Rumours on the twitter-verse of killer Negroni’s saw myself and The Gay (with the fairy godkids in tow) brave the elements and head for Pizza e Porchetta on a rainy Saturday afternoon. It’s in the old Bridge Bar & Grill premises near Grand Canal Quay. The fit-out is impressive – all white tile, exposed brick and glass, with a large pizza oven as the centerpiece; the cavernous railway arch has been clad in white perspex with clever use of lighting to create a cosy eating space.
We were the only diners, but it was early. We were surprised to see Ronan Ryan (ex Bite and Town/Bridge Bar and Grill) on the phone, as it had been his premises in its previous incarnation – we were wondering where he had disappeared to after Bite!
The menu is short and simple. We decided to share a salad, pizza and side. There wasn’t anything suitable for the kids – the pizzas were all very ‘grown up’ – so The Gay asked if we go “off menu” and get some plain pasta. The waitress was helpful and said it wouldn’t be a problem. She brought colouring pencils and pictures to colour in. Odd to be kid-friendly with supplies but not to have a kid-friendly menu, I thought.
Our attentions turned to the reason we had come – we ordered Negronis. Our waitress said there were a few on the menu. Sacrilege! Negroni is an incorruptible drink, served in equal measures of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth over ice. They are an acquired taste and unlike any other alcoholic beverage we imbibe, one is usually enough. She came back with the cocktail list – her mistake, there was only one option. Phew!
The salad choices were limited but interesting – Chicken and Bread, Salt-baked Beets, Romaine or Roasted Carrot Salad. We chose the Romaine – crisp romaine lettuce and mint leaves with candied walnuts and pecornio shavings – it was well-dressed and as substantial as salads get.
The meatballs, although over sauced and a bit on the small side, were packed with flavour and were gone as soon as the plate hit the table. At last the Negroni’s arrived, but they were a huge disappointment – watery, insipid and not well-balanced.
Like the salads, the pizza choices are limited to (six options). Although true pizza lovers (e.g. my brother) believe there should only be three ingredients on a pizza – sauce, cheese and basil, so would think this menu is overkill! We went for the Apis – tomato, mozzarella, spicy salami and honey. It was fine – a nice crispy base with a hint of spiciness, but the flavours weren’t hugely apparent, nothing like the wow flavour factor of the flat breads in Fade Street Social.
The kids plain pasta did the trick, but we were charged handsomely (€7). Overall a disappointing dining experience; with so many other options in the neighbourhood we won’t be rushing back. The bill came to €57 plus tip.
Pizza e Porchetta, Clanwilliam Terrace, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2, (01) 662 4199, www.pizzaeporchetta.com
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