Friday, 15 August 2014

Pizza e Porchetta,Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2 . @pepspizzeria

In the former location of what used to be Bridge Bar & Grill, nestled underneath the arches at the Malting Tower on Grand Canal Dock is Pizza e Porchetta, the new eatery from restauranteur Ronan Ryan. Needless to say, the place has had a completely make-over. The decor is modern, stylish yet very cosy and warm. And don't be fooled by the name, this is no ordinary pizza joint but rather one of those little gem of a place you stumble upon in New York or Milan. Here you will find inspired dishes concentrating on clean flavours using the best seasonal produce and truly amazing Italian produce.Think of Guanciale, an Italian cured pork cheek, Bottarga, salted fish roe or N'duja Italian sausage, Bresaola, air-dried salt beef and of course the Porchetta, spit roasted boned shoulder of pork stuffed with garlic and herbs.

Starters range from Crisps salads to combo meat plates & salumis as well as seasonal dishes. Here is a selection of some of the dishes I have tried.

Salt baked beets, Blood orange and Buffalo Mozzarella

Baby ruby red and golden beets offered delicious smack of sweetness and the blood orange perfectly matched the creaminess of the mozzarella. It was delicious and fresh. The simple flavours of this starter was  so expertly combined, it set the tone for the meal ahead.  

New season Asparagus , N'duja Italian sausage and parmesan cream was not far behind.

The highlight of which was certainly the N'duja sausage. It was melt in the mouth and spicy, the asparagus were cooked to perfection, no cotton wool consistency here, it was just the way it should be, still with a bite and the silky parmesan cream was divine.

Crispy parmesan squid, Citrus slices and lemon oil.

To say that this starter was insanely delicious would be an understatement. In a light coating of polenta and parmesan, they  were crispy and the squid still very tender and moist. The citrus slices and lemon oil added refreshing notes to this very very tasty dish. I could have eaten a whole plate of this alone.

For mains there is choice of pasta to risotto and of course the pizzas.
The house signature Pizza with Porchetta was certainly  a good choice.

It had a light and crispy base, yummy charred edges and still with a dusting of flour and semolina from the wood fired oven. The Porchetta didn't disappoint either, it was succulent,very lean and packed full of flavour. It is without doubt , one of the best pizzas I've had in Dublin and can't wait to try the others on offer.

The Crab linguine was creamy with lots of sweet crab meat, with just a hint of chilli and lemon. With perfectly cooked pasta, it reminded me of the ones, I used to have in Milan, which were simple and allowed the produce to sing to you. A delicious main indeed.

Open Ravioli, with smoked chicken, hazelnut and basil oil, offered once again perfectly cooked pasta, "al dente", they were complimented by a decadent yet simple sauce of roasted hazelnuts and basil oil which coated rather than gelled the delicate pasta sheets. With a generous dusting of parmegiano &crushed hazelnuts, it was heavenly.

Honey and lemon Pannacotta was silky and not overtly sweet nor creamy. Perfect consistency with  subtle hints of lemon, honey & vanilla served with honeycomb and macerated raspberries, What's not to love...

Chocolate and Pistachio cake, elderflower and mascarpone cream , macerated berries was sinfully good. I can still recall the rich deep taste and addictive nature of this dessert. This alone will have you longing for a return visit.

I have eaten here a few times and while the place was packed to the rafters on each occasion I have been there, the staff have always been most attentive and charming. In all, it was a great dining experience with inspired dishes and ingredients.
We sipped an easy style frizante prosecco with  Amarena Cherries steeped in Poitin. While a good selection of wine can be purchased by the glass, bottle or carafe and their cocktail list is impressive too.

Pizza e Porchetta
The Malting Tower
Grand Canal Dock
Dublin 2

Tagged: robert jacob- pizza e porchetta- italian- brasserie- casual dining- ronan ryan

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