After I read the opinion called "the worst dinning experience" I had to see for myself as I use too myself, go in this place a lot. It was just a SHAME... Shush a difference since that new manager took over the lovely place (it was). The food was ok, but they cut down on the portions, the wine , well was ok but the service, scaryyyy... I was lucky enough to have told my wife before we went there that the management has changed... AVOID THIS PLACE AT ALL COST.... My experience was as bad , Same issue with the booking and with the bill... No more comments...
This Place was very nice indeed until the management change, which occured around 3 months ago... In the past 12 month I might have been into this place around 8-10 times. The last two times were the worst ever. Last saturday(13-040, My girl friend and I wanted to have a nice relaxing time for my birthday. Following is the complete stor : - Called the Place to make a booking, but it was refused, the person I had on the phone said that they did not take Booking for tables of two on the week end ... - Showed up anyway, we were only offered the table next to the door >> We refused it and decided to wait for 10 minutes to avail of a table onto the first floor. - In the means time we ordered a bottle of their more expensive bottle of wine to wait. - one of the waiter approached us to remind us that we will only be able to have the table for 90 minutes (this place is not in the city center...) - We had to accept as the wine was already opened(46?). Eventually we got our table. - after 82 minutes, we were still finishing our main course) they gave us the bill ??? of cousre we were not asked for dessert choices. - Check the total >> just in case and it seems OK. Gave my credit card and 2 minutes after the receipt came back but the amount which have been charge was not the one of the bill which was given to us. - Called in the manager and he just said that the first bill was a mistake !!! - He then said " you have to pay this and to go".also He was shouting at us while telling us this, I am not joking. - We then left and before to open the door to go elsewhere to have a good time, that "manager" shouted at us again: You will not come in my restaurant again...(as if anybody that night would like to come into this palce again). The morale of that true story is that if you want to have a meal in Dublin 6 on a week end, and if you are only two, your best bet is to find a fich and
chip... Bon Appetit.
~ ~ What can I say? The “mad cabbie” is stone cracked on Italian food, and seems to have passed his obsession onto his wife and wee lass, who will kill for a pizza, and go into convulsions of ecstasy at the very mention of pasta. So it is hardly surprising that at least once a week we eat out as a family, and that a lot of the time it is in Italian restaurants. Up until just recently our favourite haunt was a small and cheerful Italian establishment called Mario’s, which is only about ten minutes away from our house at Terenure Cross here in Dublin. But Mario’s is purely a walk in establishment, and VERY popular, so on the odd occasion it is impossible to get in, and alternative arrangements must be made. Hence it was a month ago that we found ourselves in this relatively new little Italian restaurant called “Big Cicero’s”, quite literally around the corner from our beloved Mario’s in Terenure village. So taken were we with this new find that we have now been back on two further occasions, and Mario’s has been relegated to second place in our affections. (fickle lot that we are!) ~ ~ Why do we like it so much? Well, for a variety of different reasons actually, but primarily because of the totally delicious grub that they serve up. Second would be the very friendly staff, and lastly the very reasonable prices. Cicero’s is primarily a walk in establishment like Mario’s, but it can be booked, which is a distinct advantage as you can ring before you actually leave the house to ensure they have a table for you on your arrival. It’s a fairly small restaurant, with only about nine or ten tables downstairs, but they also have an upstairs area (which I’ve never used, but which looks pleasant enough) that they open up when they get busy. This leads me to my one and only small complaint about the place. Because of its small size, the tables tend
