Just off the main square in Enniscorthy, you’ll encounter the unexpected - an authentic Italian restaurant, run by Paolo Fresilli, who is President of the Irish Delegation of the Italian Chefs’ Federation, no less.
It’s buzzy and homely Italian in style, and with the ingredients they prize, wines and Italian liqueurs all on shelves open to view; the welcome is warm and efficient, white clothed tables are simply laid and a generous basket of good bread is left on the table throughout the meal, along with two carafes of home-flavoured olive oils to dress your salad to taste.
As you’d expect, the menu is divided into antipasti, pasta, main dishes, pizza, and also an intriguing page of house specials for each course, all written in Italian, with accurate descriptions in English; you’ll find dishes here that rarely feature on Irish/Italian menus, and top quality Italian cheese, salami, cured hams and other speciality foods feature. With seating for over 60, it’s broken up into 3 areas by a central bar and semi-open kitchen. This is a hive of good humoured activity and the three chefs cook everything to order.
Dishes are prepared and served Italian style without fussy presentation: a salami selection with marinated olives comes simply but stylishly on a wooden platter, for example, and the emphasis is on good cooking and real flavour; gnocchi comes with delicious gorgonzola cheese, sage & cream, and jump in the mouth veal rolls with sage and parma ham are cooked in a rich white wine and olive oil sauce, then served with mashed potatoes - wonderful.
The dessert menu offers home-made traditional delights like ice creams, tiramisu, Italian meringues, gateaux, biscotti and amaretti. An all-Italian wine list offers over 120 wines, including some special bottles and many more affordable wines.
The locals have taken this place (which is very family friendly) to heart, so it’s wise to make a reservation - especially if you want to dine after 7.30 or 8.00 pm.