I discovered Caffe’ Parigi by accident, as I usually do with most Italian places I find in Dublin. I had been living right around the corner from this place for a few months and never even knew it existed. I came across it one day on Facebook, and discovered that they do aperitivo Wednesday to Friday. Aperitivo…in Dublin!? I imagined the place packed to the rafters with Irish people hogging all this free food and having a full on dinner…just like I used to do in Milan.
I planned to go on a Friday after work with the other half and emailed the bar to check when exactly aperitivo hour was. I was really excited about this. But…Ireland being Ireland, it was not raining but pouring that evening when I finished work. And Irish girls being Irish girls and never ever learning, I was not wearing shoes fit for the rain but ballerinas that evening. Talk about ruining the mood. Needless to say I was not the most amicable companion for a drink date by the time I arrived having trudged up the quays battling puddles and splashy cars.
The excitement had kind of faded… was this really worth it? Yes.
We were greeted, by Italians (always a bonus) and shown to a small table in a row of tables that were a bit too close – Italian style, who cares if you’re sitting on top of someone? In Ireland we have a fear of too close for comfort, whereas in Milan it wouldn’t be out of the norm to share a lunch or aperitivo table with another party. On taking a quick glance through the menu I was impressed to see some classic Italian aperitivo drinks there. Expecting Irish-measured drinks I ordered a negroni and himself got a negroni sbagliato. It came to €10.50 each including the aperitivo buffet. I was soon sorry I ordered that negroni because it most definitely wasn’t an Irish measure, it was so strong I had to swap it with his negroni sbagliato…I’m a crap Irish person, just FYI.
The aperitivo food was of a more ‘high-class’ Milanese aperitivo, one you might find in one of the more affluent bars in Milan. The atmosphere wasn’t so though, it was cosy yet sophisticated.
Mini crostini and two variations of pasta were among the buffet. The crostini were delicious, and I took the pasta with mushroom which was equally delicious.
The atmosphere was not that of a usual aperitivo in Milan, but a little more relaxed. There were only a few tables occupied, a mix of Italian and Irish, and most were after-work drinkers. I would suspect that was due to the horrible night it was. The Irish people that were there also did not seem to avail of the aperitivo food which I didn’t expect, I thought they would be all over it but then again aperitivo is difficult for the average Irish person to understand…there would have to be a catch somewhere surely! The great thing is that even in Ireland, there isn’t. The Italian aperitivo, although slightly less food for slightly less people, works here.
Aperitivo runs from Wednesday to Friday from 5.30pm, and costs €10.50 per drink which includes food.
Go to Caffe Parigi if you are looking for the Italian aperitivo experience with a touch of elegance.