Milano, Middle Street, Galway

Ever had one of those mornings where you just can’t drag yourself out of bed? Silly question, of course you have, we’ve all been there, right?. You know you have places to be and stuff to do, but the warmth and simplicity of your bed is a much more inviting prospect. That’s how my morning felt today, and after pounding the snooze button on my alarm to within an inch of its life, I decided to concede defeat and get up and face the day. Of course by that time, I’d left myself a tiny window before I had to be out the door and on the road to college. So showering took precedence over eating. After a morning of back to back lectures, the hunger pangs started to kick in, to the point where my textbook was starting to look quiet appetising.

I found my mind drifting to what I’d have for lunch. That’s when I remembered that I had a 40% discount voucher tucked up in my wallet for Milano in Galway City. The restaurant had recently ran a promotion in the Irish Independent, offering the discount for every purchase of the paper that week. So there’s one reason to buy the newspaper folks; if nothing else, you may get some tasty food offers. I cut the coupon out, but being the scatter brain I am, I kept misplacing it. A couple of days ago I found it again and seeing that it had an expiry date, I shoved it in my wallet for safe keeping and vowed to use it this week.

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But enough about me, you’re no doubt saying. Milano first opened its doors in Ireland in 1995, on Dawson Street in Dublin. Word quickly spread about their wide range of pizza, pasta and salads and its relaxed and sociable atmosphere. Demand grew, which led to the opening of a couple of other restaurants, one of which was in Galway City, and Milano’s popularity continues to grow more and more.

Milano is one of those places that you pass by frequently, but for one reason or another, you never get around to going inside. Today, when I arrived, I was greeted at the door by a friendly waiter, who directed me to a table. Milano is one of those restaurants that always seems to be busy, especially in the evenings when people spill out of work and are looking for a place to eat. But I hit it today at one of its quite times. Having said that though, throughout my visit, there were always a few customers dining, ranging from young to old.

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The ambience is warm and relaxed, bolstered by the attractive, chic design of the dining area, and a contemporary mix of music playing at just the right level-not too loud, but not too soft either. Now nicely seated and settled, a waitress equally as friendly as the waiter who greeted me took my order. I decided to go for a dish called Leggera Pollo Arrabbiata, which consisted of chicken, roasted peppers and pennette pasta in a rich chilli and tomato sauce, topped with Gran Milano cheese.

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When it arrived, it looked delicious. Everything was cooked to perfection, and the tomato sauce it was bathed in had a slight kick to it due to the chilli, but it wasn’t overpowering. The ingredients married well together to make a fresh and punchy meal that left me having to restrain myself from licking the plate clean. If I were to have one criticism, it would be the price. At €13 it’s a little on the pricey side. The dish is delicious, but a bigger portion would justify parting with that cash a bit more.

Just as I finished my main and I was contemplating whether to sample a dessert or not, a torrential downpour started all of a sudden outside. Well, I took it as a sign, and thought no point going out in that just yet, and committed to that dessert. Evidently, I’m easily persuaded.

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They were all out of my first choice, a chocolate fondant, so I decided to go with something called Chocolate Glory. When it was placed in front of me, I was instantly happy they had run out of the fondant. Mounds of delicious vanilla ice cream, mixed with big chunks of chocolate fudge cake smothered in a gooey chocolate sauce, finished off with a chocolate straw. It’s a chocoholics idea of paradise. It was so good, I actually gave myself brain freeze from devouring it too quickly. And at €6.50, I thought it was quite reasonable.

All in all, it was a pleasant lunch time trip to Milano, and one I would make again. Some dishes may be a bit on the pricey side, but the combination of fresh fragrant food and friendly staff (who are attentive, but not overbearing, which is essential) make it a great place to go whether you fancy a bit of time to yourself to chill out and relax, or are planning a work party or group night out. They also do pizza making parties, which is something different and sounds like fun. When the time came to pay, I presented my coupon and also received one for 30% off food next time I came back. Who doesn’t love a discount?

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Also for all you book lovers out there, once you are sufficiently fed and watered, you should pop across next door to the Charlie Byrne Bookshop. This quaint little shop has a unique charm and is filled to bursting with books from practically any genre you can conceive of. They also have comfy chairs scattered throughout so you can sit and browse whats on offer before you buy. A real readers paradise!

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If you ever happen to find yourself in Galway City on your travels, make sure you pop into these two great places. For more info on both, see here and here.

Have a great weekend! ✌🏻

 

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