Situated at top of the wide stairs on the second floor balcony of Powerscourt Townhouse, this popular restaurant makes the best possible use of the long, narrow space between the red-brick wall and the balcony rail. Tables at the rail are compact, with just enough space for two, while larger groups sit by the wall.
Owner and chef Gianfranco Locci is the Director of the Professional Association of Italian Chefs in Ireland. With more than 30 years experience in restaurants around the world, he has settled here with his wife, Ive, who very ably looks after front-of-house.
As you’d expect from a ‘Maestro di Cucina’, the food coming from this small kitchen is of the highest standard. The menu is typically Italian with antipasti that include salads, bruschetta, vegetarian quiche and chef’s special quiche. Mains offer a range of pastas and pizzas, including the ever-popular tagliatelle bolognese, and you’ll also find burger alla casa, polpette (meatballs) and chicken.
But Terrazzo Italia is much more than just good Italian food; it’s also all about ambience. As you sit on the balcony, you’ll get a birds-eye view of the centre, particularly the hustle and bustle downstairs. You may even be lucky enough to hear and see the pianist on the ground floor, playing familiar pieces on the grand piano.
Terrazzo Italia is earning a reputation for its gluten-free food and most recipes can be changed to suit the customer’s dietary requirements.
This Dublin Restaurants wine list favours Italy and is very adequate but not huge, reflecting the fact that it is mainly a daytime restaurant (except for later opening on Thursday and Saturday, when themed evenings are sometimes held). With starters from about €4.50, and pizza from about €8, the value offered is good.
The service is warm and friendly and, together with flavoursome, unpretentious food and that special Italian ambience, this is a place worth climbing the stairs for – and, if you're in a hurry, takeaway is also available.