Etto has been on my list of places to go for so long and I just had never quite made it there. Etto has been open a year and was just recently awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand. I took my Mom along to a wine tasting in the Merrion Hotel earlier in the evening. After this we were feeling quite hungry and stumbled upon Etto. It was busy but there were two stools at the bar area which we happily took. Etto occupies a small space with a casual feel, kind of wine bar-esque, white walls, simple decor with all the focus on serving great food & wine.
The dinner menu is a mix of small nibble dishes like olives, breads etc along with more substantial starters like vitello tonnato, smoked salmon, jamon and the mains – fish, risotto, pork chop, a Côte de boeuf to share… so many nice things, I would have happily eaten pretty much anything off the menu (except for the duck hearts!). There’s a few sides to choose from too, and I couldn’t resist trying the grilled purple sprouting broccoli with lardo (€4.50).
We opted to share a starter and requested a plate of the Jamon Iberico, however they didn’t have this and had Prosciutto (€9) which we were happy to have instead. We got this with some slices of crusty bread (€2.50). Unlike most places where charcuterie meats are served almost straight out of the fridge, really cold, this prosciutto was at a perfect temperature, soft, melty and delicious. An ideal starter between 2.
Onto the mains, my Mom was so happy to be able to order the risotto – Pumpkin and taleggio risotto with trompette mushrooms (€19). Normally risotto has garlic in it and she can’t eat garlic so normally avoids. This one was garlic free! I chose the Hake with chickpeas, chorizo and clams (€23).
I’m not sure how superlatives I can use to describe the risotto, as nice as my hake was, I had complete food envy when I saw (and tasted) the risotto. It was fantastic, standout dish, the flavours, texture, the earthiness of the mushrooms with the sweetness of the pumpkin and brough together by the cheesy risotto… so good.
Two pieces of hake served on top of the chickpea chorizo mix with the clams, the focus of the dish was entirely on the fish as it should be not the accompaniments. Rich flavours, perfectly balanced and a superb plate of food.
We also had glasses of wine with our food. Their wine by the glass is on a blackboard with 3 whites, 3 reds and a Prosecco on tap (€7 glass) – I had a Rioja (€8) and the white choice for my Mom was a Vino di Gino, Verdicchio (€9.50). I finished off our lovely evening with a macchiato coffee. Our total bill came to €86 (not including service).
All in we both thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Etto, buzzy atmosphere, great food, good service. They really seem to know what they are and what they are about and I like that. I’d recommend booking as its so tiny, and I know I will be back. Enjoy!
Etto | 18 Merrion Row, Dublin 2 | firstname.lastname@example.org | +353 1 678 8872