Some family of mine visited from abroad recently, and we wanted somewhere special for a reunion lunch. Once I found Oliveto, an Italian restaurant in the gorgeous, new boutique Haddington Hotel, and saw the view from their window (pictured) I knew I was onto a winner. It helped that their menu looked delicious and reviews were glowing.
Service was prompt despite full tables all around. A mixture of adults and kids, we ordered a wide variety and sampled from each others’ plates, tasting everything from antipasto boards, to Gorgonzola salads, to porkbelly. I personally went for pappardelle with slow-braised venison ragù, which contained the best al dente pasta I have eaten in Ireland. Like all good Italian restaurants, the ingredients were never too fussy – it was all about simple, complimentary flavours cooked to perfection. Oliveto is famed for its pizza (you can also get them to go) and they are gigantic, tasty, thin-crust affairs that you’ll wish you could finish but won’t!
The lunch menu has two good deals: the Value Lunch, offering single courses ranging from € 6.50 – € 12.50, or the Lazy Lunch, offering two courses for a set € 24.50.
As a Dun Laoghaire Pier pro, I had to save room for Teddy’s Ice Cream rather than choose one of Oliveto’s Italian desserts. Something called Chocolate Nemesis definitely deserves my full attention at a later date, however. Perfect for the summer months, they have an incredible beer garden dotted with picnic tables overlooking the pier.