Pinocchio, Ranelagh Dublin

Pinocchio is a small and very friendly cafe-cum-restaurant at the Luas station in Ranelagh. It is one of our favourite spots for a cup of excellent coffee and a panino, with the added advantage of getting cooking tips from demonstrations on screens strategically placed around the room. It offers good quality and value for money for this kind of food. We’d seen that they had expanded the menu and are now offering restaurant dishes at lunchtime and in the evening. One recent Sunday evening, we decided to try it out.

Our first reaction was that prices were too high. The waiter informed us that several dishes on the menu were not available. I noticed that the missing dishes were the same as on two previous occasions when I had just ordered coffee and a panino. If there are going to be difficulties with availability, it would be better to use a smaller daily or weekly menu and be able to offer all of the dishes.

We ordered a large mixed antipasto dish at €16 to share. This was good but the accompanying bread was past its best and had been heated in an attempt to disguise the fact. For mains we ordered Penne alla Desperado, essentially a slight variation on Penne alla Arrabbiata, at €15.90, which was quite good and Ravioloni with butter and sage at €16.90, which was also good. However, the prices are way too high, especially for the pasta dishes. The ingredients for the Penne dish can’t have cost more than €1 at retail and the dish certainly doesn’t have much labour input. It is difficult to see how a price of €15.90 can be justified. Most main courses were in the mid-twenties.

Washed down with 4 glasses of very ordinary red wine at €5 per glass, the bill came to a much too high €68.80. While I appreciate getting real Italian food in Dublin, I’m afraid the prices will have to drop considerably before I go for dinner again.

Pinocchio website

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4 Responses to Pinocchio, Ranelagh Dublin

  1. billeegoat says:

    Right on. They’re not the only place. Recently paid €20 for a panino, rocket salad and two cups of coffee at Er Bucchetto further down the road in Ranelagh. Let’s get real here!

  2. Gavin says:

    Glad to report that prices have been reduced and the menu trimmed a little, to be supplemented with daily specials.

  3. Liz Aungier says:

    Having been in Pinocchio a few times I can say that I have always found the food to be top quality and fresh and in my opinion you get what you pay for. The menu changes seasonally so there is always variety and I always have trouble deciding on what too have. The wine selection I would say is far from ordinary, being someone who up until a few years ago never drank Italian wine I can say that Pinocchio has changed my opinion in that respect. I have recommended the restaurant to many people and they have all raved about it and I always look forward to going back.

  4. Gavin says:

    Thanks for the feedback Liz. That put me back in my box! But that’s what’s great about comments. Otherwise, I hope you found something of interest on the site.

    I have only dropped in for a wine recently and haven’t eaten there in a while, but I’m sticking to my guns and saying that the pasta dishes are overpriced. However, they’re not the only ones and their pasta is better than most.

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