No.1 The Parade (opposite Kilkenny Castle)
Rinccini Giovanni Battista Rinuccini, Archbisop and Prince of Fermo, was not only a Nobleman but spent four yars as Papal Nuncio to Ireland in the 17th C based ,would you believe, in Kilkenny. A scholar of distinction and a man of fine tastes he was reported to have coined the phrase “A tavola……Quattro chicchiere…Il gusto …….la tradizione Italiana.” Antonio Cavaliere’s Rinuccini Ristorante is an extremely popular spot and I am sure if the great man were alive today he would have a special table reserved in the corner. Located in a basement in a fine terrace of historic houses facing the magnificent Kilkenny Castle, this is a really authentic Italian Restaurant with loads of atmosphere. In Ireland for many years “Italian Restaurant” meant oceans of sloppy tomato sauce. That is not the case at Rinuccini’s for this is the real McCoy. Starters include rich comforting Tortelloni al Gorgonzola which is curls of fresh pasta stuffed with Ricotta cheese and spinach served in a creamy Gorgonzola sauce. Fresh Wexford mussels in their shells are given the Italian tretment by being tossed on the pan with garlic, parsley, fresh tomato, white wine, and tweaked with a hint of chilli. Talegio Cheese comes with chargrilled roasted red peppers in a fresh rocket salad dressed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Wine vinegar dressing. There is Bruschetta with Mozzarella which lots of people are addicted to but I tend to very often have the Antipasto Rinuccini which has wafer thin slices of Parma ham, Salamis, Lonza which is sliced loin of pork similar to the German “Kassler” , chargrilled aubergines, roasted red peppers, artichokes, olves, and hot garlic ciabetta bread. Rinuccini pastas are sinful. Linguine is with a Bolognese and cream sauce with sliced mushrooms; spaghettini is with fresh Kilmore Quay crabmeat, a pinch of chilli, a touch of fresh tomato and Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Pennette, which are tubes of fresh pasta, are in a cream sauce with strips of chicken, fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Chicken is available two ways and Escallps of veal are stuffed with Parma Ham and Mozzarella and served in a creamy white wine and mushroom sauce. There is always a Catch of the Day from Kilmore Quay. Specialties include Anitra con Sapore di Limoncello which is succulent crisp duckling in a citrus and Limoncello sauce. Kilmore Quay lobster, scallops, and prawns, are all given superb individual Italian treatment – I just love the spaghettini with lobster. There is also a cracking fillet steak served in a pepper sauce with forest mushrooms and roasted shallots. Here too you will get real Tiramisu and Sopresa di Frutta Fresca – raspberries and icecream smothered with a warm Zabaglione. There is an Early Evening Menu from 5 – 7 p.m. each evening save Saturday when it finishes at 6.30 p.m. They also do lunch and a cracking Sunday lunch which they do by way of having a reduced A La Carte selection. There are wonderful Italian wines priced for all pockets. They even have a Super Tuscan Magnum List. Praise be to Nuncio Rinuccini.