ROSSO: A different kind of Italian

Rima Al-Mukhtar

Published — Wednesday 13 February 2013

Last update 13 February 2013 10:15 pm

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Rosso is Italian for Red and it is also a modern contemporary Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh. The restaurant is anything but average from the décor, location to the homemade Italian dishes.
The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the hotel and is not very visible when you walk into the hotel lobby, creating a more private atmosphere for customers.
As soon as you step into the restaurant, the unique food experience begins, with an antipasti section in the center welcoming you with its various Italian delicacies.
The entire restaurant is engulfed in red, from the carpets on the floor to the dark red leather chairs and sofas that seat up to 142 diners, giving it a dramatic flare. Diners are transported further to the Italian capital with the artwork hung on the walls revealing old pictures of Rome in black and white shades and the soft Italian music in the background, livening the atmosphere.
Diners are invited to witness their favorite dishes being cooked right in front of them as the kitchen is open and the chef is within eyesight. For those who would like to host a private dinner at Rosso, the restaurant also has a private dining area that seats 16 people.
I was welcomed at the door with a friendly waiter who ushered me to my table. The chef followed suit, giving me his favorite suggestions, after ensuring I don’t have allergies to any type of food or ingredient.
Amongst the chef’s first recommendations was the Tartara D’Aragosta Con Cremino Di Patate, a cold starter, comprised of lobster tartar with potato cream; a brilliant combination. The dish was served with layers of cherry tomatoes, radish and bread cubes drizzled with olive oil and topped with raw lobster meat and black truffle. To top this delicious meal off, potato cream was served with black truffle on the side.
My next dish was a hot pot of Lasagna Pasticciata- notoriously known to be the best in town. The portion size was just right, and the lasagna itself tasted like it was cooked in an Italian housewife’s kitchen. The flavors of the minced beef, tomato sauce and the cheese tasted fresh and were cooked to perfection.
For the main dish, I had the Branzino Arrosto which is a roasted Chilean Sea Bass served with smoked eggplant, mint, sweet pepper and topped with lemon sauce. The white fish was very soft, and light and the lemon sauce complemented the dish.
Chef Marco Terranova recommends the Bisaccina Di Carne Farcita Con Mozzarella Di Bufala to Arab News readers. It is made of a veal parcel filled with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, black olives and basil.
You should also try the Porcini E Bresaola pizza made with mozzarella cheese, porcini mushroom, air-dried beef bresaola, truffle oil and chopped black truffles.
The best part of the meal comes at the end with the Nutella Pizza; just the name alone is enough to stir your taste buds. This sinful dessert consists of two slices of dough stuffed with Nutella chocolate spread, slices of banana and a scoop of pistachio ice cream on the side. The ingredients say it all; I guarantee you will be coming back from more of this.
Rosso has a rich menu of mocktails and juices; I had the strawberry Mojito made of lime and fresh strawberry juice, crushed ice and mint leaves. You can also try the Rosso Shirley Temple, which is made oforange juice, lemon-lime carbonated beverage and grenadine syrup.
Rosso is only open for dinner so make sure to put on your smart casual outfit and enjoy a fabulous meal.
Opening hours: 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Expect to pay: SR250

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