Torno Subito Dubai marks Massimo Bottura’s first restaurant outside of Italy. And just in case you are not familiar with Bottura’s work – the famed Italian restaurateur is the chef patron of Osteria Francescana – a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Modena, which has appeared in the top 5 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards list consistently for the past 9 years.
With this new ambitious endeavour on The Palm Jumeirah (at the W Hotel), Bottura is taking his guests “on a journey back to the 1960’s Italian Riviera where everything is sophisticated and social, but laid back.” Think (unbelievably) colourful and cosy, and a juxtaposition of retro and modern interior design touches that transport you to the glamorous Italian Riviera.
Torno Subito is divided between a pizza bar, an inviting open kitchen, licensed bar and a dessert bar, there’s also ample outdoor seating for the cooler months with stunning views of the Dubai Marina and JBR.
Food-wise, the menu is seperated into six sections – Starters, Pasta (available in medium and large portions), Main Courses, Sides, Pizza and Dessert. There are a couple of options in every category to cater to vegetarians, but owing to Italy’s love affair with cheese – barely any vegan-friendly dishes. Open for lunch and dinner daily, most of the produce in the kitchen’s creations are sourced directly from Italy to further cement the authenticity of this Palm Jumeirah Italian licensed gem. Whilst the vibes are casual, the food (and prices), plates and cutlery, service and finishing touches scream fine dining – making this a unique hybrid that is somewhere between the two (fine and casual dining).
To start our weekend lunch, The Huntr whetted our appetites with a complimentary bread and Panzanella serving. From the starters section of the menu, we selected the Baccala (90AED) – creamed salted cod, chickpeas cream, hazelnuts and porcini mushroom infusion – which had a delightfully creamy, ocean taste. And The Uovo (95AED) – poached egg, smoked Parmiagiano, green asparagus and black truffle, which was one of our favourite dishes of the day. On to the main course and we chose the Chef’s Favourite Pizza (120AED), which is comprised of Robiola cheese and truffle, which was decadent and rich but a little filling thanks to the thick base and the Agnello (175AED) – lacquered lamb saddle with tuna sauce, peppers and salsa verde, which was perfectly tender and delicious. On the side, we opted for the Spinaci Alla Parmigiana (35AED) – sauteed spinach with creamy Parmigiano Reggiano and the Patata Ripiena (35AED) – baked potato stuffed with scamorza, robiola cheese and aromatic herbs. Obviously, we couldn’t take a trip to the 1960’s Italian Riviera with Massimo Bottura and not dabble in a little pasta, so we opted for a medium sized portion of Tagliatelle Al Ragu (85AED), which was everything we wanted it to be and more.
To end a delightful lunch on a sweet note we ordered two perfect desserts – the Tiramisu Torno Subito (50AED) (foamy mascarpone, coffee ice cream, espresso sauce and meringue) and the Dark Cherry Cheesecake (55AED) (ricotta cheese, pine nut crumble, dark cherry sorbet).
Drinks-wise, Torno Subito is fully licensed and offers a wide variety of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails alongside alcohol-free soft drinks and mocktails. The Huntr sampled the Riviera by Night cocktail (75AED), which is crafted with raspberry liqueur, wild berries jam and egg white and a refreshing glass of Nonino Grappa Monovitigno Chardonnay Barrique (70AED).
Insider tips: Torno Subito is open for lunch between noon and 3pm and dinner from 7pm until 11pm daily. Bookings recommended for busy periods (Thursday night and weekends). Smoking is only permitted outside. Complimentary valet available at the W Hotel (just get your ticket stamped). Torno Subito also offers ‘Pedalo Picnics’, which includes an hour on a pedalo on the ocean with drinks and food and there are two packages to select from.