At Home With Da Mirco On A Saturday night
|MACCHERONI ALLA PUTTANESCA|
PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE (GF)
Alternating layers of Fried Aubergine, Tomato Sauce, Pecorino Cheese served with Bruschettina
POLENTA TARAGNA AL FUNGHI PORCINI VALTELLINESI (GF)
Dark flour Polenta filled with Casera Cheese and Wild Porcini Mushrooms from Valtellina
MACCHERONI ALLA PUTTANESCA (GF on request)
Homemade Maccheroni Pasta served in da Mirco Tomato Sauce, Black Olives and Capers
FOCACCIA E OLIVE
Homemade Focaccia bread with olives.
Ichnusa non Filtrata 330ml
Unfiltered Lager 5% Vol. (Sardegna)
Menabrea Bionda 330ml
Premium Lager 4.8% Vol. (Piemonte)
|A Hearty Taste of Valtellina|
With the restaurants closed again last weekend it was time to start looking at the various At Home menus being offered. After our successful “raid” into West Cork for Curly Stu’s pizzas the previous evening, we decided to stay on the Italian track and order from Da Mirco on Saturday. We knew we were on a good thing, having already enjoyed a take-home meal from the Bridge Street restaurant earlier in the pandemic.
|Fried Aubergine, and more!|
And there were some encouraging signs too when we studied the menu. Mirco, like many restaurants, is using the very efficient TablePath software for both reservations and At Home. We spotted a starter from Valtellina, Mirco’s home town in the north east of Italy. In addition, the chef is from Naples and is well up on his Maccheroni alla Puttanesca. The list on top is just our selection from a much bigger menu (Wednesday to Friday 5:30 to 8:30 and Saturday 5 to 9).
We ordered Saturday morning and called to collect at the allotted time of 5.30pm. But you can order up to half an hour before collection and you may also call in and order. Mirco was in great form when we arrived despite his chairs and tables stacked up around the empty room. Soon we had our bags packed and were heading home.
We started with the Parmigiana Di Melanzane, alternating layers of Fried Aubergine, Tomato Sauce, Pecorino Cheese served with Bruschettina. From first bite until last, there was hardly a word said around the table, just a hum of satisfaction, confirmed by words of delighted agreement that we were well on the Italian way, the real thing.
Next up was the dark dish, the Polenta with cheese (made from semi-skimmed cows milk) and topped with wild porcini mushrooms from Valtellina with some Irish as well. Quite a starter, the cheese melting into the polenta, overall rich and delicious, full of flavour and textures and aromas. Very popular in the area in autumn/winter, according to Mirco.
After a decent pause, to open the beers, we started on the mains, a dish that could hardly be simpler, just the Maccheroni, Mirco’s own sauce, garlic, a few black olives and capers. Simple and simply delicious.
|Beer of Sardinia|
The story of the sauce though is not so simple. While Mirco, in his introductory video to the dish, did use the Italian version but not the English. “Go check on Google,” he smiled. “Can’t say bad things here!”. Google will tell you it means the sauce of the prostitute! And a lot more besides. It is a bit spicy and if you wish, Mirco will add chilli to your order.
|From Italy's oldest brewery|
Time for dessert then and that just had to be Tiramisu! I also ordered a couple of beers, both lagers. The Ichnusa is an unfiltered beer and regarded as the favourite in Sardinia where it is brewed. It was also our favourite of the two, had a bit more going for it compared to the Menabrea Bionda, a clear lager by Italy’s oldest brewery which is based in Piemonte.
Sunday saw us back in traditional mode, enjoying the Sunday roast after a lovely long walk in Doneraile Park, lots of people, loads of space and many a Hello and Good Morning!