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Six Dublin restaurants in top 100 Italians in Europe

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Luca De Marzio of Rosa Madre with wife Tricia and sons Rocco and Massimo

Luca De Marzio of Rosa Madre with wife Tricia and sons Rocco and Massimo

Luca De Marzio of Rosa Madre with wife Tricia and sons Rocco and Massimo

Irish people have long had a love affair with Italian food, so it comes as little surprise that six of the restaurants that made the top 100 in a prestigious European competition are in Dublin.

Included on the 100 Best Italian Restaurants in Europe 2019 Awards list were: Da Mimmo on North Strand Road, Forno 500 on Dame Street, I Monelli on Portobello Road, Pinocchio in Ranelagh, Rosa Madre in Temple Bar and Terra Madre on Bachelors Walk.

Romantic

According to Luca De Marzio, who runs Rose Madre, it's little wonder Italian food is thriving in the city, as Dubliners "love a romantic atmosphere and simple, tasty food".

"Dubliners want a menu that isn't too complicated, they want to appreciate the Italian culture and they don't want too much spice or oil; they want something even their children enjoy, and that's Italian food," Mr De Marzio said.

"I'm from Rome. You can find everything there, but I particularly loved working with fish - it's how I grew up in my work - so we serve various fish dishes and we use all local produce, from sea bass to oysters and Dublin Bay prawns.

"Years ago, Italian restaurants would have just offered pizza, cannelloni, bolognese but there's a great deal more out there now."

Mr De Marzio, who lives in Temple Bar with his wife, Tricia, and two children, Rocco (7) and Massimo (5), has lived in Dublin for 20 years and started out here as a waiter.

He met his wife in the Westbury Hotel, where she was working at the time, and he's never looked back.

"We have been running the restaurant for four years and we still live in Temple Bar. We want to be near the restaurant at all times, as it's still early days," he said.

It appears his dedication is paying off. The restaurant was named the Best Authentic Italian Restaurant in Dublin 2018 last year.

"We're hoping that we do so well, maybe next year we can move to Ballsbridge," he joked.

The list is compiled by an independent panel of Italian experts to carry out reviews in more than 20 European cities.

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The highest accolade is the Best Contemporary Restaurant in Italy 2019, with more than 80 leading Michelin-starred restaurants and chefs across Italy competing for the title.

The restaurants nominated will proceed to The Love Italian Life 2019 Awards ceremony in Dublin on November 19. Public voting will open shortly to decide The Best Authentic Italian Restaurant in Dublin 2019.

For more information on the awards visit loveitalianlife.com

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