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San Carlo Italian Restaurant

San Carlo Italian Restaurant
44 Corn St.
Bristol
BS1 1HQ
Tel: 0117 922 6586

Tue. 23 May 2000

I had to attend a meeting in Bristol today - I had been to a previous meeting which resulted in a meal at the San Carlo. I had been impressed even though the time constraints meant we only had Pizza, so I invited my wife to join me for this trip, with the intention that we set off early in time for a good lunch after which I could toddle off to my meeting and Marg could indulge in some "retail therapy".
My daughter got to hear of the plot, so she wheedled her way into the trip.
Unfortunately, the trip down didn't go as planned: bad weather meant a slow start, then a 90 minute delay on the M6.
Lunch plans were scrapped, and we settled for a quick Burger King at the Frankley services on the M5. I arrived at the meeting 20 minutes late!
After the meeting, I met my girls in the Galleries, and we went for a coffee across the street from the lower end of the Galleries - a "Costa" bar if I recall correctly. The double expresso I had there was the best I've had in years anywhere!
From there we tried to do a little shopping, but it was pouring with rain, shops were closing, so we decided to have an early dinner and set off for the San Carlo.
We arrived at about 5:45 and were determined to take our time. We ordered drinks and perused the menu. I was the only one to enjoy the complimentary dish of olives (my girls don't like olives). Just as we were about to order, we remembered that the car was parked in the Galleries car park which closed at 7:00 - I had to go and move it. It was only just as I got to the car that I remembered that I had given Marg the car keys!
Given my current lack of appetite, it was difficult to make a selection: in other circumstances, I would have been tempted by the wide selection of fresh sea-food on offer - Halibut, Sea Bass, Monkfish, Tuna, Lobster.
In the end, I selected the "Marinata di Legume" - aubergines, peppers, courgettes with rocket marinaded in olive oil, mint, garlic and a hint of chilli. The girls both had garlic button mushrooms in a filo basket.
Although the girls enjoyed the mushrooms, the filo basket was considered a little too greasy.
My vegetables were good - I particularly liked the peppers (nearly as good as I make!). The bitterness of the rocket reminded me of last weekends first mow of the lawn, and the smell of cut dandelions - I really must make a salad with dandelion soon!
For main courses, Kathryn, my daughter, chose the breaded Veal - with chips!.
The Veal tasted as though it were coated in Polenta rather than breadcrumbs - a nice change, and Kathryn pronounced herself satisfied (not least with the selection of piped music which suited her taste for the likes of Greenday and Sex Pistols - and ours for more "mainstream" music such as Kinks and Stranglers!).
Again, my (and Marg's) lack of appetite led us to chose "starter" portions for main course - Gnocchi Ragu e Salsiccia for me, Rigatoni Campagnola for Marg. Both were delicious - done exactly to our taste, and the protions were just right for us - there wasn't a crumb left on any of our plates.
Kathryn couldn't resist a dessert, and, contrary to years of saying she didn't like cream, picked the profiteroles! These arrived on a nice large black dish, dusted with sugar. We all had a little try, and were pleased. This is pretty good praise from a one whose wife makes the best profiteroles in the civilised world!

Including drinks, the whole shooting match for the three of us was just under 70.

Verdict: I'm glad I came back to try a full meal after my first quick foray which was limited to a pizza. Recommended, 8 "e"s

Sandro
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