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When you dine in Rossini’s, you get a taste of Italy, as you'd expect, and a taste of Ireland as many of the fresh ingredients are bought in the nearby English Market.
Rossini’s was established, in Princes Street, Cork, in 1994, by Antonio Toscano and their reputation for delicious authentic Italian cuisine quickly grew in the Cork area. I hadn't been there for quite a while until last week. It was a quiet night around town, the Tuesday after the Bank Holiday. So we had to settle for Italian music on the stereo - no live music, no dancing in the aisle. Still turned out to be a very enjoyable meal indeed.
No shortage of starters on the menu. We were finding it hard to choose and so settled on the Antipasta Misto. This turned out to be quite a plateful, a very tasty plateful indeed. There were some calamari fritte, some delicious Mozzarella with big slices of tomato, some bruschetta, cured meats too, breads, salad…. Good food and good value at €15.00.
They have their own pizza oven here, built by a champion! And I enjoyed my champ of a pizza, the Cacciatora: BBQ sauce on the base, pulled chicken and lots of peppers (15.00). Not too sure that Cacciatora was the best name for it but it sure was one of the best pizzas I've eaten.
No shortage of choice for the main courses, pizzas of course and pasta dishes too. They have quite a few steak options, chicken options, and fish options (including a risotto marinara).
CL paid particular attention to the chicken and eventually picked the Pollo Saltimbocca (15.90) over the Pollo Parmigiana. She was very happy with the choice and enjoyed her chicken wrapped in ham and a tasty and interesting selection of veg that included roast potatoes, courgettes, red onions, red pepper and cauliflower.
The wines were Italian, of course, and we opted for a glass of Valpolicella (7.50) and an excellent Soave (7.25). No dessert on the night so our total, before tip, came to €60.65.
Rossini’s make it easy for you to try out their food without breaking the bank. They have about three set menusthat start from €14.90 up. You’d have a choice of two or three starters and two or three mains. You could for instance have Calamari as starter and the Saltimbocca as mains and it wouldn't break the bank. Add a glass of house wine or dessert for 4.50.
Watch out too for their special nights (eg Valentine’s) and you might also like to try them via Deliveroo. And I see too that a tasty looking Pollo Cacciatora features on their well-priced lunch menu (Fridays, Saturdays only).
33-34 Princes Street, Cork
021 - 4275818
Opening hours: 5.00 to 10.00pm Sunday to Thursday.
I don't think there is much point in going to an Italian Restaurant in Ireland and ordering Salmon or Steak (unless they have Florentine steak on the menu).
Following my own advice, at a far from full Ristorante Rossini this Friday night, I picked Cannelloni alla Bolognaise as my main course while the Advisor went for the Homemade Lasagne. We had no regrets whatsoever. While the plates may have been adjusted to suit the Irish palate (no shortage of mince meat), the taste and eating experience was pleasurable, very enjoyable indeed, all washed down by a €13.00 carafe (50cl) of house red.
The meat and sauce left little room for dessert but I was tempted by the Apple and Caramel tart (served with Ice Cream) and we shared it. Again, it was very enjoyable. We also had two cups of excellent coffee.
Total bill came to €63.50 approx. For that, we had a good meal and also some nice live music (solo guitar).
Rossini's is a long established venue, run by Patricia and Salvatore Toscano. It is in Princes Street, tel. 021 4275818
Rossini’s is one of the longest established Italian restaurants in Cork City. Proprietors Patricia and Salvatore Toscano have got to be doing something right to survive the intense centre city competition.
One thing the restaurant does right is its Chicken Cacciatore (hunter style). I’m not a regular there but picked that particular dish (€21.90) on a recent visit. It was magnificent. The chicken was served in a “massive” tomato sauce, olives and mushrooms also included. The big plate was quite packed – just as well I didn’t have a starter (most of which are close to €10.00). Vegetables galore, including onion, asparagus, celery and broccoli and a helping of sautéed potato.
We did order a carafe of house wine and got a surprise here. I have been ordering carafes regularly enough in local restaurants, less regularly in establishments in France and Switzerland and was under the impression that a carafe was 50cl. But the serving in Rossini’s was a surprise litre size! Still, it was quite good value for €24.00 and we managed to put it away without too much difficulty.
Another surprise came at the end when we got the bill. It was about double the expected amount – it was for a different table! We got that sorted no problem. I suppose it could happen anywhere –although it was a first for me.
A colleague who had been to the popular Princes Street venue recently didn’t enjoy the experience saying the service was pretty poor (it seemed as if the place was understaffed on the night) and the pizza arrived late, so late that the cheese has lost its “elasticity” and had dried up. But I have to say that our service was perfect and friendly. The place was packed and the atmosphere good, enhanced by some live music.
The live music is on the menu from Tuesday to Saturday. The restaurant itself, which is probably in the mid-price range in the city, is open 7 nights a week, with dinner served from 6.00pm. Telephone is 021-4275818.