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New venues and tastes on dining menu; LOOKING for somewhere different to dine out? ANN EVANS finds the new restaurants and new-look menus you might want to try. Food.

Byline: ANN EVANS

La Dolce Vita, Stratford

STRATFORD welcomes its own taste of regional Italy with the opening of Carluccio's on Waterside.

A stone's throw from the river and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Carluccio's combines contemporary Italian caffe, alimentari food shop and deli.

Entering through the food shop and deli, guests are greeted with a feast for the eyes and a chance to indulge in a spot of retail therapy.

Beyond this, the warm and inviting caffe is open for breakfast, morning coffee and lunch, as well as a threecourse meal in the evening.

The authentic dishes have been created by founder Antonio Carluccio and incorporate highquality seasonal ingredients.

Starters include arancini di riso siciliani - crispy rice balls filled with melting mozzarella or meat ragu and served with red pepper sauce - or antipasto Massimo.

For mains, try perennial favourites such as penne giardiniera - Carluccio's own Pugliese pasta quills with courgette, chilli and deep-fried spinach balls with parmesan and garlic; or the Milanese di pollo - breast of bread-crumbed chicken, fried and served with a green salad.

Desserts include favourites such as tiramisu and panna cotta or a pasticcio al cioccolato - chocolate bread and butter pudding with vanilla cream.

Children can enjoy the same authentic Italian meals as the adults with their own threecourse menu for pounds 4.95, with space for colouring-in and games. Many of the other dishes are available in smaller portions for children.

Carluccio's, 13 Waterside, Stratford. 01789 267424 or visit www.carluccios.com

Turmeric Gold, Meriden

AWARD-WINNING restaurateur Jay Alam is now tantalising the tastebuds of residents in and around Meriden with the opening of his second restaurant.

The launch of Turmeric Gold in the heart of the village follows the success of his restaurant of the same name in Medieval Spon Street, Coventry, which has won a string of awards, including the Godiva Awards Best Restaurant, since opening in 2001.

Jay, who prides himself on both the healthy style and standard of his cuisine, designed the interior, which features a mix of warm and vibrant colours, aiming to provide a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere.

Jay said: "Although we offer a wide range of traditional dishes, we are not a conventional Indian restaurant.

"Our food is very light and is not oily, like some Indian foods.

It is light in salt and in colouring.

With the growing concerns about obesity in the UK we feel it is essential to provide this healthier option."

Starters include Goa tiger prawns, grilled and served in a rich sauce of spinach, coconut and cream. Main course specialities include green korma Goanese - chicken or lamb cooked with fresh coriander and garlic sauteed with onions and simmered in coconut milk and roasted cashew nuts. European options are also available.

Jay adds: "Our menu will be updated every four or five months. We aim to give value for money to our customers and we pride ourselves in our menu, customer service and the standard of our food."

Turmeric Gold @ Meriden, 01676 521055.

The Verve Grill, Coventry

THE Verve Grill at the Village Hotel, Coventry, has launched a new menu that promises something to appeal to everyone.

There is also a choice of 38 quality wines.

Be sure to try the mini-dessert pots, perfect for those with a sweet tooth who cannot make up their mind as it includes "me mum's trifle", summer pudding, Eton mess and wild lemon cheesecake.

The eclectic menu includes grilled portobello mushrooms with garlic butter and a balsamic reduction, or home-made pate with plum and ginger chutney.

Then why not finish off with a Victory Coffee laced with rum.

Village Hotel Coventry, Dolomite Avenue, Coventry Business Park. 024 7671 9000 or visit www.village-hotels.com.

Starbucks

STARBUCKS has launched a selection of Christmas presents for coffee lovers, including a gift card, a flask and range of mugs.

Also returning to stores is Starbucks Christmas Blend. First created 24 years ago, the blend complements traditional Christmas foods and uses ethicallysourced beans from some of the world's top coffee producers.

This year's unique rich blend of Latin American, Asia-Pacific and rare, aged Indonesian beans makes Starbucks Christmas Blend the perfect accompaniment to the festive season.

CAPTION(S):

WHETTING THE APPETITE... Antonio Carluccio (above) and Jay Alam (right) have opened new ventures in Meriden and Stratford respectively.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Article Type:Restaurant review
Date:Nov 17, 2007
Words:714
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