Gramo Italian Restaurant
Time Out Says
Nevertheless, there is still plenty of character here, including intriguing outdoor tables set up like a cross between a garden swing and weighing scales, which makes for fun reclining and adds an enjoyable cohesion to the concept. The restaurant also has regular live acoustic music, even on quieter evenings, which floods the air around the JLT promenade, making the restaurant seem particularly inviting.
Inside, Gramo looks like a simple, classic and casual neighbourhood restaurant. There is a large bar counter, an open kitchen and large cosy booths that also afford diners a little privacy. Staff are unlikely to gush over you, but they are polite and efficient.
In keeping with the gram theme, the menu, presented on an iPad, does specify the weight of pretty much everything, which is unusual. Nevertheless, this list is a thoroughly classic mix of pizza, pasta, secondi piatti (such as grilled sea bass in lemon butter sauce and stuffed chicken breast with porcini mushrooms) and also antipasti.
On the whole, it is also affordable and good quality for the price. The fritto misto was a bowl full of vegetarian fried goodies such as gooey, fried mozzarella sticks and juicy stuffed olives served with a fresh and slightly tart-tasting tomato salsa. The insalata di spinaci was a generous bowl of fresh spinach leaves interspersed with plump, gently roasted pine nuts and shavings of parmesan, delicately dressed to give the leaves a deliciously silken quality. The parmigiana di melanzane was a good example of a rustic, homely interpretation.
Beyond the antipasti and onto the pizza and pasta, the cappelacci ricotta e spinaci seemed to have been freshly made in-house, but lacked finesse, with messy-looking folds and a slightly wet and anaemic-looking dough, with a little toughness to it. The signature pizza recipe (the Gramo pizza), was an utterly unconventional dish, but very enjoyable for it. It was topped with a fresh yet rich and aromatic combination of handfuls of peppery fresh rocket leaves, truffle oil and parmesan and mozzarella. Rather than the more common flat bread-like style of Italian pizza, this one was golden like butter and had a crisp, biscuity quality. On the downside, the menu claimed porcini mushrooms, but these were certainly bog-standard champignon.
With affordable, enjoyable food and a warm, welcoming setting, Gramo is a great find for a cosy, causal Italian experience.
The bill (for two)
1x fritto misto Dhs39
1x insalata di spinaci Dhs32
1x parmigiana di melanzane Dhs28
1x cappelacci ricotta e spinaci Dhs58
1x pizza Gramo Dhs72
2x small water Dhs16
Total (excluding service) Dhs245
By Time Out Dubai staff | 28 Oct 2014
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