Early Bird and Value Menus are the midweek mainstay of many restaurants, so it is in a restaurant’s own interests to make them as inviting as possible.  We took in a few recently, during the  lovely summer evenings.

La Dolce Vita – an Italian restaurant, which was previously in Sandyford Village –   is now in a new contemporary premises, complete with an outdoor terrace, in the Sandyford Industrial Estate.   We were attracted by their 2 course Early Bird menu with  tea or coffee at €17.95.  It also had the option of a la carte dishes carrying small supplements.   Sir is not the biggest pasta, pizza or salad fan, but he was under orders , not to veer off the strict EB – on which all of the mains were pasta, pizza or salad based.   However, hold the front page, he enjoyed it!

To kick off, he had Bruschetta alla Romana – chopped fresh tomato, red onion, garlic and olive oil, whilst I had  a contemporary square plate of Greek salad, which  had  all the bells and whistles of mixed leaves, peppers, tomato, black olives, cucumber and cubes of Feta cheese.  Penne Arrabbiata seemed a safe dish for Brendan – no coping with straggling pasta .  It proved a very decent bowl with perfectly cooked Penne,  pan fried chicken, red onions and mixed peppers, in a tomato and basil sauce with a good spicy kick, and perked up with a brace of ciabatta ‘ears’ .

My Fettuccini Pollo al Funghi likewise sported plenty of chicken slices and mushrooms in a tasty creamy Parmesan and white sauce.  There was nothing mean here:  they left the Parmesan to us and didn’t whisk it away immediately.     Passing on puds  and moving straight to coffee, we were impressed by the fact that there was no cheap skating – it was really decent coffee plus a brace each of biscuits and mints to finish off.  With a 500ml carafe of  House Chilean Urmeneta Cabernet Sauvignon (€16.50) our bill with service came to €57.40.

I could see us here again and it is good to know that the Early Bird runs from 3pm – 7.30pm Sunday – Thursday and from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Go catch the Early Birds!

Lucinda O’Sullivan