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Julianos Italian Grill, Ashbourne.


Unit 11 Killegland St Ashbourne Co Meath


Price: € 0-60 (for two with wine)

Hours: Open seven days


Juliano’s Italian Grill is the in new High Street development, where Tesco is, and just a few doors away from the excellent Eatzen restaurant. Juliano’s is owned and run by Julian Ong, who has been in the restaurant business forever, recently running Juliano’s in Carrick on Shannon, but years back Julian owned a south Dublin stalwart called Chew and Chat in Ranelagh, where I spend a good deal of my late teens and early twenties having very good pizza at four am. Nothing tastes as good as nostalgia.

Juliano’s is a purpose built restaurant on the side of a square. It is a large restaurant with lots of glass looking out onto a terrace. Inside it is very contemporary with coloured glass panels running under the counters that run into the open plan kitchen, while there are some very impressive mosaics above. Tables and chairs are well spaced, and there are some large tables with bench like seating that would be perfect for parties or a large family outing.

It is fairly obvious from when you walk in that they take pizza fairly seriously here, as evident by the two big pizza ovens in their own dedicated prep station. The rest of the menu features plenty of Italian favourites including suppli, the Roman dish of cheese balls, chicken cacciatore and several pasta dishes.

In addition to the italian menu, they do some very good spicy chicken wings, there are some stir fries, a couple of curries and a choice of steaks, so I suppose Juliano’s is catering for people out for a casual bite, hoping for good food, but not being overly influenced by the style of food.

We decided to stick with the Italian menu, so for starters we ordered a Caprese salad and the suppli, while for the main course Deirdre decided on the Soho pizza, in memory of the Chew and Chat days, while I had the tagliatelle marinara. It was a weeknight, and I was driving, so in the end we stuck to some sparkling water for the table.

Service was brisk, even though the restaurant was quite full, and our starters arrived fairly quickly. Deirdre’s Caprese was well made and flavoured, the mozzarella had a good texture and the flavours were just right. My suppli were moist and tender, with a crispy coating and I enjoyed them. The main courses were also well made, the pasta was properly al dente, and there was plenty of seafood in a creamy tomato sauce, while Deirdre’s pizza had a light base, well flavoured sauce and the parmesan and rocket worked very well.

We finished with a scoop of their Movenpick ice cream and two good coffees. Juliano’s is a good quality local restaurant serving and interesting menu, and doing it well. It is not high en d Italian food, but it is well made, tasty and easy on the pocket. A great spot for a night out with friends, or a reasonably priced mid-week treat. They have music some weekends, check their website for details.
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