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Sunday, October 12, 2014
Early Bird at La Dolce Vita
Felt like an Italian the other night. Re-start. Felt like eating Italian the other night and headed up the banks of the south channel as dusk came to French’s Quay (named after a wine merchant) and Proby’s Quay where La Dolca Vita stands in the shadow of the cathedral.
They say this is where the city's Italians come to eat and, by the sounds in the comfortable dining area, it is no idle boast. We were welcomed in at 6.45pm and decided to try the early bird, two courses (starter and mains) and a glass of wine for €21.50.
One of the features of this room, and indeed of its earlier phases (remember Proby’s Bistro, the Brick Oven), is the amount of lampshades, must be about two dozen, hanging from the ceiling. Makes the lighting all rather cosy!
Soon we were at our table, going through the choices and noted that the fish and meat is sourced locally, from the English Market. There were at least six starters available to us and dozens of main courses. While we are deciding, we are treated to an tasty pesto appetizer.
They do have the brick oven here still (they call it the “Big Fella”) and that was used to do our starter. We each went for the Parmigiana di Melanzane (Brick oven cooked sliced Aubergine, Parmesan, Tomato sauce). Substantial and really superb.
The brick oven was in action again for my mains: the Salsiccia & Cherry tomatoes pizza (Pomodoro, mozzarella, italian sausage and cherry tomatoes drizzled with basil oil). The tomatoes were deliciously juicy and the herby sausage was full of flavour. Hadn't had a pizza in ages and really enjoyed this one.
The other mains, Salmon la Dolce Vita (Fresh salmon with Prawns in Cherry Tomato Sauce), tasted as well as it looked. The simple tomato sauce was a lovely match for the well-cooked salmon and a side dish of potatoes and veg was excellent as well.
All that, and two glasses of Nero d’Avola “from the south”, for €21.50. A lovely meal and at a very good price indeed and it was two satisfied customers that departed at 7.48pm. The early bird is available Monday to Thursday until 8:30, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 7:00.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
DOUGLAS FARMERS MARKET
November sunshine flooded the Douglas Farmers Market this Saturday morning as I strolled around among the thirty or so stalls. It was my first visit here and glad to see old familiar faces such as Woodside and Flynn's Kitchen but great too to meet up with the newcomers of the Ballyhoura Wild Mushroom stall (soon to have a permanent one!) and also La Dolce Vita.
Let’s start with the Italian. After all we owe Trap and company - big time! And of course the Italian cuisine is no punishment. Far from it. We got a few tastes before settling on a Bolognaise ragout and a couple of bunches of Tagliattelli.
That was the night's main course settled. Starter? It was just a few steps away at the Ballyhoura Wild Mushroom stand. Again a couple of tastings before purchasing a gorgeous soup. There was a good date on that so we kept exploring and settled on some chanterelles for the starter. They have quite a selection, including Shiitake and Oyster.
While we call regularly to Woodside and Flynn’s Kitchen , they too had something new, at least new to us. Enjoyed some of Woodside’s extra tasty gluten free honey sausages at lunch-time.
Iain Flynn makes some terrific jams but it was the first time I had spotted his mixed berry with black pepper and kirsch, a terrific match with the sourdough from Arbutus close by.
Room in the bag for ten rosy red apples, total cost just 2 euro, and then headed across the village to On the Pigs Back. What a beautiful sparkling clean shop with all the choices we’ve come to expect at the English Market and space too for a cuppa and a snack.