“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren.
If one of the world’s most beautiful women credits her beauty to spaghetti, why haven’t we come up with a pasta diet yet? And so was my excuse last Saturday, as I indulged in not one but a total of 9 decadent pasta creations by artisanal Head Chef Antonio Lacovelli at Trattoria Toscana.
Located in the midst of the stunning waterways of Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a casual weekend brunch here is complete with an abundance of sunshine, great views, and the rustic deep-wooded interiors make the Italian gastronomic experience all the more authentic. Best of all, Trattoria Toscana has a very special deal for pasta lovers right now… the Pasta & Grape Special!
AED 110 gets you one pasta dish and a glass of grape of your choice, but if you are a group of two or more, you can consider the AED 350 package which gives you two pasta dishes and a bottle of grape.
The special pasta menu consists of a number of authentic, handmade pastas including classics like the Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Tagliatelle al Ragu and the Penne all’Arrabbiata. Al forno dishes straight from the oven include Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (potato gnocchi, organic cherry tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella); Pasta al Forno con Salsiccia (baked farfalle pasta, veal sausages, turnip tops and black truffle); and Cannelloni alla Bolognese.
However, my personal favorites included the more adventurous Mezzelune Verdi al Salmone (half-moon ravioli filled with salmon, ricotta, samphire and lobster cream) and the Risotto al Gamberi ed Asparagi (shrimp risotto, asparagus and lemon peel). Chef Lacovelli has gone all creative with these two! I for one have never had salmon in a ravioli before, and loved the combination of fish with the lobster cream.
While most of the pasta dishes can get a tad too rich and creamy on the palette, the Risotto al Gamberi ed Asparagi proved to be a saving grace with its delicate lemon-flavored base and the freshness of asparagus and shrimp. This is also the only gluten-free option on the menu.
Another pasta dish I would highly recommend is the Tortelli Ai Funghi Su Crema Di Taleccio. I love mushroom, and even more so the scent of black truffle and these moreishly good tortellis, stuffed with minced mushroom and dunked in a rich Taleggio cheese sauce, have been laced with a hint of the highly coveted black truffle oil from Italy.
As for Grape, Trattoria Toscana has a very special white Italian Chardonnay that comes right out of a heavy-barreled cask, and has the mild fizz of a draft. This is a rare wine, not found in most menus, and is delightfully full-bodied, fruity and refreshing. It was the highlight of our afternoon given the hot, muggy weather we are facing this month.
We ended with a shared bowl of cold, fruity Italian Gelato. The flavor to vanish first from our bowl was the Mango Sorbet!
Overall, the Pasta & Grape Special at Trattoria Toscana is a good bargain to check out if you are a true lover of pastas (if you want to keep it light, I recommend the risotto!). Word of advice… the dress code may say ‘casual’ but that view of Souk Madinat Jumeirah will surely get you click-happy. Don’t go ‘frumpy denimed mama’ like me, and make a photo opp out of your pasta indulgence 😉
The Pasta & Grape Special is not restricted to lunch, and you can book a table anytime between 12 noon to midnight. Cann +971 4 432 3232 for details, or drop them an email on firstname.lastname@example.org Buon appetito!