Friday 14 June 2013

Enoteca Delle Langhe, Italian quarter, Bloom's Lane, Dublin 1

Dublin's Last Supper by John Byrne

A few days ago, Mr. FFID and I wanted to eat 'al fresco' without having to spend too much money, it was a week day after all. Even though I've been living here for ages now, I've kept some very continental habits like kissing people twice on the cheeks (sometimes four times), talking with my hands or sitting at a terrace over a glass of wine and some cheese on a warm sunny day.

Enoteca Delle Langhe  is one of many of Mick Wallace's Italian wine bars and one of my favourite spots when I want to eat out while enjoying the good weather . Located on the northside, in the middle of the Italian quarter, their terrace faces the 'Dublin's Last Supper' mural made by Irish artist John Byrne.

Inside, the shelves are filled with wine bottles, the comfy sofa in the corner is often occupied and wooden tables are well spaced out. Even when it's busy it doesn't feel cramped and you don't feel like people are so close to your table that they can hear your conversation, I like that.

The outside seating area has many small tables and is separated from the pathway by large glass partitions, so you don't feel like you're invaded by people passing by while you're eating. Also, it has to be one of the rare spots in the city centre where it's almost always possible to find a table outside on a warm day, maybe because it's in the shade but I don't mind.

These days I don't need to look at their menu as I've been ordering the same thing each time I visited. I've been many times with Mr. FFID or with friends and we always had the board of Italian cured meats and cheeses (medium €14.20 / large €17.90) and the selection of crostini with different homemade toppings (medium €6.50 /large €8.30).

Don't ask me what else is on the menu: I don't know. The mixed medium platter and the medium platter of crostini come with a basket of bread. It's more than enough for two people and definitely a meal in itself, all this food with a bottle of house red comes to €43.20 excluding tip which is definitely good value.

Don't expect anything sophisticated, it's casual and presented on wooden boards ready to be nibbled away. It includes three different types of cheeses and four types of cured meats with a few mixed leaves in the middle and honey from Piemonte; what else would you need?

In order to get your five a day, you also need the colourful crostini to complete this meal. They come with red pesto, green pesto, aubergines, mushrooms, tomatoes and mixed pepper toppings. The toppings fall off the crusty bread so eat with your hands, I find food tastes even better like that.

Sometimes I felt the service was a bit slow but the day I visited with my Italian friend Irene, I learnt that this was common attitude in Italy. Since then I'm a bit more patient and just think I'm getting the authentic deal. The waiting staff are Italian and haven't changed in the last few years and lots of Italian expats come to get their food fix which is certainly a good sign.

It doesn't matter who owns this place or if it's not in a fancy part of Dublin city centre, I've been enjoying food here for 8 years now. Every once in a while their mixed platter and crostini is all I need to feel like I'm on the continent.

Enoteca delle Langhe
Italian Quarter
Bloom's Lane
Dublin 1

This is an independent review, I paid for my meal.