When it comes to places to eat, Dublin is simply bursting at the scenes, but one cuisine we've done well for years is Italian. And it's not all pizza - although there is plenty of that!
No less than six restaurants in Dublin have been included in the list of 100 Best Italian Restaurants in Europe. The list was put together by The Love Italian Life Awards, an industry leader dedicated to celebrating the best Italian chefs and restaurants in Europe.
The six Dublin spots included are:
- Da Mimmo (North Strand Road)
- Forno 500 (Dame St)
- I Monelli (Portobello Road)
- Pinocchio (Ranelagh)
- Rosa Madre (Temple Bar)
- Terra Madre (Bachelors Walk)
Each of the restaurants has a strong and deeply appreciated link to Italy and the standards of cooking that made its cuisine so famous. The owners of Forno 500 traveled to Naples to learn the art of pizza-making with a famous fourth-generation pizza chef - Gaetano of Pizzeria Gaetano Genovesi - and talked the Ferarra family of revered wood fire ovens into creating one for their kitchen.
The owner of Da Mimmo takes the lessons of their Italian-born parents, creating a truly authentic family-run restaurant, while I Monelli, overlooking the Grand Canal, is run by chefs Gianni De Santis and Ivano Addabbo and takes its cues from their childhood and careers working in restaurants.
Pinocchio is as revered for its wine selection as for its food, while Rosa Madre's Luca De Marzio - who hails from Rome - has built a reputation for his focus on expertly cooked fresh fish. Terra Madre shows its strong links to the homeland through its focus on rare and specialty foods and wine from Italy.
An independent panel of Italian food and drink experts weigh up each restaurant, carrying out reviews in more than 20 cities across Europe and reporting back with their findings. As any post on the group's site will show, they take their job as gatekeepers to fine Italian dining very seriously.
The quality of ingredients, creativity and innovation in developing recipes, presentation, modern Italian cooking techniques and - crucial - wine pairing selections are all criteria that the judges use to measure up each restaurant.
Over 20 different awards will be presented on the evening to the most deserving Italian restaurants.
The restaurants nominated in the 100 Best Italian Restaurants in Europe category will head to The Love Italian Life 2019 Awards ceremony, taking place in Dublin on Tuesday, November 19, where more than 20 different awards will be presented to the best Italian restaurants.
So get your tables booked now, before they fill up!