Italian Republic Day
On the 2nd June each year Italians celebrate a day called Festa della Repubblica (Festival of the Republic). A national holiday which commemorates the day when Italians voted to abolish the monarchy, in favour of becoming a Republic.
Republic Day is a national holiday in Italy. There will be official ceremonies and parades by Italian military in cities, towns and villages. Banks, post offices, schools and colleges will be closed as the country enjoys a day of celebration and partying. As with all things Italian, food and wine will form a part of the celebrations at some point during the day!
Ireland has more than a little in common with Italy, also becoming a Republic after fighting very hard for its independence. If you have any Irish/Italian heritage and you feel like celebrating Italian Republic Day alongside your continental cousins, we have a few Good Food Ireland members who own or run Italian influenced restaurants. Menus often join the cuisines of two countries to merge Irish ingredients with authentic Italian cooking. Have a look at these Italian gems. Mamma mia!
Il Vicolo, Galway City
Gerry lived in Italy for many years and brought his experience of real italian food and wine to this venue, after starting in a small café in Galway. The atmospherics here add to the real Italian feel.
Food concentrates on authentic Italian Antipasti, Cicchetti (savoury snacks and small dishes), handmade Pastas and traditional Risotto. Meat lovers can grab a 9oz Striplon served with bone marrow butter and duck fat potatoes. Gorgeous. A wealth of local suppliers proudly listed on the menu. Wines are sourced from Italy by Gerry and feature small and relatively little known Italian vineyards. A great selection of wines by the glass.
La Taverna Armento at Brooklodge Hotel and Spa, Co. Wicklow
In the heart of the Macreddin Village setting which is home to Brooklodge Hotel and Spa, La Taverna Armento provides a very different dining from the hotels certified organic and wild restaurant The Strawberry Tree. La Taverna Armento embraces Italian chic and casual dining in a beautiful location.
The restaurant was born when one of the residents of Aughrim village close to Brooklodge married Italian Michele Canosa of Armento village in Italy. The Brooklodge team began to use Michele to source organic ingredients to satisfy the strict Strawberry Tree organic licence, products like organic olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Since then, Michele has been an ambassador for his home village, encouraging more growers and suppliers to produce for Brooklodge. When Brooklodge decided to open a second restaurant, it was a natural choice to feature Italian food and use this fantastic produce which was sourced directly from Italian producers. La Taverna Armento showcases the cooking of its namesake village. Menus feature fresh pastas and woodfired pizza and dishes with an authentic taste of Southern Italy.
Toscana Restaurant, Dublin City
PJ and Dee Betucci came to Italian food via Croatian born PJ’s Italian grandmother. As the chef, at their restaurant Toscana, on Dame Street in Dublin, PJ uses the influence of the dishes his grandmother cooked at home when he was a small child. The couple are a married double act who also grow their own fresh produce for the menu in their polytunnels at home in Co. Wicklow.
Irish born Dee is the hostess with the mostest, managing a team of Italian staff with style and grace. At Toscana, you have Ireland, Italy and Croatia joining forces to produce a fantastic Italian feast with wines to match.
The couple often invite Italian winemakers for tasting nights and devise menus according to the region of the winemaker. Toscana has a typical Italian trattoria atmosphere, cosy, intimate and cocooned in this couple’s love of good Italian food made with fresh Irish ingredients.
Dunne & Crescenzi South Frederick Street and Sandymount, Dublin
Ireland meets Italy again in marriage and business at Dunne & Crescenzi!
When Eileen Dunne and her husband, Stefano Crescenzi opened their unassuming wine shop on Dublin's Frederick Street, in 1999, they weren't to know how quickly it was to become a well-loved institution.
Initially, it was primarily a wine shop, stocking over 150 wines from every region of Stefano's native Italy and serving some cold Antipasti and Cheeses. Soon, however, it was clear that it was morphing into a favourite destination for lunch and gradually they realised expansion, both in shape and form, was necessary.
Dunne & Crescenzi now provide a true blending of Irish ingredients with Italian cuisine at two dining destinations at South Frederick Street and residential Sandymount. Breakfast features Italian treats from Crostini to toasted Ciabatta with free range eggs and Buffalo Mozzarella and Speck. Lunch follows on and an A la Carte dinner menu includes Antipasti and Sharing Plates, Bruschetta and Crostini, fresh Pastas and House Specialities. A specials board also features seasonal dishes.
