Last Thursday evening was set in stone as the date for myself and the Terrible Twosome to finally catch up after weeks of ploughing through our individual busy schedules. One wise member of the Twosome suggested the new Platform Pizza Bar in Bray (just around the corner from the DART station) and bobs your uncle- a table was booked. Who doesn't love pizza?
Firstly, what marked the night as uniquely magical was the fact that yours truly was not only the first to arrive but also significantly early. As my stressed self swept into the restaurant demanding access to WIFI and a steamy latte which, was brought to my table post haste and in a giant mug, I was greeted and looked after by a team of friendly, chatty and enthusiastic staff. So far, so perfect.
Though, the rest of my party was super late there was no problem, despite every table being full and and a small queue forming at the door. The decor is eclectic and oozes a chilled Manhattan vibe, all charcoal greys, wooden tables and benches and giant silver candelabras.
Once the ladies arrived we could peruse the menu, the menu itself was small but with all the key choices you would expect from a pizzeria and then some. Pork, beef and tayto meatballs anyone? I chose the antipasto for one which, turned out to be giant, oodles of parma ham, pastrami and salami layered on garlic ciabattas slathered with homemade yummy pesto. Really, it was enough for an entire main course. The girls tucked into juicy meatballs and flatbreads.
No sooner were our plates cleared, than the giant pizza wheels landed on our tables. I chose a simple margarita with a side of blue cheese while my companions decided on a goats cheese, walnut and maple syrup concoction and pizza bread. All washed down with copious amounts of sparkling water but if you're not feeling the teetotaler vibe, there is an excellent craft beer list and a train-themed cocktail menu (including an explosive sounding Ticket Evader!).
We were well and truly stuffed after a carb-binge but the allure of the dessert menu was too tantalizing to be ignored, a retro 99 ice cream or freshly baked American cheesecake were tempting but we couldn't manage another morsel and settled for coffees instead. As the night grew on, the atmosphere was vibrant and busy but Platform had one more surprise for us. A trip to the bathroom was like stepping into Narnia as a giant wardrobe was positioned in front of the entrance to the loo. Pull open the heavy oak door and make like Alice through the looking glass.
Our bill was a reasonable €66, we left a hefty tip for the excellent and unfaltering service and promises to return. Gone are the days of the pizzeria being a grubby, cheap option for fast, unauthentic food where the only Italian thing in the place might have been the house wine. This modern glamorizing of the pizza bar has made it a trendy choice, also catering for various dietary requirements including slimmers (low carb) and coeliacs (gluten free). My only problem now- how to convince Bear that he likes or should like Italian cuisine.