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Tuscany Bistro. So good, they opened a second one. The first is found in Castletroy (Limerick), the second in nearby Ballina (Tipperary) and you’ll find Sabrina Amodeo in both (not at the same time!) keeping an eye on things and helping her wonderful staff deliver an authentic Italian dining experience. And they do, night after night.
We were in Ballina, a lovely spot on the Shannon, opposite Killaloe on the Clare bank, at the weekend and ate twice in Tuscany. Before we attended the Pride of Ireland Awards there on Sunday night, we just about managed to get an early reservation on the Saturday. Got soaked on the short walk back to the hotel after the meal but it was worth it.
There Is a high level of comfort and space here and it is very well decorated, the splendid hanging lamp shades a highlight for me. Service, including the welcome, was excellent with menus, including a page of specials, and water on the table as we sat down.
The specials included an Asparagus bundle with Serrano and Roasted Breast of Barbary Duck and were very tempting but we did choose from the regular menu.
I picked the Bruschetta Verde (V) Toasted Italian bread topped with grilled courgettes, aubergines and roast peppers, drizzled with Amodeo Salad Dressing while CL had the Bruschetta Rossa (V) Toasted Italian bread topped with freshly and finely chopped tomatoes and red onion with garlic and olive oil.
We were able to swap full pieces here and agreed that both were top notch. And you'd have to say that the accompanying salad too was an integral part of the dish, their balsamic reduction divine.
Pollo Alla Cacciatora
On then to the mains. I have a fondness for Cannelloni and was very happy as my Cannelloni Spinach and ricotta filling in a rich tomato sauce arrived on the table. This was superb and the superlative includes the lovely sauce. In no time at all, I had polished off the three tubes.
CL has a liking for the hunter’s dish of chicken and mushrooms but was in for a surprise here as the Tuscany version was different from what other local Italian restaurants do. Tuscany’s Pollo Alla Cacciatora (N) Penne is served with a mouth watering tomato based sauce with onions, diced chicken breast, mushrooms, garlic, herbs, white wine and a splash of brandy finished with fresh pesto. Better than all the rest!
A very happy meal here but no room for dessert, though we would make up for that on the following night. So top marks to the Tuscany for the food, the service and the ambience. And I'm told that the Castletroy bistro, which has been going strong for over ten years, is every bit as good and also well supported. Keep them in mind if you're up that way but do book in advance, especially at weekends! Related posts: Lovely stay at Lakeside Hotel on the Shannon River Pride of Ireland Awards 2013-2014