Il Colosseo

Athlone, Co. Westmeath
“If the product is good, it’s easy for a chef to cook.”
Chef and owner Aldo Belviso serves a range of traditional Italian dishes alongside Roman specialties at his restaurant Il Colosseo in Athlone.

Having moved to Ireland to escape the chaos of Italian life, Aldo began teaching Italian cooking in Dublin in 2002. Three years later he visited Athlone and fell in love with the relaxed, quiet feel of the town.

“The river and the boats reminded me of my home city and the Tiber, but it wasn’t as busy as Dublin.”

Il Colosseo opened its doors in 2006 and Aldo has been serving the people of Athlone delicious Italian fare ever since. He is constantly updating and improving the restaurant (he added a large extension during Covid), and believes that he is still learning and honing his craft every day.

Aldo has been using Irish Hereford Prime Beef for the past 8 years and he says that the quality is unbeatable. He leaned to cook steak to perfection during a three-month course in Tuscany and he believes that the quality, hanging and storage of the meat are just as important as the cooking. When he first opened, Aldo tried a number of different types of beef but he received complaints about the steak being tough or dry. Since switching to Irish Hereford Prime, he has many complements and not one complaint .

“For an Italian restaurant we get through a lot of striploin, that just proves how good it is.”

“When I first started in Athlone, people were suspicious of an Italian chef cooking meat. They thought I’d only make pasta and pizza well. But in Italy we eat pasta at home, at restaurants we serve meat and fish. Once people tried my Irish Hereford Prime beef, they realised that I can be trusted to serve good steak.”

Aldo’s favourite cut is ribeye, which he finds juicy and full of flavour, but the most popular cut in the restaurant is striploin.

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