect thing to start a long and unwinding meal (the fried pecorino cheese, avocado with crabmeat and smoked salmon with artichokes being exceptionally stunning) where you can sit back, relax and take in the plush black and red furnishings and airy white space which lends itself well to a spacious enough venue for a busy restaurant as well as an ambient lounge and bar area. The chefs also pay superb tribute to pasta with seven mouthwatering choices, including a standout one full of aubergine. Yum.
It's actually very reasonably priced, so it's no wonder that San Carlo is so popular. It might be a chain by now but it's a good one, and certainly worthy of repeated custom.
This Italian restaurant is part of a small chain which are based in five different English cities, including Liverpool and Manchester. I had been to the Manchester branch before which had excellent service, and the food was delicious, so I expected something similar when I arrived in Liverpool.
I was disappointed to say the least, I felt like I was either forgotten about or a pain in the bum to the staff. I was kept waiting an hour before I saw my food coming out, I thought an hour wasn't too bad considering it was busy etc. and I was hoping the food would be great. Again, I was let down. The waiter brought out our main meals when we hadn't even received our starters! I told them to forget about the starter and wipe it off our bill. As I tucked in, I was gutted, the food was cold, miserable and nowhere near what I was expecting. It then took around an hour and a half for us to get dessert and our bill. What a waste of an evening.
To be honest, was expecting so much more from San Carlo seeing the pictures of current/ex football players there.
Was a serious disappoint to be honest to a foodie like me...
The Minestrone soup - with no pasta and no beans? I know its not to everyone's taste, but strikes me as vegetable broth.
Garlic bread with tomato sauce? Too sweet..credit to the tomatoes, not enough garlic...
Main course - chicken stuffed pasta with a porcini sauce....gorgeous but so heavy!!! Too much cream after a couple of courses - probably my own fault but don't want to put people off the place too much.
Overall review? Above average food wise, but not outstanding. Service excellent. Drinks outstanding but very expensive.
Called in for a drink on Friday evening, this is an ultra stylish bar/restaurant and definitely the place to be seen in Liverpool. It is located half way down Castle Street in front of the Town Hall on the street corner.
There is a bar near the door and eating tables at the back and higher bar tables in the front.
My wife and I went to the San Carlo in the summer time,on a friday afternoon, in July 2012 to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Nice surroundings, well dressed and polite staff, didn't like the photos of celebs on the wall, some of them were clearly not taken at their Liverpool resteraunt, I felt a bit under dressed in my shorts and smart casual shirt as there was a lot of business people there at that time.
We ordered minestrone and veg soup respectively for starters followed by beef medallion and tagliatelle bolognese with a red wine and lemonade for drinks.
All meals were delicious 5/5 stars and very filling, in fact the soup alone made me feel quite full already. Lots of strong flavours and well presented. However, one criticism, we ordered more drinks, that never arrived. Also waiters could have been a bit more friendly and attentive. Having said that, I would return to the San Carlo.
The food was excellent, the staff were very friendly and helpful. We were there on a Friday afternoon and the atmosphere was good but I can imagine it gets very busy in the evening. I would go again.
Lovely looking restaurant with good service and overall excellent staff. I have visited this establishment a couple of times and the food seems to be consistently good. This considering the fact that San Carlos does have an extensive menu with some daily specials. Very good
Went at Christmas time. It was incredibly busy and a little packed in with too many tables. A place definitely to experience, v glitzy and glam. The staff were v friendly. The food was superb and worth every penny. The best Italian I have had in a very long time. I would definitely go back there.
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