Dolce Sicily

IMAG6241

This week is Italian Week! I did not set out to do that, it’s totally subconscious. I’m reading the Elena Ferrante Neapolitan books at the moment and obviously it’s having an effect.

Dolce Sicily occupies the location once inhabited by Staple Foods,┬ábefore their move to Grattan Street. Specifically, you’ll find it in Crow Bar in Temple Bar, and much of the furniture and decor is the same as when it was Staple Foods.

The issue with this space is the fact that it smells a bit like a nightclub. It’s got that “nightclub in the daytime” stench that no amount of Italian food can hide. Staple Foods had the same issue.

The majority of the menu belongs to paninis and salads. Perfect quick lunch fair. The paninis are slightly outside of the “normal” parma ham and mozzarella and include items like smoked kippers and egg, or sun-dried tomato and anchovy pesto. There are a variety of breads to choose from in case you are anti-ciabatta. However, if you are really anti-ciabatta there are other non-Italian delis and caf├ęs to visit in Dublin, so maybe try those first?

The cake list is impressive and many of the offerings sit proudly on the bar near the coffee maker. They also sit next to the beer taps. Again, the Pistachio Nutella cake┬ámight be more appetizing if you weren’t also forced to wonder if you might like a pint of Tiger beer.

The bar vibe did not stop many people from enjoying lunch, coffees and cakes. In fact, the majority of the clientele was, in fact, Italian. That is always a good sign. The staff is also all Italian. The food is tasty. I hope that all of those big pluses keep Dolce Sicily alive despite the stale beer smell.

IMAG6242

Advertisements
Dolce Sicily

Terra Madre

IMAG5533

One of the main reasons I love Dublin so much is that it is a small city. When something new comes along, be it a clothing shop, restaurant, or stall in the Temple Bar Market, I am pretty quick to know about it. Sometimes there are happy surprises when I discover (or am told about, in this case) a place that has been around for a while, but has remained a mystery to me. Terra Madre is my most recent example of such a delight.

We had dinner there last night with friends who raved about it. They were surprised C and I didn’t know about it as we love food and eating out, so we joined for a pilgrimage together.

Terra Madre is run and owned by Italians. Not the kind of Italians you find in Little Italy, NY (third or fourth generation) but Italians who were born and raised in Italy and want nothing more than to make you their grandmother and mother’s favorite recipes. Far be it for me to tell them not to.

Stepping down off of Bachelor’s Walk into the small low-ceilinged restaurant is like being in someone’s home. Especially if that someone is a first time home buyer and they have quickly furnished with random objects. The tables and chairs are mis-matched tag-sale finds and the place mats are well used. It’s homey. It’s not fancy, but it is CUTE.

IMAG5534

The menu is simple. It’s printed on a single A4 sheet of paper. Our waiter had to tell us that two of the items were not available but were replaced with just as delicious sounding options. Usually it’s down to what meat is available on any given day.

The show stopper last night was the special starter: fresh mozzarella creme wrapped in buffalo mozzarella, served with an anchovy, a piece of roast pumpkin, some pesto balls, a sundried tomato and a preserved slice of artichoke. It was decadent and delectable.

IMAG5535

IMAG5536

C and I each had the same main, which was another special of the day: pappardelle with pork sausage and tomato sauce. It was obviously perfectly cooked. I ate the whole bowl. All the pasta came in miss-matched delft bowls. All the pasta is made fresh in the kitchen.

IMAG5537

The wine list is extensive and there are bottles displayed on counter tops around the room. So if, like me, you do like to choose your win by the label, you are able.

The prices are reasonable and the amount of food you get is almost reaching American standards, so you won’t go hungry. It’s good value.

I will certainly be back. It’s great to know there’s another classic, cozy spot to share with friends!

Terra Madre