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Come Hungry for a Comfort Food Feast at Villa Toscana
It is actually a bit strange that most Italian restaurants in town don’t have a lick of lasagne on their menus. But the huge success of Villa Toscana’s recent ‘Lasagna Festival’ showed just how much demand there is for the gorgeously-gooey, layered pasta dish, and now it’s offered in unlimited supply during their rejuvenated Saturday Brunch.
On our visit, it’s an immediate relief that the spread isn’t unbearably large. There’s just enough fresh, colourful, cured and pickled antipasti to pick at all afternoon. That said, we bee-lined for the plump, white cheeses, trying our best to refrain from repeat trips for the moreish mozzarella (the milk was flown in from Italy for production in Sharjah).
Pre-lasagne, the head chef wanted to wow us with his fresh-from-the-brick ovens, wonderfully stringy Margherita pizza and today we regret not taking the leftovers home…
Three of six inspired takes on classic lasagne are featured each Saturday (some even with flavoured pasta dough bases). We had Bolognese, Carbonara and pesto (a chef favourite), but were gutted to miss out on the lamb version – probably the juiciest of the lot – as our samples all could have used a touch more flavour and seasoning. It being the end of another heavy weekend though, we couldn’t deny that it was the carb-loaded, hangover-friendly lunch we absolutely needed.
Also on the A La Carte menu is a tender pepper corn beef tenderloin, enhanced in flavour by a light, syrup puddle of tart Marsala wine, and a generously sized seabass fillet (crunchy on top, flaky on bottom) served with potato, leeks and juicy tomatoes.
With everything served in a charming, rustic restaurant setting with Corniche views, we felt perfectly poised to wind down the weekend.
Saturday Brunch, Lasagna and Lunch
Villa Toscana, St Regis Abu Dhabi Nation Towers
12:30pm – 4:00pm
Soft beverages – 190 AED
With Grape and Hops – 290 AED
With Italian Sparkling, Grape, Hops & Cocktails – 340 AED
+9712 694 4553, www.villatoscana-abudhabi.com