Il Folletto opened in the bustling are of Quay Street in the heart of Galway city in 2007. The name Il Folletto translates as ‘Pixie’. It is a 70 seater restaurant with an additional of seating up to 16 more during summer months with outside seating. We can also cater for groups of up to 24 people in a private dining area of the restaurant. Il Folletto is part of the Georgina Campbell guide and is also a member of Failte Ireland.
Chef Robert Basso
Raised in Milan, Roberto was introduced to the kitchen by his Southern Italian parents who appreciated traditional, uncomplicated dishes with simple ingredients. A keen baker, he began his career in Bergamon in Northern Italy and perfected his craft in a four and five star hotels across Tuscany and London.
In 1998 he moved to Ireland, initially securing the position of head chef in Pierre’s Restaurant before moving on to restaurants specializing in Irish and French cuisine. His lifelong dream of owning his own restaurant was fulfilled in 2008 when he opened Il Folletto in the heart of Galway’s Latin Quarter with his partner Vetina.
Style of Cooking
Roberto’s style of cooking is influenced by his Italian roots and recipes that have been passed down through the generations. He was brought up in Milan in his family’s ‘Pasticcini‘ bakery, where the pastries and desserts were renowned. He brings a passion for combining authentic Italian ingredients with local produce into his new menu at Il Folletto. While he enjoys recreating traditional Italian recipes with his own modern touch and contemporary presentation, he believes strongly in sticking to the original ingredients and method of cooking it in order to create original Italian dishes with modern bistro style.
“It is important to me that through our range of both the rustic and modern style dishes, that the history behind the region they originate is adequately reflected. We like to produce classic Roman food like Spaghettti alla Carbonara with a traditional recipe while our Cannelloni al Salmone uses Connemara Salmon. Modern Italian dishes such as the Scaloppine Al Prosciutto e Fontina creates an Irish Italian fusion partnering local veal with parma ham and a marsala sauce.”
Roberto’s partner and co-owner Vetina Tobin’s love of Italian food can also be traced back to her family’s origins. Although born and raised in Galway, Vetina’s Sicilian mother ensured that her daughter was made aware of her origins with hearty rustic Italian dishes.
A passion for all things Italian led to her entry into the catering industry, a career that has spanned more than 15 years. Working her way up from the position of kitchen assistant to head chef, Vetina led a successful catering business before owning Il Folletto.
Like Roberto, Vetina believes in simple quality ingredients and big flavour. Vetina’s knowledge of Italian cuisine has also been strengthened through the years by time spent in the north of Italy. At Il Folletto she manages the front house of the business and leaves the running of the kitchen to Roberto.