If it’s an Aperol Spritz you’re hankering after, or an authentic Sicilian blend coffee, then Carlisi, at the finance end of town, is your place. Described by owner Alessio as an Italian-fusion concept bar, think great cocktails and aperitivos and modern cicchetti-style light bites.
Made from locally sourced fresh ingredients and specialities imported from Italy, the dishes start with the likes of waffles for breakfast and aim to take you through the day, with main courses including parmigiana and “homemade lasagna just like mamma makes it!”. Focaccia, panini and bruschetta form the menu’s backbone, serving up authentic and bold Italian flavours on good, sturdy sourdough bread. There’s peak mozzarella with buffalo, smoked and creamy burrata all putting in an appearance in the sandwiches and salad selection, while Italian charcuterie choices include Parma and Calabria hams, Mortadella luncheon meat, pistachio pâté, salami Napoli and bresaola beef. Nibbles feature prosciutto crudo wrapped around crispy Sicilian lingua sikan crackers and Sicilian caponata with Asiago cheese and fennel salami, while the traditional street food features deep-fried arancini rice balls four ways. Nods to the UK include bacon butties, Italian style, and Scottish smoked salmon bagels – “a customer favourite” and a “best seller” respectively.
Desserts include cartoccio and cassata cakes, but don’t leave without at least one ricotta-stuffed cannoli tube for a real taste of Sicily – “It’s what we’re famous for!” shouts the menu, one last time.
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