Boccaccio Ristorante Italiano
18 Dame Street
Dublin 2, Ireland
Phone: (+353) 1 679 7049
I’ve been to Dublin twice now. The first trip was in the summer of 2006, the latest was just this past June. Sure, there’s the Book of Kells, churches that are nearly 1000 years old, but what about the food!? Both times I tried to do my research as to where to eat, and although Dublin is coming into its own as a tourist destination with a couple of Michelin stars, I could not find a restaurant I wanted to return to for a second meal. That is until we found Boccaccio.
It has very much the same atmosphere as Limoncello, in fact every meal at Boccaccio closes with a complementary shot of limoncello. So in brief it’s everything I love about Italian cuisine: a relaxed atmosphere, a family feel, and phenomenal food.
We went there twice in the week that we stayed in Dublin. The first night I ordered Linguine al Granchio (Pasta with crab meat claw, spring onion and fresh tomato concasse). The crab-tomato sauce concoction can easily be muddled. Either you can’t taste the crab, or the crab takes over with the fishy/wharfy taste — neither of these problems existed at Boccaccio. The crab was fresh and added a creaminess to the tomato with more than a hint of spice.
We ventured back the night before our plane was to leave which was a busy Saturday night. We didn’t have reservations and the place was packed. After giving my sob story of wanting to eat there one more time before flying back to the states, they fit us into a table as long as we could order, eat, and get out of there before a huge party was arriving at nine o’clock. Deal! I don’t need to linger, I just want the food!
This time I ordered the simple dish that so many restaurants don’t seem to be able to master, Spaghetti alla Bolognese. This was a classic ground beef version, nothing fancy, but high-quality meat that wasn’t drowning in sauce; a perfect ratio. With it we ordered the house wine: “Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Perugino Rosso” which, like in any good Italian restaurant, was highly drinkable and didn’t break the pocketbook.
Both nights I closed my dinner with the Tartufo Limone with Limoncello (Lemon ice cream with a soft lemon liqueur center coated with chrushed lemon meringue). I was in lemon heaven. It was creamy, it was tart, and with a shot of limoncello poured over it, it had a kick! I highly recommend it, along with the light-as-a-cloud Tiramisu.
I don’t know if I’ll find myself in Dublin again anytime soon. It’s an incredibly expensive city to visit. But at least now I know that if I do go back, I have a place to eat… and eat, and eat.