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“A big thank you”
Review of Caruso

Caruso
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 8 - US$ 35
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Caruso. Our great authentic Italian restaurant offers a unique and welcoming environment in which to share life's best moments with friends and family whilst enjoying our delicious food, dessert and wines. You'll be greeted by the enticing aromas of freshly home cooked meals which has been our focus since we opened our doors over 35 years ago. Italian food has long been synonymous with health, tradition, culture, history and authentic taste. "A tavola non si invecchia.- Italian proverb. Translation: "At the table with good friends and family you do not become old." We have a small but pleasant bar on entering, the menu is served in the restaurant, the feel is warm and welcoming. Rocco the owner, time permitting will greet you and show you to your table, he has been cooking all his life and brings Italian charm and good humour to the table.
Reviewed 27 April 2012

I have been looking at reviews all week for a place to eat with my wife, two little ones, who are four and eight, nephew and my mam, as it is my birthday tomorrow. It had to be around the 5.30pm time ( happy hour is 5pm to 7pm) as the kids would need food by then. It was only last night I found the reviews on this Italian restaurant and thought, lets give it ago. I was not disappointed and neither was the family. The food was excellent, the service was excellent and the PRICE was excellent. My little girl who is four she thought it was fantastic as the owner came out and was chatting to her, which made feel special. My little lad is planning what he can have next time we go. As I am an ex Durham lad and my Mam is still there, we have always been spoilt for choice with good restaurants and since I moved to Norton I have found it hard to find some where good to eat with good customer service.....well now I have found it. Myself and wife will have to get a babysitter, as I want a starter next time....mmm mussels and I want to eat after 7.30pm!!
Many thanks to all at Caruso's...the Hutchinson Clan will be back.

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Thank hutchy1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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802 - 806 of 866 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2012

I went to this restaurant with my wife and two boys, yet again the service and food was excellent.
Rocco and his staff are always so helpful and nothing is a trouble to them.
It was the first time we sampled the desert menu, and the tiramisu was a delight.
The only thing I would say would be to book no matter what time.

Ian W

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Thank WoodyStockton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2012

My wife and I ate here last night for the first time. We called at 5:15 and asked what time they opened (5pm) and asked if it would be OK if we came in about half an hour. The guy on the phone said it should be OK but we didn't book, I just thought really, 5:45pm on a Wednesday, how full could it be? We actually didn't get there until 6:15 and the guy had to go and check the reservations and count the tables. Turned out we got the very last table. There were 3 parties and the place was packed. Always a great sign!

I've included a photo of the mussels, just taken on an old iPhone. You need to look at the surrounding items to get an idea of their size.

The restaurant has a nice homely feel, very natural. Not like they actually tried to make it Italian, but it just has it's own feel and atmosphere. You could give it a fancy makeover but it would probably be better off as it is.

The first thing we noticed was that everyone seemed to know the owner who was at the bar. It didn't make us feel out of place, but it almost felt strange, like we had come to a family restaurant and all the tables were actually family members! Not to worry, they made us feel at home, the service was superb.

They played music sopradically, a bit of classic Italian here, a bit of Sinatra there, an it was great. Not overbearing but it just added to what was already an atmosphere. The table/party behind me had 2 little kids sitting in high chairs side by side. They were both going a bit nuts, launching food, napkins etc. I even had a mobile phone pass by me at one point. The owner immediately brought them a plate of bread and chips, I assume it was free, to try to get them interested in the food rather than chucking stuff. He asked if they were allowed lollies, he took them to the bar and made them balloons, he asked if they were allowed another lolly later. He was basically awesome!

But anyway, service and atmosphere only add to the experience, right? The food is what it's ultimately all about. The menu is quite large (sometimes this worries me a bit, a menu which is too big can often mean the chefs are stretched too far and with so many ingredients, they may not all be fresh. Cafe Lilli has it right, with their small but ever-changing menu) but it's not MASSIVE. There were maybe 10 things on the specials board too.

For starters, we ordered the mussels in a chilli and tomato (I think) kind of sauce. There was also a white wine-style sauce available. Grilled sardines off the specials board and a pizza garlic bread with cheese and tomato. The mussels were simply incredible. I think they were green lip, they were absolutely MASSIVE, twice as big as most other big mussels. I even asked my wife is I should cut them rather than shoving them in in one go, and I'm a monster. They were absolutely fresh and the sauce was brilliant, we dipped all our bread into it and then loaded the bits of tomato on top of the bread to try to use it all off. If it was my choice, I might have picked the white sauce but this was amazing, and no question, they were the best mussels we've both ever had. And I've had a lot of mussels in my time (I've been to New Zealand many times by the way, and my wife is from Hong Kong os no stranger to good seafood). The sardines were lovely but really the mussels were the main event.

The garlic bread came with our starter, as we had asked and like the mussels, this was incredible. I'm a massive garlic bread lover and when I go to an Italian restaurant, I'd love my garlic bread to be everything I'd never dare to make at home if I could actually make it, and by that I mean loaded with cheese and tomato and garlic butter. And that's exactly how it came. The base was slightly thicker than you often get but it was gorgeous. The cheese and tomato was almost right to the edge of the base, so there was no huge (mean?) crust edge. I'm fine with the big crust actually but this was just amazing, up there with the very best i've ever had, possibly the best. So nice in fact, that when my main came, I took one look at it, and decided I could manage another one, which actually turned out to be a huge mistake as we were both full way past the safe point, and we didn't finish our lovely vegetables and the chips which should have been dipped in the sauces. Try... to... restrain... myself... next... time!

For main courses, my wife ordered Filletto e Gamberoni (probably spelled incorrectly, but filet steak with king prawns, surely the ultimate after a filet or rib-eye with lobster? It had some kind of creamy brandy sauce, which was utterly amazing: Kaminaki would have been proud of these sauces! Sadly the steak was a bit overcooked but the quality combined with the amazing prawns (also completely fresh, amazing!) and sauce, which also had loads of little prawns was easily enough to compensate. I ordered Mixed Fish Aqua from the specials board, which had sea bass, tuna, king prawn and 4 of those huge mussels in some tomato & wed wine-based sauce. It was superb.

Sadly, as we even left a slice of garlic bread, we didn't get to sample the deserts. I couldn't even finish my drink!

You know a restaurant is good when you're already planning your next visit and what you're going to have before you even leave the place. Lots of great things on the menu which I'd love to try but the dilemma I'm faced with is whether we order completely different dishes or keep the same mussels and main courses as this time? The steak and prawns, if the steak had been cooked as we liked, would have just been a completely perfect dish.

So, next time, we'll be coming with the family. Parents, brother and our 3 kids. And man, they're going to love this place!

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Thank Lee M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

had a wonderful unhurried meal in pleasant family surroundings.whole meal was great but the bruschetta was the best I have had .cheers Rocco

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Thank Ianrigg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

Our visit to Caruso's was yet again a great gastronomical occasion. The food and atmosphere is always first class with the owner Rocco making everyone feel special. The newly refurbished restaurant continues to deliver a welcoming atmosphere. We have been customers for 30 years and initiated many friends into Rocco's world!! I would highly recommend the food but make sure you are hungry when you go as the portion sizes are very generous. A real Italian experience!

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Thank Ken58_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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