Dining At Home With Mirco
|Fancy a piece of my Cannelloni?|
Mirco Fondrini is the business owner of Da Mirco Osteria, the Italian Restaurant in Bridge Street, Cork. He has been in business there for three years (after a long spell on front of house duties in the Farm Gate Café in the market).
The first year or so was very good and Da Mirco became well-known and popular. But then you know what happened. During Covid, Mirco relied on his At Home menus as he had no outside dining option. Even though restaurants have now opened up, his numbers inside are restricted to the mid twenties and his At Home option continues.
And so his name came up the other night when we felt like dining at home rather than going out. And we checked out his September menu and saw more than enough there for a little Italian feast. With Mirco himself coming from the northern Italian area of Valtellino, you can rest assured that you are getting the real thing here (much of it based on excellent local produce).
Speaking of the real thing, you certainly see it on two of the starters, his Tagliere Da Mirco with Italian Cured meats, cheeses, olives and “all our homemade favourites - focaccia bread, pickled vegetables and tomato jam” (serves 2 people) and the Tagliere Vegetariano with Northern Italian cheeses, mixed Italian preserved vegetables, olives and “all our homemade favourites - focaccia bread, pickled vegetables and tomato jam” (serves 2 people).
|Meat balls perhaps?|
Our pick though was the Parmigiana di melanzane: alternating layers of fried aubergine, tomato sauce, and pecorino cheese. We have enjoyed this on a few occasions - it has many fans around town - and we enjoyed it again on Friday night.
Good choices of main course here as well. We would have been tempted by the Lasagna Bianca Salsiccia e Cavolo Nero (Handmade Egg Lasagna filled with layers of O’Mahony Sausages, Black Kale and Casera Cheese (semi-skimmed cow’s cheese)). But we had our own version of Lasagna the night before so that was ruled out!
The Polla alla Diavola also sounded great: a Free Range Breast of Chicken rolled in Speck, with a spicy Nduja stuffing and Nduja sauce. Served with Roast garlic potatoes. Hot stuff indeed.
But I’m a bit of a Cannelloni fiend and so the Cannelloni di Magro (homemade Cannelloni with a light filling of Spinach, Ricotta and Pecorino Cheese) was picked. This is finished in the oven with Da Mirco Tomato and Basil Sauce. Well worth the little wait.
Our other mains was the Polpette al Sugo, Italian Meatballs of mixed minced beef and pork in a slow cooked tomato sauce. An absolutely top class dish, needing only a side of Fresh handmade pasta Tagliatelle 150 g (eggs and flour) that we added to our order.
He has quite a few Sides and Sauces available including Giardiniera, Sugo Arrabbiata, Patate al Forno, Focaccia al Rosmarino, Da Mirco Tomato Marmalade and more… See all the choices and ordering details here.
You can hardly have an Italian meal of this quality without pairing with an Italian wine. As it happened (it doesn’t always happen!) we had just the job at hand in the Donnafugata `Sherazade` Nero d’Avola Sicilia (DOC) 2019. Soft in the mouth, with plum and cherry and smooth tannins and spicy fruit, this is a beauty, a fragrant and pleasant wine with outstanding freshness.