★ ★ ★ ★
Sprezzatura is Dublin’s newest pasta place, but is it the hottest? Located in Camden Market, Sprezzatura utilises Ireland’s finest produce and adds them to their fresh, hand-made semolina pasta, which is made in an old garage in Dublin 8. Sprezzatura aim to offer sustainable dining, by accepting card only, using renewable energy, reusing containers and offering wine and Aperol Spritz on tap. Who says being environmentally friendly can’t be cool?
The restaurant itself is compact; one of my main criticisms of the experience is the close proximity of other diners. Other than this, it is cute and cosy, which mimics the food they serve.
For starters, we sampled the Irish beef Bresaola, potato focaccia (from Bread 41) and Toonsbridge stracciatella. Individually, these were all tasty; together, they complemented each other well and made for a great start to the meal.
We followed up with the ‘Oxtail Ragu’ ribbons and ‘Cacio e Pepe’ pappardelle. I had had big hopes for the former, and though it was tasty, it lacked the explosion of flavours I was expecting. That said, it was still substantially better than the average plate of pasta you would get in most places. The star of the show is the innocuous ‘Cacio e Pepe’. With only four ingredients (pasta, Pecorino cheese, salt and pepper) it is simple, but bursting with taste and certainly worth going back (again and again) for. We washed the meal down with a glass of their house red wine, which was delicious, and an Aperol Spritz, which was less good and had a certain acidity that shouldn’t normally be there.
Overall, the food in Sprezzatura is fantastic. The only downside to the experience, aside from the cramped tables, was the service. The staff are lovely and friendly, but seem very eager to get you in and out as soon as possible. Perhaps this has something to do with the low pricing; at around €50 for all the above food and drink, it’s certainly cheap, which might explain the rush to have a high turnover of patrons. Nonetheless, it’s not enough of a deterrent to stop me from doing back as soon as I can.
Alex Lohier – Deputy Editor