to be too close together. This is understandable, I suppose, as they are obviously trying to utilise all the available space they have, and to fill the place with as many paying customers as possible. But it does mean that if you want to get up to go to the loo you invariably have to ask the people at the next table to move their seats to get out, and if you’re the nosy type (who? me? never!!) you can listen in to someone else’s conversation very easily. In fact, without even trying! That aside, the ambience is pleasant enough, with dark marble top tables, and the walls decorated with fake Roman frescoes. Subdued and recessed lighting, and a couple of strategically placed candles on each table add to the relaxed atmosphere. The staff are easy going and very friendly, with no airs and graces or put on charm and smarm, which will put this fella off an establishment from the word go, no matter how good the food. The toilets are clean and fresh smelling, with both paper towels and hand dryers supplied. ~ ~ So on to the important bit. The scoff! When you are first seated, you are asked immediately if you would like a drink, and fresh carafes of water and bread sticks are placed on your table. No one so much as bats an eye when we ask for a pot of tea for the other half and a soft drink for myself and the wee lass. (we’re all non-drinkers) The menu is not large, but has a good selection. There are nine different starters, ranging in price from €2.20 for some hot garlic bread, to €6.65 for “Manzo All’ Arlecchino”. This is a personal favourite of mine. Seasoned strips of beef, cooked with chilli and spicy olives, in a red wine sauce. Hot, but totally delicious. Another favourite is the “Cozze Alla Cicero’s” at €5.70. King Mussels, pan fried with onion, roasted peppers in olive oil and white wine. If this doesn’t take your fancy then you can always
go for a soup at €3.20. Small choice again. Minestrone is always available (naturally) and also a soup of the day. ~ ~ The pizzas are to die for. Thin, crispy pastry (just the way I like it), and a choice of different toppings that simply melt in your mouth. Two sizes, medium and large, (and I mean large!) and ranging in price from €4.50 for a medium “Marguerita” with tomato and mozzarella cheese topping, to €10.80 for a “Pizza Special”, which they modestly describe as “a little of everything, and then a little bit more”. ~ ~ If Pasta is your favourite, then there’s a choice of about fourteen different dishes, with all the old favourites like Spaghetti Bolognese, (€8.95) Cannelloni, (€9.20) Carbonara (€10.10) and various different Tagliatelle dishes at around the €10 to €12 mark. My own personal favourite of the pasta dishes is called “Penne Al Gamberi”. (€12.10) This is “Tiger Prawns” in olive oil, garlic and fresh basil, all cooked in a delicious, creamy white sauce. Of the various Tagliatelle dishes, I love the “Tagliatelle Fruitti Di Mare” (€12.10) This is a selection of different seafoods, all cooked in a delicious red tomato sauce. If you prefer, you can also have it with a white sauce. ~ ~ Then there is a section of the menu reserved for “Cicero’s Favourite Dishes”. About ten different dishes here, including veal, chicken, lamb, and steak. All, off course, cooked in true Italian style. Prices vary from about €10 up to €18.99 for a fillet steak. (in a brandy sauce, and it melts in your mouth!) On our last visit I tried the “Costoette Al Ferri” (€13.90) This is marinated lamb cutlets, cooked over a charcoal grill, and served with a wholegrain mustard sauce. (yummy!) ~ ~ The dessert menu is also small, and cons
ists mostly of various different styles and concoctions of Italian ice cream. Anyone who has ever tasted true Italian ice cream will always come back for more, and the ice cream in Cicero’s is simply to die for. Prices about the €10 mark. And last, but by no means least, is the coffee. Again, anyone who has tasted true Italian style coffee will know what I’m talking about. It’s all here. The “Coffee Latte”, (€2.85) “Espresso” (€1.60), and the totally delicious “Cappuccino” (€2.50) ~ ~ If you are a drinker, then there is a small wine list, but as a non-drinker myself I can’t really comment on the value or content of this. I did notice that a half carafe of the “house” white or red wine is €9.90 though. You can also try Italian beer or the ever-present American Budweiser. (both €3.30) ~ ~ This little Italian restaurant comes with the very highest recommendation from the “mad cabbie”. It’s only about 15 minutes from the city centre by taxi, (about €10) or if you are going by bus then simply ask at the city centre terminus for a bus to Terenure crossroads. They have a second restaurant in Ashbourne in Co. Meath, but I haven’t tried this one out yet. ~~~~~~~~~ Footnote To convert Euro into Sterling. €1 is about £0.61 Sterling ~~~~~~~~~ Big Cicero’s 4, Rathfarnham Road Terenure Dublin 6W. Tel: 01-492-8818 (From the UK: 353-1-492-8818) Fax: 01-492-7811 Big Cicero’s Block G Broadmeadow Castle Ashbourne Co. Meath Tel: 01-835-2711 (From the UK: 353-1-835-2711) Fax: 01-835-2720 ~~~~~~~~~