We’ve found ourselves in Blackrock a few times recently and we were excited to see that Dunne & Crescenzi has opened in the Blackrock Shopping Centre (in the same unit as Clodagh McKenna’s place was previously). I’ve always liked Dunne & Crescenzi and their Dundrum offering, L’Officina, especially in the Summer months when you can dine al fresco by the millpond. One weekend day while out and about in Blackrock one day we popped in for a bite to eat and a glass of wine.
We enjoyed it although there was a couple of small things that could have been better, mostly related to service. However we were convinced enough to return. Unfortunately that visit didn’t go very well, perhaps we were just unlucky both times …
On our 1st visit, we shared the Caprese di Bufalo salad with tomatoes to start. The toasted bread & pesto was the highlight of this plate, the tomatoes and mozzarella were lacking flavour. For mains, I chose the Ravioli del Plin (Mignon ravioli filled with beef and pork, in a fragrant Tuscan sausage, leek, thyme, and cherry tomato sauce, with petals of Grana Padano DOP). While he modified the Fettucce con Ragu di Manzo Irlandese (slow cooked ragu’ of Gilligan’s Hereford Irish beef) swapping out the pasta for a short pasta. Both pasta dishes were really tasty and this is definitely what Dunne & Crescenzi do really well.
On our 2nd visit, from the very slow service, particularly at the start, we waited for ages for water and a bottle of wine to arrive, our starter came, still no wine, to the food itself, it was disappointing. My Amatriciana pasta (Fresh strozzapreti pasta with tomato, guanciale, pancetta and a hint of balsamic from Modena) was a very flat dish, no flavour, stodgy… The Saltimbocca di Pollo described on the menu as “Escallopes of Gilligan’s Co. Mayo Irish chicken with Prosciutto DOP and sage in an oak aged Sicilian marsala wine sauce, served with rosemary roast potatoes” – the thinnest slices of chicken, topped with prosciutto sitting in a warmish gloopy brown gravy and served with a ramekin of tiny burnt potatoes. Our desserts of affogato were comped due to the issues with the main course. And desserts were very good, we definitely ended the meal on a high. And a note for the beautiful plates too…
I really like the wine list at Dunne & Crescenzi – lots of great Italian wines and their house wines are good wines that are well priced around €20-25. Overall though based on our two experiences, I’d be hard pushed to return. I don’t tend to review places I don’t enjoy here but felt given I’ve written a glowing review of L’Officina in Dundrum in the past which you can see here, it was worth publishing this review too.
Dunne & Crescenzi have multiple outlets – the original Dunne & Crescenzi on South Frederick Street, Dublin 2 as well as Sandymount and now Blackrock. Along with those, there’s Bar Italia on Ormond Quay and L’Officina in Dundrum Town Centre and Kildare Village. I’ve visited most of their restaurants over the years and for the most part food has been good while service can be lacking, nothing as bad as in Blackrock though so maybe try another location first!
Dunne & Crescenzi | Blackrock Shopping Centre, Co. Dublin | 01 525 2012