Can 'award-winning pizza venture live up to hype? Discuss this article
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After hearing plenty of buzz about this new pizzeria in Business Bay, it was a bit of a shock to the system when we saw it. Once my pal and I had worked out where it was – in the Millennium Tower overlooking Sheikh Zayed Road, but tucked all the way around the back – it was a surprise to learn that we’d made this jaunt (both meeting up after work in Dubai Media City and making our way across town) to visit what looked more like the hub of a delivery chain. But this didn’t necessarily need to be a disappointment.
It was a simple-looking setup in white and red: no stand-out stylish twists or rustic charms, just simple and functional, with minimal seating on high stools. Suddenly, there didn’t seem much reason for us to have come all this way, and one staff member compounded our suspicion that this was not a destination dining venue by quizzing us on how and why we’d ended up there.
He was, quite possibly, the manager, and more than possibly Italian. A quick look at the tiny, takeaway-style menu confirmed our suspicions. Here, plenty of emphasis was placed on the highly authentic Italian credentials of this enterprise, including a traditional clay oven and an award-winning pizza chef, both of which had been hauled over to Dubai from Naples. Finally, a couple of real, genuine Italians walked in, sat down and starting chatting with the man behind the counter in a way that suggested they could only be regulars. Fairly good signs, so far.
Feeling more encouraged, we started with two of the antipasti, from the extensive list of three: fiore di zucca (fried zucchini blossom with mozzarella and anchovy filling) and crocchetta di patate (fried potato croquette with mozzarella). Not taking into account just how cheap these starters were before ordering (Dhs8 and Dhs7 respectively), I was taken aback when, instead of two plates, one small bowl arrived containing only one croquette, and one zucchini blossom. They were, however, reasonably good. My friend particularly liked the potato croquette, which boasted a hard, crunchy exterior and a rich, smooth and eggy inside; the fried zucchini blossom was also decent.
The rest of the menu was certainly much more extensive in the number of options available, but not so much in terms of variety, spanning classic pizzas, Rossovivo’s own pizzas, a sort of pizza sandwich called a ‘saltimboca’ and a choice of two traditional salads. It was at this point that my friend joked that she’d have the pasta.
Nevertheless, our friend from behind the counter made an effort to talk us through what was on offer and what he’d recommend, before we finally opted for the capricciosa (a classic pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella, mushroom, olives, turkey ham, beef salami, artichoke and basil), and the raffaele. The latter, featuring mozzarella, cream, pistachio, bresaola and basil, was an original creation and, apparently, an award-winner. It was also beautiful: a perfectly prepared base and an elegant combination of rich flavours, with a subtle citrus note lightening the whole thing. The capricciosa, on the other hand, was good, but not in the same league. It was a standard takeaway affair, piled high with toppings, while the base was a little soggy and undercooked in the middle.
The desserts ranged from tiramisu to half a kilo of gelato in a tub, much like a slightly better quality takeaway. But then Rossovivo is essentially a takeaway. While we did have a rather good sneaky-peek view of the Burj Khalifa and even the fountain from our seats, I can’t say I’d venture to the venue again. They only deliver locally, but if they delivered to where I live – well, that would be a different story.
The bill (for two)
1x large water Dhs12
1x crocchetta Dhs7
1x fiori di zucca Dhs8
2x pizza Dhs90
Total (including service) Dhs117
Time Out Dubai,
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