Before coming here, I’ve heard about how great Villa Toscana is, so I was excited to finally try it out for myself. The restaurant is located on the first floor of The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, and has a very classy, yet rustic feel to it. The murals on the wall depict gorgeous Tuscan hills and restaurant is so charming.
There are small stalls near the entrance of the restaurant, that have starters like bread and cheese for guests to sample before they make their way to their tables.
The staff seated us towards the back, which is all the more better for us since my little Khalifa was with us, and he wouldn’t be tempted to run out of the restaurant (which is quite a typical occurrence).
We were given a few Italian appetizers to keep us busy until our starters were ready to be served. Among this was a traditional Bruschetta; it was simple and delicious! Along with that, a fried pastry stuffed with mortadella and another dish of fried cheese sticks were served with several dips.
In all honesty, I didn’t even take a good look at the menu. I knew that I wanted a soup as a starter and gnocchi as a main, so I just asked the waitresses’ opinion on what the best choices were for those two, and I put my trust in her. My husband, however, was a bit more picky and ordered exactly what he wanted.
Our drinks were soon served, and our starters followed.
When my Seafood Soup came, I was taken aback by the size– it was huge! First of all, its beautifully wrapped in bread, and then baked in the oven. The bread was peeled back and the soup under it was revealed right in front of us, so the chef has to time it carefully to ensure that its not undercooked or overcooked, because he doesn’t have a chance to see it before it arrives at the table.
Under that layer of bread is a beautiful soup filled with a whole lobster, calamari, shrimps and mussels, along vegetables and fresh herbs. This is the kind of soup you have after a long day in the rain; its so comforting and homely. Each element of the soup was perfectly cooked, which is really impressive considering its wrapped in bread and impossible to check on.
My husband ordered the Spicy King Prawns as his starter. Its also oven-baked and tossed in with olive oil, garlic and tomatoes. He really liked it, but I didn’t have a chance to try it because I was so in love with my soup!
By this time, I had totally forgotten that I had even ordered a main, but sure enough, it showed up along with my husbands main dish. For his main, he ordered the Red Snapper and it was presented in a similar way to my soup– oven-baked and wrapped in thin bread. The juices of the fish helped in the cooking process, and even flavored the vegetables that came with it.
My Gnocchi looked like little fluffy pillows of deliciousness! I was only able to take a couple of bites and had to take the rest as takeaway since I was so stuffed from the soup.
While my husband had his fish, I was able to take some time to get ready for dessert. I had the Pistachio Semifreddo and my husband had the Black Cherry Gelato.
Both were a beautiful sweet end to a very homely and filling Italian meal at a gorgeous restaurant.
- Staff/Service: 4
- Ambience: 5
- Food: 4.5
- Presentation: 5
- Cleanliness: 5
- Value for money: 4
Overall Rating: 4.58
Worth Trying?: There are plenty of Italian restaurants in the capitol, and we’ve tried out so many, but the combination of a luxurious ambience and rustic food really differentiates Villa Toscana from the rest.
For more information call Villa Toscana at +971 (0) 2 694 4553.