Restaurant Review: Il Folletto Galway City

Ok so I’m quite a fan of Italian restaurants, so much so that I would think I’m quite competent to know what good quality Italian food is. This place did not produce good Italian grub. I did really want to like it, it’s location is perfect down near the Spanish arch, the street is buzzing outside with lots of atmosphere, however this ends when walking into the restaurant. It was dead.

I should have taken this as a sign of things to come, but the €19 value menu really drew me in, plus a free glass of wine with your meal! Why not!

We were placed literally at the door to the kitchen right in front of the bar where we were listening to every conversation between the staff. It was my own fault for not asking to sit elsewhere. They also had a fan or something on in this area which meant not only were we freezing but our food became cold within seconds of serving.

On to the food. Well where to start. I ordered the bruschetta classic, I literally order this in every Italian restaurant I go to, that’s how crazy about it I am! But this bruschetta was completely flavourless! No garlic flavour at all, and it was served on what was basically a slice of toasted bread. My boyfriend, who eats everything, even tasted it and commented how bland it was.

For the main I made another error and ordered the pasta arrabiata. This dish is literally one of the easiest Italian dishes to make, chicken pieces in a spicy tomato sauce with slices of chillies through it and lashings and lashings of garlic. That’s it. What I got was literally fusilli pasta (not homemade) in a soup like sauce (convinced it was the leftover soup sauce that day) with only 2 slices of chillies (I counted) and the chicken definitely wasn’t cooked fresh. What was even more unnerving was that there were strings of spaghetti going through my fusilli pasta, which means that it was either the minestrone soup that the spaghetti strings were in or worse they never cleaned out the pot they cooked my pasta in. What made matters worse was half way through the dish I discovered a piece of chicken that still had a vein or capillary attached to it. Yuck!

When I informed the waiter of my unhappiness with the dish, he went in to the kitchen to question the chef on the chicken piece. The reply I received was that it had been a bit of hard chicken! Now in all my years of cooking and eating chicken I have never come across a bit of chicken like that before and I’m very sorry I didn’t take a picture of it to attach to this review so anyone reading could understand the utter disbelief to this ‘hard chicken’ statement I received

Having said all this, my boyfriend had a nice enough meal. He got the meatballs to start and the chicken escalope for the main and he only complained that the portions were too small.

So overall I would definitely not recommend this restaurant to Italian cuisine lovers and I personally felt I wouldn’t serve this food to my dog. I’ve never ever had to leave such a negative review in my entire life so for those thinking I’m being harsh, it’s all the gods honest truth! I’m quite a foodie so I was really really disappointed by this experience.

The only thing going for this restaurant is the great value of the menu price wise and the free glass of wine, but my strong advice is to go elsewhere!

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Restaurant Review: Rosa Madre Temple Bar

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Rating: 4/5

A group of friends and I dined in Rosa Madre quite recently. From the get go the staff were so attentive, catering to our every need. I readily admit I’m very picky when it comes to food so it takes a lot to impress me but having said that I would definitely recommend this restaurant to Italian food lovers, as it truly is the real deal.

On to the food: For a starter I had the bruschetta and it was so flavorsome, it was quite a big portion, three bruschettas topped with homemade mozzarella served with a rocket salad and drizzled with the restaurants signature olive oil, which if they ever start selling would make a fortune it’s that amazing!

For the main I ordered a pasta dish as I wanted to check out the homemade pasta. It was a pappardelle pasta dish which looked tiny when it came out but it was quite filling. Now I had assumed because it was described as a sausage dish that there would be slices of sausage in it but I was a bit disappointed in the end to discover that it was basically a glorified blolognese sauce. Also I love having vegetables in my pasta dishes but as this dish didn’t come with vegetables in the sauce, I ordered a side of the grilled vegetables (peppers, courgettes and aubergines) and to be honest they were much nicer than the actual main. They were grilled and seasoned to perfection and I honestly would rather have been eating a plate of them by themselves.

I was too full for dessert but one of our party ordered the Tiramisu which looked fantastic and it was a good sizes portion also.

For wine we had two bottles of the house white (€52 in total), and two bottles of red also (€64 in total). I only had the white which was quite pleasant, it almost had a fizz to it, and it complimented our meal perfectly.

The most impressive thing we found about our experience was that we weren’t rushed out of the restaurant after our meal was over. Too often in Dublin restaurants you’re hounded out as others may be waiting for your table, but we had booked in for 7:30 and we didn’t leave till after 11pm. Meanwhile the staff were so attentive, filling up our wine glasses when they noticed they were empty, also bringing more bread out in case we wanted some with our mains. Our waiter was also extremely knowledgeable wine informing us what went well with particular meals, and also answering whatever query we had regarding the menu quite efficiently.

Overall one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in Dublin City to date, and only for my disappointing main I would have given it full marks. I would thoroughly recommend this restaurant to all fellow foodies and cannot wait to visit it again in the near future.