The Italian at the Mardyke

The Italian at the Mardyke

Rico’s  is Riccardo Vallebella’s latest Italian venture in Cork and I called in last week to sample his “familiar mix of fresh fast real food at good prices.”

After a warm welcome at the reception desk, we studied the menu and picked our starters: Bresaola (Beef Carpaccio and rocket salad) and Caprese (Mozzarella and Tomato salad), each at €6.50. Both were very well presented and really enjoyable.

Moved on then to the main courses where you are more or less confined to either pasta or pizza, though with  a good choice of each, all around the €12.50 mark, give or take a euro or so.
 Here I choose the Rustica Pizza with tomato, mozzarella, rolled Italian Bacon and blue cheese. Very impressive on the plate and quite tasty with the blue cheese providing quite a kick in spots and the bacon giving a different texture here and there. Finished it off with pleasure.

The other mains came from the pasta list and was the Parmigiana (oven baked aubergine with mozzarella, tomato sauce, parmesan and basil). Again this was well presented and really tasty, something like a lasagne with aubergine instead of meat. 

Both the mains were washed down with a decent house wine, €11.50 for a 50cl carafe of Barbera which had inviting aromas and was pleasant and easy drinking. They have Moretti beer in bottle, Perroni on tap and also a “guest” Italian artisan beer.

Now time for dessert, all around a fiver. There is a rather short list, augmented by two specials. One of the specials was Tiramisu and it was rather special, sweet stuff indeed. I went for one of the regulars: Affogato (Gelato ice cream drained into coffee and sambuca). Enjoyed this even if it had more of a coffee kick, less Sambuca.

Made up for that though by finishing off with a Sambuca Black (5.00). Had been thinking of a Grappa but I like the aniseed taste here and it came with Cantuccio biscuits.

If you enjoy pizza and pasta, then this is the place for you.

Sheares Street, Cork
(021) 427 3000
Open from 5.00pm Tuesday to Sunday.