Express & Star

Food review: Authentic taste of Italy at Lucarelli, West Bromwich

“May all who enter as guests leave as friends,” is the promise from the team at Lucarelli in West Bromwich. They aim to provide diners with a truly memorable taste of Italy without leaving the Black Country.

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When we arrived at 7.30pm on a Friday night, the restaurant was already pretty busy and jazz musicians were preparing to provide the evening’s entertainment.

We were shown to a table in the pleasant conservatory seating area which has glass doors that open out to the garden.

From where we were sat we could see a family dining in one of the eye-catching garden domes.

It was our first visit to Lucarelli, which also has branches in Birmingham, Solihull and London, but I knew from its website that it prides itself on sourcing ingredients directly from Italy and also where possible from local suppliers.

These are used to create authentic Italian dishes by the chefs from Italy, using traditional recipes based on their heritage and experience.

The extensive à la carte menu offers a wide range of starters, pasta and risotto and pizza as well as fish and meat dishes and sides.

It’s unusual for us to have starters, as we usually like to ensure there is always room for dessert, but we were already quite hungry.

We narrowed down the list to three options before selecting the gamberetti in insalata which was described as baby prawns and king prawns with lettuce and lemon mayonnaise, topped with paprika.

Gamberetti in insalata

We told the waitress taking our order that we planned to share and she returned promptly with two plates to make it much easier to divvy up the seafood.

When it arrived, we surprised by how generous the portion was, and we immediately felt we had definitely made the right choice. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so many prawns in one sitting.

Both the baby and king prawns were very nice, the smaller ones definitely had a more delicate, subtle taste, and the mayonnaise was wonderfully creamy. We were both very impressed.

For his main course, Neil chose the Pollo Della Casa and received a large serving of sauce-covered chicken.

It was described on the menu as pan fried supreme of chicken with peppers and spicy sausage in a rich tomato sauce.

Although he didn’t want any sides, he could have chosen from a list that included baby roasted potatoes, spinach, mixed green vegetables and French fries.

He was pleased with his choice and said the chicken was very well cooked but the sausage, although flavourful, wasn’t spicy.

However, that didn’t take anything way from the overall dish.

Pollo della casa

As we were eating the starter, I started to regret my main course selection of penne pasta, chicken and baby prawns in a cream sauce.

Had I known just how many prawns I was going to eat at the beginning of the meal, I would have selected something different for my main.

But that’s the benefit of hindsight and the pasta was absolutely lovely so it was only a tiny feeling of regret.

The sauce was light, creamy and slightly herby. It was well-balanced with plenty of children and prawns and just the right amount of pasta – enough that I wouldn’t be hungry later but not too much that I felt too full or struggled to finish.

Penne pollo e gamberetti

I’d already chosen my dessert before the waitress offered us the menu after our main course plates had been taken away.

I find it hard to resist tiramisù and the last few times we’ve visited an Italian restaurant, I’ve deliberately opted for something different.

But I had decided that on this occasion I was going to treat myself to one of my favourites.

And I was not left disappointed. It was a huge helping and I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish it.

The Lucarelli restaurant in West Bromwich

The espresso coffee sponge was light and full of flavour. To me, it seemed to also have a bit of boozy kick to it, although no alcohol was mentioned in the description. It didn’t matter, it was delicious.

Neil opted for the tartufo limocello, which was described as lemon-flavoured gelato covered with yellow meringue and filled with limoncello topping.

He really enjoyed the tangy and light pudding and could have quite happily eaten another serving.

Tartufo limoncello

All night the service was very efficient, there was no delay when clearing our empty plates, and the staff were really friendly and eager to assist customers.

This was particularly impressive as at the same time as we sat down for our meal, two large family groups of more than 20 adults and children also arrived.

It would have been understandable if staff had been a little distracted but they coped incredibly well. I’m assuming by how popular the restaurant was that they are used to large groups of diners.

Overall we were very impressed by the quality of the food, the friendly welcome and the timely service.

My only disappointment of the night came when I saw the drinks menu and noticed that a pint of lemonade cost more than a pint of draught cider. This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this, it seems to be becoming more common and it’s now a bit of a bugbear of mine.

But this is only a minor thing and wouldn’t stop me from returning to Lucarelli in the future.

I could tell by looking around the room that we weren’t the only ones enjoying the food and atmosphere.

When you’re looking for tasty and authentic Italian food or want to get the family together for a celebration, then Lucarelli would be a great choice.

Lucarelli, Seagar Street, West Bromwich, B71 4AN
0121 532 1552