Long-time customers of La Pizzeria in Drogheda breathed a sigh of relief when Jian Carlo reopened his restaurant in nearby Clogherhead. It’s a testament to how loyal his customers are that even in this quiet fishing village 15km up the coast from Drogheda, it’s still fully booked at weekends.
While the location and the menu are both new and improved, regulars of the old Drogheda restaurant will smile to see the familiar old touches that have transferred across to the new space: the red and white checked tableclothes, the Chianti bottles hanging on the wall, even the wicker placemats.
You can expect to find the usual Italian staples here, with plenty of pasta options as well as steak, two chicken dishes and a fish of the day, but Jian Carlo is renowned for his pizzas and insists on making them himself.
You’ll see him when you come in the door, dressed in his chef’s whites, scattering on toppings and sliding the pizzas in and out of the ovens as fast as he can to keep up with the steady stream of orders.
Jian Carlo came to Ireland from Italy over 20 years ago for a three-month stint to teach other chefs how to make pizza, but stayed once he realised no one could make them as well as he can. To this day, when Jian Carlo goes on holiday, the restaurant closes while he’s away rather than have anyone else take up his post at the pizza ovens.
The menu has some new additions that reflect the new seaside location, with seafood coming in fresh from the Oriel Pier just down the road. The calamari and a starter of prawns in tomato sauce are especially good, and good value too considering the generous portion sizes.
For dessert, the classsic homemade tiramisu is not to be missed and packs a proper boozy, espresso-laced punch.
The wine list is surprisingly extensive – all wines are sourced from Italy and the list is arranged by region. Peroni beer is also available.
Over the years, La Pizzeria became something of an institution in Drogheda, and it’s sure to be as equally loved now here in its new home. A favourite with old regulars and new customers alike.