I had the great pleasure of dining at Terra Madre on Batchelor's Walk on Saturday evening. It's a tiny underground restaurant/cafe, so small there were only 7 or 8 tables. They're open a while but I hadn't managed to get there yet. Everyone dining there was either Italian or spoke it, and needless to say it was staffed by Italians. The menu was brief - just 3 bruschetta starters and 4 mains, 2 of which included rabbit and hare! Gastronomically, it was diverse: dishes from Tuscany and south of Rome featured, and there was wine from Sicily, which was divine and we totally failed to ask the name of.
Everything we ate and drank was excellent. If I hadn't been in Rome in March, I'd say it was the best Italian meal I've eaten this year. If there's one flaw, it's that it is so small, we felt we couldn't linger all evening. Every table was full and the air was filled with Italian food and chat.
They don't seem to have a website and finding their phone number (01 8735300) was a challenge but they are totally worth the effort. I will certainly be back. Watch out, Ciao Bella Roma, there's a new contender for best Italian in Dublin.