Sunday Lunching at La Rivista

October 2017: Looking for new stories in food? Any Given Food is now Ken on Food. Check the new food blog here, and follow me on Twitter @kenonfood. On Instagram? Find me here.

La Rivista, run by Therese Maguire (no relation) and Jennifer Quinn, has become somewhat of a staple stop when going out for lunch or dinner. The restaurant, to be found on Parliament Street in Kilkenny and formerly known as Lombardis first drew the eye as it was near “the local”. Then a few of us booked some large group dinners in there, accommodation no problem. Then they rolled out their €50 menu (2 starters, 2 mains and a bottle of wine for €50) – with plenty to choose from. Then the penny dropped that they stocked and cooked gluten-free pastas, gluten-free pizza and could cook pretty much anything you need.

So when “herself” (I’m allowed refer to herself as “herself” in the blog, that or “the good lady”) reveals to the waiter that they can’t have gluten, dairy and are lactose intolerant – and vegetarian – there’s no panic. Me, on the other hand, I’ll eat anything. But it’s nice to find a spot we can both go in, have a hearty starter and main (and dessert if tempted) and all for under fifty bucks.

Such was the case yesterday (Bank Holiday Monday) in having a three course meal each, a glass of wine in the mix (I stuck to the water as the driver) and the bill ringing up around the €46 mark.

Now, when I go out for dinner, I have to draw a line when the camera comes out so for the most part I’ll only shoot my own food. The starter, pictured above, was an extremely tasty Bruschetta al Pomodoro while the mains course brought a mouth-watering feast of pork medallions and steamed vegetables on the side in the shape of the Braciole di Maiale.

The vegetables still packed a bit of a crunch, the sauce was plentiful, you wouldn’t really need any more than what’s pictured on the plate. Most importantly though, the pork was bang on. Succulent, tasty and hitting all kinds of spots in the right way. It’s not the first time I’ve had the pork medallions and going back for a second attempt today, the results were just as pleasing.

Any other meal out and I’d pass on dessert if I’ve already had a starter but when you’re winding down the bank holiday, it doesn’t take much to twist an arm or two in the right direction, so enter the Crostata di Limone (lemon tart) with raspberry coulis and fresh cream.

Tasty? Hell yes. Lemony? Oh God yes. Would I have it again? In a heart beat.

While there’s no photos, the gluten / dairy / lactose / vegetarian options were well catered for, starting with a spicy tomato, chili and garlic soup followed up by the Pollo Cacciatore (without the pollo – chicken, of course), the pasta coming served as penne with a lovely tomato-based sauce. There were a few options available for dessert, one of them being a chocolate chestnut cake made with mascarpone cream. The rules were bent a little bit on the dessert though as there’s some butter used in the preparation but it seemed to hold up well in the end.

The cost? Well, if you go for the Sunday lunch menu (also available on the bank holiday), you get two courses for €16.95 or three courses for €19.95 with a glass of wine adding €5 or €6 to the bill.

The restaurant is also family friendly, so if you’re bringing young children to the table I’m sure they’ll be able to find something to keep them occupied when food won’t do the trick. There’s a set children’s menu available for just €9.95. Check out LaRivista.ie for the menus if you’re dropping by.

I’m also on the lookout for some nice places to eat outside of Kilkenny that cater well for a gluten / dairy / lactose / meat-free diet (all combined) so if you’ve got any suggestions from your own locality, it’s definitely a case of have van, will travel. Let me know!

Written by Ken McGuire
Writes and talks a lot about food, spending way too much time in the kitchen or behind the lens taking photos. Digital Media Specialist by day, broadcaster by night, living in Kilkenny with Mrs. Any Given Food and two crazy rescue hounds.