L'Officina welcomes you back like a good old friend. But this is no ordinary good old friend: this is a friend who has a resplendent table, a fabulous cellar, and a brilliantly understood sense of culinary curatorship. You step in the doors of Eileen and Stefano Crescenzi's great big room in the Kildare Outlet Village, and your shoulders relax, the staff are cued to take care of you, the clamour and energy of the room seduce you, the food arrrives, and the world is made whole. Ahhh.
Modern restaurateurs stress the importance of sourcing and provenance, but L'Officina lives by this code in the most profound way, allying DOP foods from Italy – Umbrian chickpeas; mozzarella from Campania; Sicilian couscous; Genovese pesto – with superb Irish ingredients – Helen Gee's honey; Wright's of Howth smoked salmon; Gilligan's farm beef; Downey's chicken.
The result is a marriage made in heaven, producing soulful, elegantly simple cooking that has a narcotic power, and the power also to bring you back to this lovely room, time after time after time. That's truly the secret of L'Officina: you both want the food, and you want to be in this room, amongst all these happy people, sharing, chatting, drinking, enjoying the culture of great Italian food at its best.
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