L’Officina Kildare Village and Dundrum Town Centre
Another Dunne & Crescenzi enterprise, L’Officina Kildare Village and L'Officina Dundrum Town Centre both revive weary shoppers with casual Italian cuisine at breakfast, lunch and dinner. A tempting and relaxed dining menu introduces authentic Antipasti and Insalatone (salads) with Spuntino (light snacks) Pasta, Carne (meat dishes) or Rosticceria Pizza (tray baked pizzas).
The Reserved Set Menu can be booked for shopping groups of ten or more. Also this time of year features the Summer Set Menu where two courses with a complimentary seasonal cocktail come in at just €25. Dig into that after you’ve shopped till you dropped!
Fratelli Ristorante at Galgorm Resort and Spa
In Co. Antrim, the luxurious Galgorm Resort and Spa features a number of dining options for residents and visitors. One of them is the very popular Fratelli Ristorante, an Italian themed restaurant suitable for all age groups and families. A number of menus to choose from including A la Carte, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian, and Little Boars – specially for the kids.
So whatever your dietary requirement here your meal won’t be compromised on taste. Kids can build their own pizzas. Adults can indulge in tasty Sharing Plates (Ciccheti) or traditional and modern twist pasta and risotto dishes. Salads come as starter or main portions. Carne (meat) and Pesce (fish) main courses include prime Irish rump steak with Italian toppings or fresh hake within a buttermilk batter with borlotti bean stew. Sounds absolutely divine!
And if you’re watching the calories or focusing on a healthy eating regime, try the Shrink Menu which has pizzas made with a cauliflower base, vegetable spaghetti with a topping of your choice, including classic bolognese and others. It’s all about good health and nutrition without compromising on real Italian taste!
Ristorante Rinuccini, Kilkenny City
With imposing views of Kilkenny Castle, Ristorante Rinuccini commands a fantastic position on The Parade in Kilkenny City.
The wonderful ambience here is akin to walking into a traditional high end restaurant in one of Italy’s majestic cities. Staff are courteous and conscientious. Suited and booted to match the ambience.
You'll be welcomed and seated with a style only the Italians know how to master. Opera emanates discreetly from the music system. Snippets of Italian conversation and fragrant smells of cooking waft from the kitchen. You know you're in for a treat.
Little steps from the street down to the dining room reveal a cool chic space with linen clad tables. Here, the marriage of Ireland and Italy again reveals itself in true Italian cooking from Italian chefs using the best of Irish fresh ingredients. Fish is sourced from the Wexford coast and meats come from local butchers and suppliers.
Ristorante Rinuccini is a longstanding restaurant which has celebrated over 25 years in business here in Kilkenny City, doing what it’s customers love best – serving real Italian food in real Italian style and creating an atmosphere steeped in tradition. Don’t miss it next time you're visiting this historic city.
Stefano Crescenzi of Dunne & Crescenzi joins forces with David Izzo at Bar Italia in Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin.
A different experience again to his other ventures, Bar Italia provides typical elegant Italian dining all through the day. A great value set lunch menu at 2 courses for €18, is served till 3pm.
The beautiful Maggio Set Menu at dinner offers 2 courses for €26 or 3 courses for €30, both with a welcoming glass of Prosecco to get you going. A full A la Carte evening menu is also served.
On the menus you’ll find Irish meats, fish and seafood from making up the main ingredients of traditional Italian cooking. Pizzas bases are home made 24 hour levitated dough, crafted in the proper Italian way. Bar Italia showcases the best of familiar traditional Italian cooking and it does it right. Wines are specially sourced from Italy to match your feast and the house wines change every week.
Pacino's Suffolk Street, Dublin
The very name of this place conjures up sassy Italian food that has the swagger of superstardom!
Head Chef Luca Mazza’s partnership with Michael Martin at Pacino’s Restaurant in Suffolk Street in central Dublin, has produced the perfect marriage of authentic Italian cooking using quality Irish core ingredients and artisan specialities.
Luca is part of a wave of chefs who are choosing Irish ingredients to create the foods of their homeland. Of course, being Italian, Luca is a passionate man in the kitchen! He cooks real Italian food like Mamma used to make. Michael works front of house, managing a knowledgeable team who serve up the best in Italian first courses, mains, famous pasta dishes and proper stone baked pizzas.
This is a lively buzzy street in Central Dublin, making Pacino’s an ideal location for a working lunch or an after work gathering. Fill up on great cooking and wines conscientiously chosen to match, as well as full bar drinks and cocktails.