Back in the day, Italian restaurants in Ireland offered a basic menu of pizza and pasta. Most of them were little better than the so-called 'red sauce joints' so abhorred in the U.S., but then, something changed. Along came Eileen Dunne and her husband, Stefano Crescenzi and together, they began importing top class Italian cheese, salami and wine, and also began seriously thinking of combining the wonderful produce available on these shores with the equally wonderful produce of regional Italy. This concept, together with a growing knowledge of and desire for authentic Italian cooking, raised the game for the Italian-Irish restaurant community.
L'Officina, Kildare is a shining example of those new, ameliorated standards. The room at L'Officina is big, bright and brimming with atmosphere. The walls are a lush purple, the floors rustic oak and one entire wall is filled with a stainless steel and wood combination shelf filled to the brim with olive oil, pasta, rice, wine and coffee. The kitchen is open and visibly at work is a brigade of confident chefs, barely with the time to look up from their stations! The menu is a combination of classic L'Officina staples: the hallmarks of the Dunne and Crescenzi style of feeding people. Everything from a light bite to a full on Italian main course. Wines are also Italian and well chosen to partner this type of food.