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We were in the mood for Italian, food that is, in Dublin one night last week. We had Dunne & Crescenzi on our short list and a recommendation from Joanne (@dudara on Twitter), a Cork “exile” in Dublin for the past nine years or so, sent us off to South Frederick Street and a lovely meal.
Quite a big crowd in, though the two rooms weren't full and that gave us the chance to have a look at the Italian wine (over 200 types, I think), stored in shelves on all the walls. We settled on a Valpolicella Classico Biologico La Corte Del Pozzo (8.00) and a Rosso di Montepulciano Fossolupaio DOC (8.50), both smooth, both perfect.
Just as well we weren't ordering a bottle - we could have been there all night, such was the extent of the list. As it was it took a quite a while to read through the menu, pages and pages of great choice. We had been nibbling at earlier venues so a small starter was in order and we found just the thing under the Stuzzichini heading.
The word means snacks (approximately) but still the plates were large enough, reasonably priced at six euro each. They were also very appetising. One was Porzione di salumi misti (Portion of Emilia Romagna charcuterie) and the other Porzione di Speck di Trento (Portion of smoked prosciutto). Big tasty snacks!
The "snacks" and Vinsanto
They had a couple of specials on the board and the translation was done with a friendly gusto - service overall was excellent.
I picked one from the board: Tagliatelle con pancetta Tuscana, olive taggiasche, carciofi e pecorino (15.50), that is, if I remember rightly, Tagliatelle with Tuscan bacon, olives, artichokes and pecorino. I loved it, every little bit, loved the colours, the textures, the flavours, not least the olives that added a salty contrast.
CL went for the Salsiccia senese e fagioli borlotti, Slow cooked fragrant Tuscan fresh sausage, tomato and borlotti bean casserole (13.50). It was a cool enough night and this was a warming dish, that beautiful sausage and a small mountain of beans.
As I mentioned, we had been "grazing" elsewhere earlier, so reluctantly left the Tiramisu and the other desserts alone. Instead we settled for a delicious glass of Vinsanto Tuscany. This well balanced sweet wine was dispatched slowly, sip by sip, postponing all the sweet while our exit into the cool night. The hotel though wasn't too far away.
If you're looking for an Italian around Grafton Street or the Stephen’s Green area, then Dunne and Crescenzi is Very Highly Recommended.