Pre-anniversary dinner at Carlo’s Trattoria, Guildford

Another half term post now, and we took some time out for an overnight stay, spa treatments and dinner – leaving Alfie at my mum’s for a couple of days. We stayed in Guildford and Ash came across Carlo’s Trattoria when seeing what there was to do and where there was to eat in the local area – and booked a table. I love a proper Italian, in fact, some of my favourite meals have been in Italy (Cantina del Baffo and Stazione di Posta – both now closed, spring to mind). True to form, Carlo’s did not disappoint.

Although it was only a Wednesday night, it was fairly busy – lots of couples and two larger parties enjoying a family meal. Our waiter Jay was lovely, attentive, and took time to explain some of the specials, as well as his recommendations… which we needed, as all the dishes sounded delicious!

Plate of asparagus spears wrapped in parma ham
I wouldn’t usually order a starter, but I had my eye on a number of dishes. There were hot and cold starters, as well as the specials board. I very nearly went with my ‘safe’ option of calamari (as the fritto misto had to be ordered for two or more diners), but I chose the asparagus Milano, on the specials. Super light and tasty, this was essentially asparagus spears, wrapped in Parma ham (or prosciutto), cooked in butter and topped with parmesan. A really nice start.

A plate of burrata, tomato, avocado and rocket with a balsamic glaze

Ash also ordered from the specials board, choosing the burrata tricolore. The three colours of the Italian flag were represented by tomatoes, the burrata and avocado – served with a side of rocket. There was also a burrata dish on the a la carte menu, which he probably should have gone for, as he doesn’t really like avocado.

A plate of clam linguine, garnished with herbs
For our main courses, we both went a la carte. I had my favourite – linguine vongole. I couldn’t believe how big the portion was… definitely enough pasta to feed two (or even three!), but luckily, plenty of clams too. The sauce was a classic white wine, garlic, chilli and tomato sauce. Needless to say, I struggled to finish it – in fact, it barely looked like I had made a dent. It was delicious and the pasta was cooked perfectly. Ash chose the pollo Siciliana – chicken breast, roasted peppers and a garlic and paprika creamy sauce. Served with mash potato, he also ordered a side of seasonal vegetables.

A plate of chicken breast and peppers in a creamy paprika sauce with mashed potato
Sadly, I was defeated by the pasta and didn’t have room for dessert – which I was gutted about, because as soon as we saw the menus, I had my heart set on the tiramisu (LOVE a tiramisu). There was also affogato and zabaglione on the menu too. Instead, I had an after-dinner limoncello – and received a double. It was so cold and fresh, and slipped down far too easily. Ash had a caffè corretto, which was an espresso ‘corrected’ with a shot of liquor. It was supposedly quite strong, and we ended up reminiscing about some very strong Maltese coffees we had earlier this year (in Malta, obv).

Nothing could be faulted – everything was great, from the restaurant’s ambience and décor to the food and the service. It really felt like a proper Italian Trattoria, and Carlo was so friendly – going round to all the tables to ensure everyone was having a good night. If we’re ever back in Guildford (or even Surrey for that matter), I’d return to Carlo’s Trattoria.

Love, Lucy xx

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