After a hard week's work, Brendan treated me to a meal in L'Officina in Dundrum Town Centre. We both needed to get out of the house to put work aside for a little while, and we wanted to try this restaurant, which is wedged between Mao and Milano, by the fountains. We had gone by it a few times, but it's easy to miss it. We had read a few good reviews, so we decided to try it out.
When we went in, we were told that we would have to come back in half an hour and they took our mobile number. We were barely gone 10 minutes and the phone rang. It was a nice surprise to get in earlier than expected.
We got a little table by the window, a little bit tight to get in, but once we were seated, it was comfortable and there was no through traffic, and we didn't feel like we were sitting on top of the people at the next table. There was a great buzz about the place, so you couldn't hear anybody else's conversation.
The food was delicious, really authentic Italian - I had a starter of parma ham, rocket salad, tomato and buffalo mozarella. Brendan had the mixed plate, with aubergine, courgette, salami, cheese, tomato and more. Both starters came with nice bread - a good start. For main course, I had linguine with squid, baby octopus and mussels. Brendan had ravioli. Mine was the better of the 2. We'll have to go back to try out the risotto, which Brendan had intended to get (long story...). And for dessert, Brendan had an apple tart (they had run out of the Apple Sponge Cake) and I had panacotta, which was to die for (but then again, I always think that panacotta is to die for, don't I?). I think it had a hint of cinnamon, which made it a real comfort food.
And the service was good, very friendly and efficient, without feeling rushed.
We'll definitely go back. It's very different from all the big chains typical of Dundrum Town Centre. So it was no surprise to find out that it is part of the same group of restaurants as Nonna Valentina near South Circular Road.