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San Carlo Restaurant

Based on the Marriott Airport hotel site, this operated as Players restaurant until it was succeeded by San Carlo in 2014. San Carlo positions itself as an upmarket brand selling rustic Italian cuisine.

Three of us booked a table for Sunday lunch. When we arrived at 12:30 the restaurant was already busy. We had a drink at the bar and were then seated at our dining table, which was in an area that was previously used as the bar seating area. Other tables were very close. The increase in dining tables was notable.

We ordered a bottle of house red and a jug of iced water, then started with a dish of melon and prawns, a bianchetti (better known as whitebait) and a portion of mussels. The melon and prawns were fine, but the whitebait and the mussels were cold. We called the waiter and he exchanged the dishes, but the second batch were not much warmer than the first. My friend ate some of the whitebait and I abandoned the luke-warm mussels and drank some of the house red.

For our main course one of our number ordered Pollo Principessa, which is pan-fried breast of chicken in a white wine, mushrooms & cream sauce. This was well made. I ordered a roast beef dinner, and whilst all of the right ingredients were on the plate it just wasn’t hot enough. Our third guest ordered Lobster Ravioli, which arrived with 6 ravioli dotted around on a white plate; nothing else. When we enquired as to the miniscule size of this main course, we were told that larger ravioli portions were served in the evening, but not at lunch. WYSIWYG; what you see is what you get.

We ordered puddings to fill the hunger void, in the form of 2 portions of chocolate cake and one of cheese cake. These were all right.

So, the outcome is that one of us had a nice lunch and the other two left disappointed and hungry. It is a nice enough restaurant, but if they can’t manage to serve hot food then they are in serious trouble. There was nothing upmarket about this food. Perhaps all of the extra covers we noticed is creating a strain on the kitchen? The service was polite and helpful, and had to do a lot of apologising. The bill came to £200 so it not cheap dining.

Atmosphere 6/10 Service 5/10
Food 2/10 Value for money 2/10

Will we return? Absolutely not.