My all time fave food is definitely Italian. I could live on pizza and pasta alone! So I was excited to try out the brand new Fiorentina on Parliament Street. If I remember rightly it used to house Da Pino, another Italian restaurant which I was never drawn towards visiting. But having driven past the beautiful new facade of Fiorentina numerous times and checking out the menu I was definitely eager to get in there and see what they offered.
After my extended holiday in Portugal I’m on a bit of a budget so we decided to try out the early bird last weekend. It’s served from 5-7pm and 2 courses are €20 or three for €23.
We got there nice and early as they had just opened and got to enjoy it before it got busy. The interior is absolutely gorgeous, shiny dark wood furniture, a moss green sort of tone on the walls and sofas and wood panels creating nice lines throughout.
We sat to look over the menu and I had a nice glass of Montepulciano at €7.50.
The starter options were Wild Boar Meatballs, Bruschetta with Fresh Crab Salad, Herb Coated Veal Loin or a salad of Heirloom Tomatoes with Basil and Fresh Goat’s Cheese.
E went for the meatballs and loved them. I has a little sample (would be rude not to!) and they were super. Juicy meat seasoned perfectly and the tomato sauce was to die for!
If I ever see crab on a menu I will always go for it so there was no doubting that I’d get the crab bruschetta. The portion size was extremely generous and the fresh crab was light and soft.
Onto the mains. Choices were varied with a classic Fish Stew, Belly of suckling Pig, a Spring Veg risotto or an 8oz dry aged Sirloin Steak which has a €4 supplement.
E went for the sirloin steak. It was to be served with buffalo mozzarella but as he HATES cheese he got it without. The sauce accompaniment was one I had never heard of being served with steak- pizzaiola, an Italian sauce made from tomatoes and oregano. While we are more used to Bearnaise or Peppered sauce, this was lovely and the steak was really large and had very little fat as sirloins go. Even though he gets his steak well done, it was still moist and not the dried out hard slab of meat you can sometimes be served!
I went for more fish and chose the Fish Stew served with a slice of ciabatta. When it arrived I had a bit of dinner envy for E’s big steak but after getting into my fish stew I really enjoyed it. There was SO MUCH fish in there, under every slice of soft fresh fish came another. Along with the mussels and fresh prawns, potatoes, fennel and other veg I was stuffed after it! I would have liked a little bit of spice to it but that’s just a personal preference – other than that it was fab.
After a brief break we decided we’d go for the 3rd course – only €3 extra after all! They very kindly offered us to try out any of the desserts from the main menu for our Early Bird dessert.
Usually I’m all about the chocolate cake but this time E decided to go for that. The Chocolate Nemesis was served with an amazing Amaretto ice cream and pistachio crumb. It was devine!
I usually go for the sweetest thing on the menu but on this occassion i decided on the cheese, a mix of Irish and Italian cheese served with grapes and crackers. My fave was the blue veined cheese – so creamy and tasty.
After dinner we decided to have one more drink over in the bar area. This is a lovely spot to sit and have a chat and do some people watching out towards Parliament and Dame Street.
They also had a cocktail menu offering some unique drinks that we didn’t try… next time!
Our total bill for two 3 course Early Birds, 2 glasses of wine, a cappuccino and 2 cokes was a very reasonable €72.50.
I was super impressed with everything here, the food, the restaurant interior, the friendly and helpful staff and the value for money. Without doubt I’ll return.
Fiorentina, 40 Parliament Street, Dublin 2.