Sunday, November 16, 2008

Milano, Dundrum

Now that I'm 'in the industry' it was a refreshing break to sit on the other side of the counter and order a pizza Sciciliano in the warm, chattering ambiance of the Milano, Dundrum. The hostess was suitably insincere but not unpleasant, the table was a little exposed and the lighting unnecessarily cool, but the business boiled and most of the charm for me in a cheap meal begins with busy staff and a collective camaraderie. I love the hive. You can taste the pressure and the excitement as waiters contend efficiency with friendliness. Furthermore, busy staff are less likely to bother you, it's private. Loneliness in a crowd sort of affair, except on the flip side. Whatever it was, it suited my mood and things ran smoothly. The house Valpolicella Superiore was round and long, really a very tasty wine, and a surprise. The olives excelled. As for the main, it could have done with more anchovies, but isn't it always the case? I feel restaurants in Ireland, especially the older models, cater for a normalised palette where peaks of flavour are discouraged. We must appeal to the masses. A great business solution and a culinary holocaust. I countered the issue with two tablespoons of Parmesan and several seconds of ground pepper. It satisfied but underwhelmed. Had it not been for the 'High Flyer' discount, the €15 price tag would have been a little ambitious.

This is the type of place that can transform a friendly coffee into a meal and a bottle of wine. You want to chat, to order more and drink and feel special. But if you open a pizza restaurant and that component is your weakest offering, you need a new kitchen. If they employ an Italian, listen to him and doctor the menu, count me in for a second helping. Until then, I'm better off spending my time tasting new wines at home with a crispy base Goodfellas and a jar of anchovies. Average.

DIARIT: 5/10

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