Carlucci Restaurant & Bar
Downers Grove, IL| (630) 512-0990| website
I visited Carlucci Restaurant & Bar for lunch recently and overall my experience was exceptional! When I walked into Carlucci’s, I was impressed with the beautiful décor and the welcoming feel-it was stylish yet a casual atmosphere.
We were seated at a lovely table near the patio; the patio was quite impressive with the large fountain reminiscent of an outdoor café in Italy. It is important to note that a live band performs every Saturday night from 8:00pm to 12:00am, when weather permits the live performances are held on the patio.
We were given the menu and it was obvious the lunch offerings were spectacular and interesting. We started our meal with appetizers. The first appetizer we indulged in was the Polpetti Al Ragu (homemade meatballs, braised tomatoes, fresh basil), the 4 meatballs were the perfect size to share and the taste was pure Italian, I was thrilled with the combination of flavors.
Next, on the appetizer menu we were given the Calamari (crispy fried calamari, basil aioli, pepperoncini, marina). The calamari was as stated on the menu, crispy but I would add crispy to perfection. The sauces on the side were an added bonus to this already fantastic appetizer. I was very impressed with the appetizers and knew the meal yet to come would not disappoint and I was right.
I cannot go to an Italian restaurant without trying their pasta, it was suggested to try the Garganelli (spicy San Marzano tomatoes, gulf shrimp) and I could not have been more pleased with the dish. The spicy aspect was in perfect ratio to the dish and the gulf shrimp were incredibly tasty. I would highly recommend this dish when visiting Carlucci’s.
Carlucci’s offers a wonderful selection of pizzas, also a must try when dining there. Although it was difficult to choose, I tried the Ventura Pizza (prosciutto di Parma, house mozzarella, arugula) and not only was appealing visually, it was music to my mouth! The crust was soft but yet a crispy texture as well, I could have eaten the crust itself and would have been pleased but this entire combo was home run.
Although I was beyond full, I could not leave Carlucci’s without sampling from their dessert menu. We indulged in the Tiramisu and Chocolate cake, to say I was in sugar heaven would be an understatement. The cappuccino completed the desserts perfectly. I could not think of a better way to end the phenomenal offerings at Carlucci’s.
I will definitely return to Carlucci’s Restaurant & Bar and I am looking forward to experiencing the live music performances on the beautiful patio. Carlucci’s is the perfect place for couples dining, family night out or meetings and events. It really is the go to Italian restaurant and I have already recommended it to my colleagues, family and friends!