Crudo is the new iteration of Dunne and Crescenzi in Sandymount. This re-imagining is a showcase for their best Italian cooking, and with such a strong pedigree expectations are rightly high.
We have reviewed all of the restaurants down the years, and they are always good; authentic Italian cooking in a casual relaxed setting, it's the epitome of a little bit of Italy in Dublin.
Eileen Dunne and Stefanie Crescenzi opened the first one in South Frederick Street 20 years ago and at the time this authentic Italian was an outlier in a sea of ersatz and bland pseudo Italian food. Paolo was an early fan, and having somewhere he could bring Italian guests that wasn't outright embarrassing was a pleasant surprise.
With this in mind we go to Crudo to try their version of brunch. Brunch is one of these things I want to like. It's the idea of the lazy lunch with friends, with weekend papers and chat, it's an idea of a little bit of European cafes with conversation and even possibly sunshine streaming through the windows. That's the ideal, the unfortunate reality is sometimes an unimaginative rehashing of an all day breakfast, with every variation of eggs Benedict and an over egged burger with some sweet potato fries. All washed down with bottomless Bellinis in an attempt to disguise the fact that it's just overpriced breakfast served at the wrong time of the day.
We arrived on a sunny Saturday and the sun was shining, the tables were busy and there was a nice buzz about the room. We were shown a table at the back and settled in to make our choices with some freshly squeezed orange juice and sparkling water to keep us going.
I had high hopes for brunch in Crudo and wasn’t disappointed; it was fabulous. Warm trout salad was amazing with two soft poached eggs on top, handmade orecchiette pasta with prawns in a sauce made with Njuna sausage, garlic and butter was stonkingly tasty and a shared freshly made tiramisu was a perfect end to a meal that restored my faith in brunch. If the sophisticates of Milan and Rome do indeed do this in reality, and not just in the imagination, this is the type of fare they are getting by on.
Crudo was all about good food served by friendly Italian waiters in a casual setting; true to its roots it was a welcome return visit and we’ll be back for more, as dinner looks very inviting indeed.