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18 Suffolk Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. Tel: 01 677 5651.

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      29.03.2002 02:35
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      Pacinos, as the name suggests (though there was no sign of Al) is an Italian restaurant. It nestles in a neat row of shops in Dublin's Suffolk Street. For any visitors there are some landmarks to find it; right at the end of Grafton Street, and just across from Trinity College. The restaurant is right in the heart of one of Dublin's main shopping areas so it's a perfect place to stop off after working that credit card hard. I went to Pacinos on a girls night out with friends to celebrate a birthday, but it was obvious from the sea of shopping bags that a lot of Thursday late-night shoppers use this as a refuelling point. It was very hard to get a table if you were a group of more than 4. We just managed to get the last one, and they strictly don't take bookings. The best idea is get there early or be prepared to wait. Once you get a table, you get the huge and varied menu. I'm not a restaurant expert to say the least, but this had all aspects of Italian cooking (pizza, pasta and plenty of vegetarian options) and some sea food and hamburgers on offer too. There's a fine list of extras such as chicken wings, spicy potato wedges and out of this world, deep fried mozzarella with tomatoe and basil dip! The restaurant is licensed so there's wine and beer on the menu. For my main meal I had a massive pizza, with a gorgeous light base and really fresh topping. Pine nuts, broccoli and mushroom! I'm sure the mention of broccoli will have some of you gagging - but keep reading lol! For dessert I had a lovely apple pie with custard. I loved it, but if you didn't there wasn't a great choice. Just the usual Creme Brulee and ice cream. In general a 3 course meal without drinks will set you back about 15 Euro at Pacinos. That's about £19 Sterling. Of course the price will vary if you have different main meals or drinks too. The service was slow but friendly, we spend about 2 hours in there I think. I'm not
      sure if this is a regular thing however. Pacinos is a lovely setting. It has a really homely, rustic kind of decor. Lots of old bottles and trinkets on shelves on the wall and that kind of thing. It gets crowded so it is very noisy, so if a romantic meal for 2 is on the cards, the banter may drown out your sweet nothings! One thing I really noticed, though it didn't bother me at all, was that is was quite dark. I had to strain a few times to see what I was eating, but um...I hope I don't just need my eyes tested. Another slight gripe is the smoking policy. We're a gang of non-smokers and got a table in the no smoking area. But the table directly behind us (and the following 10 or so tables) was a smoking table. There's no barrier of any kind so the non smoking area is rendered useless. Unless of course there's some intelligent smoke that you can ask not to float up to the door, lol. To be honest I didn't mind too much as it's a one off, but it'd be a complete pain if you're a regular visitor. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal, really enjoyed the visit to Pacinos and would definetely go again. Though maybe with a gas mask...only joking!

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