Hearty eats inspired by travels across Italy at this casual new opening
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Time Out Says

Literally translating in English as “enough!”, new Italian restaurant BASTA! will certainly leave you feeling that way as you waddle, more than amply full, out of the Renaissance Downtown.

This is hearty, family-style food from chef David Myers, the casual-dining foil to his fine-dining Bleu Blanc, also recently opened in the very same hotel.

It’s urban and industrial in the way of many new restaurants and bars across town, with the less ubiquitous addition of a giant Sophia Loren mural on one wall, and views of the Dubai Water Canal through floor-to-ceiling windows during the day. (Visit during the evening and you’ll mostly see your own
pizza-crammed chops staring back at you.)

With Ms Loren’s sage words ringing in our ears (for it was she who famously intoned “everything you see I owe to spaghetti”), we order rigatoni and the day’s pizza special for mains before diving head-first into starters.

While the mozzarella in carrozza (yes, a fried cheese sandwich) is a touch too thick on the bread, the fragrant basil and salty, stretchy cheese are spot-on.

But it’s no match for the Roman meatballs. They may be no great feat of culinary skill, but well-seasoned and rolling around in a rich, tangy tomato sauce, they’re just what the dottore ordered.

First of the mains to arrive is the pizza, topped with, among other things, a tasty beef pepperoni, its spicy oils running through the melted mozzarella like magnificent, meaty delta. It’s only let down by the dough – a touch too thick and not at all blistered or crisp underneath.

Finally, the cacio e pepe pasta arrives, creamy, salty and packed with pecorino, like a glorious, grown-up mac’n’cheese.

This may not be the finest new opening around, but it’s solid family-friendly food, marrying generous portions with relatively reasonable prices.

And when you finally tumble out with a pizza box full of leftovers tucked under your arm, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that it’s all in aid of your movie star physique.

The Bill (for two)
1x mozzarella in carrozza
1x classic Roman meatballs Dhs52
1x pizzza daily special Dhs89
1x rigatoni cacio e pepe Dhs68
1x large water Dhs30
1x soft drink Dhs18
Total (Incl service) Dhs309

The bottom line
Go for a lazy family lunch.

By Time Out Dubai staff  | 14 Feb 2018

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