Soup Kitchen

4th February 2010
Pól Ó Conghaile

I spent €4.99 on lunch today.

It wasn’t a grotty grab-and-dash either. I had 20 minutes to kill before an event at the Morrison Hotel in Dublin, and found myself meandering down Bloom’s Lane, opposite the Millennium Bridge.

If you don’t already know it, the laneway is Dublin’s Little Italy, a souvenir-sized strip dotted with several Italian cafes, trattorias and restaurants (and anchored by a curious take on the Last Temptation of Christ).

I popped into Enoteca Delle Langhe. First impressions are of a cut-price Dunne & Crescenzi, with boxed wine shelving and characterfully worn wooden tables looking towards an L-shaped bar. Loads of bustle, too.

I was seated at a long table with a couple of other diners, efficiently without feeling herded about, and ordered the soup of the day – potato and broccoli. It came quickly, with two great big doorsteps of ciabatta and – that rare beast – a carafe of tap water.

Just the ticket. The soup was good, substantial winter fare; the bread fresh as a daisy. At the back of the room there’s a couch you’d half expect to the cast from Friends to plonk themselves down on. Everyone seems positive, purposeful.

And the best bit – change from a fiver.