If you’re a North Sider, it gets frustrating listening to the rhetoric about the best things in life being available only South of the Liffey. Well, this weekend, I had the best Italian food I’ve eaten outside Italy – within a 5 minute walk from my (north side) house.
Da Mimmo is a tiny and unassuming Italian restaurant on Dublin’s North Strand. We got a tip from a friend, or we’d never have gone in: from the outside, it looks like a glorified takeaway – and indeed, they do a roaring takeaway trade, especially if, like us, you visit on match days (they’re about 5 minutes from Croke Park).
Inside, you’ll find about 10 tables squeezed in to a small and fairly unassuming space. Clean and colourful is about the best you can say for the décor, but when it comes to the food, well that’s an entirely different ball game.
They serve up a great selection of authentic Italian dishes, from antipasti to pizza and pasta along with a small selection of meat and fish dishes too. We ordered bruschetta between us, and then two of the pasta specials, displayed on a blackboard behind the counter. Himself’s came with broccoli and Italian sausage and was very tasty – but it couldn’t stack up to my tagliatelle al tartufo.
The first time I tried this dish was on Italy’s Amalfi Coast when I heard whole choirs of angels sing – and I’ve ordered it from every menu I’ve spotted it on since. Da Mimmo’s is the only one that’s measured up. There was only a handful of ingredients but they were all superb: the pasta was homemade, the truffles were fresh, the olive oil fragrant and light. I was ridiculously happy - and ridiculously full.
We also enjoyed a carafe of red wine, and two complimentary liqueurs - and the bill came to less than €50. If you're going, make sure you book, because this place is jumping - and that doesn't surprise me one bit.
Find Da Mimmo on 148 North Strand Road Dublin 3, Fairview, or check out the website.