Peppino’s Italian restaurant, Spiddal

Panfried fillet of cod filled with crabmeat and smoked salmon mousse served on a potato cake and a creamy tomato butter.

Panfried fillet of cod filled with crabmeat and smoked salmon mousse served on a potato cake and a creamy tomato butter.

I mentioned in a previous article that it I am amazed that during such recessionary times we see so many new restaurants opening, and fair play to all who do so. Peppino’s is one such venture, and it has risen from the ashes of the very well known Bol Uisce in Spiddal’s main street. The new owners are experienced in the business of providing Italian food at Il Foletta in Quay Street. Now they have two restaurants to run and while both are Italian the new Peppino’s offers a more varied menu. Maybe it is because better rents can be negotiated, but whatever the reason you have to admire and congratulate all who open a new restaurant. It brings money to an area in all manner of ways, jobs for chefs, kitchen porters, waiting staff, someone will get paid to do a website, painters, electricians, plumbers, gas engineers, waste companies, oil, etc, etc. So when you see a new venture in your area be sure to support it.

The menu has what you would expect in terms of pastas and pizzas, but there is also a very wide choice of fresh fish and meat dishes. Most of the specials page is fish and this changes most days. My companion choose fresh tiger prawns in a brandy, white wine, garlic, and fresh chilli sauce, €8.95. I choose the pan- seared scallops with cauliflower cream, pea and broccoli puree, and extra virgin olive oil, €9.50. The tiger prawns were served the sway I like them, lightly cooked and with some nice salad leaves, the scallops were seared on a high heat and cooked for a minute or two to give a nice caramelised outer and tender inside, the accompanying sauces were an unusual choice but worked surprisingly well.

For main courses we choose panfried fillet of cod filled with crabmeat and smoked salmon mousse served on a potato cake and a creamy tomato butter. The other main course was chosen from the main menu, escalope of veal with a wild mushroom and thyme sauce, served on a bed of mash. The cod was delicious and while I had reservations that the smoked salmon mousse might overpower it I was pleasantly surprised, very good indeed. I always think that Italian restaurants do a great job with veal, and unless you have a personal objection to veal I urge you to try it. It is also an easy dish to prepare at home, however the secret is usually in the sauce and this one was delicious (the secret ingredient was marsala ). We had two glasses of a very good Pinot Grigio that tasted like more but I’m afraid that when driving one glass over a meal is the max. Both mains came with a dish of steamed broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower.

The desserts are all made fresh and include tiramisu, homebaked apple pie, ice creams, and a lovely two tone chocolate dessert that I choose. My companion had a dessert made from vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso and fresh cream, it was delicious and will be something I will try at home on the next hot day.

Peppino’s is open seven days a week and has an early bird menu from 4pm to 7pm on Monday to Friday. This costs €14.95 for two courses and a glass of wine, sounds like superb value to me. It also does a Sunday roast for €13 to €15 with children eating free. You can also order takeaway pizzas and all pasta dishes can be ordered as takeaway.

I think it has a great location, a very good menu, some great deals, plus the really important factor of one owner being head chef (Roberto ) and the other looking after front of house (Vetina ). The best of luck to them in the future.

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