Looking for a place to stop for lunch when en-route to Reading, UrbanSpoon steered us in the direction of Ruchetta in Wokinhham and a fantastic, if slightly unsettling, lunch.
The food that both of us ordered was tasty, well cooked and carefully presented. As extra bonuses, the lunch menu is also great value and the service is friendly. This is really somewhere that those running Carluccio's should visit to take a lesson.
The husband started with a very generous serving of grilled calamri; I enjoyed the buffalo mozzarella with grilled aubergines and anchovies (below).
I went old school with my main and ordered the veal escalope (below). The husband chose char-grilled leg of lamb - both were excellent, but again, the husband's plate held a huge serving, underlining the great value that the lunch menu offers.
So, why was it unsettling? At one o'clock on a sunny Saturday, we were the only people in the restaurant until another couple arrived just as we were ordering coffee. Sat by the window, we watched a few people walk up and spend an inordinate amount of time studying the menu before walking away. Why? OK, it's not the cheapest menu, but the lunch selection is by no means expensive and this is a wealthy town. Ruchetta certainly offers far better value and more enjoyable food than Carluccio's, Loch Fyne or similar. Depressingly, after lunch we drove past a, seemingly bustling, branch of Loch Fyne not more than a kilometre away.