Italy meets Ireland


Posted on: 4th June, 2014

Category: Food & Wine

Contributor: West Cork People

ABOVE L-R: Arís front of house manager, Asia Kusal and chef Luca Boggiani

At the heart of vibrant Clonakilty, Arís Café and Wine Bar brings a continental impression to the newly renovated Asna Square — a place where locals and visitors meet and mingle to enjoy good food and wine and watch the world go by.

Arís prides itself on producing homemade, wholesome foods using locally sourced and seasonal produce and now, with a new Italian chef, Luca Boggiani, Irish ingredients are given a distinctly Italian flavour.

A native of Milan, Luca, as most Italians do, learned how to cook from his mother and then later on from his mother-in-law. He inherited recipes passed down through generations in his family. His passion for good food and quality ingredients prompted him to complete a degree in Human Nutrition before he continued his career in the kitchen, working at a number of renowned restaurants in Milan, before eventually moving with his family to Ireland.

Now settled in Clonakilty, Luca is very much enjoying the slower pace of life in West Cork, a place he feels that produces the choicest of ingredients, as well as the friendliest of people! “It is such a pleasure to cook with local quality ingredients,” says Luca. “Even if it is something simple like pizza or pasta, just adding fresh herbs or rocket or a beautiful locally made cheese, can create a mouthwatering dish.”

Arís uses fresh pasta and every week Luca adds a different ingredient to the pizza dough, to vary the taste. He uses Buffalo Ricotta from Toonsbridge in his cannelloni and likes to mix together different cheeses to give his pizzas a distinct and delicious flavour. “I want to give customers an authentic Italian experience, so I cook as I would in Italy,” says Luca. A very popular dish on the menu is the Calamari in Herbed Flour.

Another element of Arís that it shares with its Meditteranean cousins is its popularity with clubs. From book clubs to board game enthusiasts, Arís has become ‘the’ space for these groups to meet in a relaxed and friendly setting.

Upstairs offers an excellent seating arrangement for large groups and menus can be structured to suit any party. Outside, Arís has a large patio with table service and blankets kindly placed on chairs for cooler evenings.

Pizza and pasta is served Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm and on Sundays from 3pm. Arís is open from 9.30am to 10pm daily (last orders).

Luca and his mother-in-law have a stall at a number of markets in Cork including Clonakilty, Kinsale, Douglas and Mahon. So if you fancy an Italian dish to take home, do look out for them.

The menus at Arís change regularly to introduce new and exciting products and tastes and all of the cakes and scones are handmade in house by Cait.

Front of house manager, Asia Kusal, excels at her role, offering friendly, quick and professional service. Customers are very welcome to contact her in relation to any booking queries.

Arís Café & Wine Bar, Asna Square, Clonakilty. Phone: 023 8821673. Email: Find Arís on Facebook.

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