Buon Appetito, Bahrain

The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain brings its famous Italian restaurant Primavera back as an al fresco pop-up by the beach, inviting diners for a culinary
journey to Italy. OHLALA takes a seat…

Italy is more than a place – it’s a mood, it’s magical. And The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain knows that, relocating Primavera to a spot just off the marina beach. Here, the restaurant serves now not only authentic Italian food with a modern twist, but also a little slice of Sicily. As we enter the new setting of Primavera, we forget that we are still in Bahrain.

From a colourful chain of lights to a romantic little water fountain, white-and-red checkered tablecloths, and old-fashioned tableware – they say the truth is in the details, and our truth is that we’re transported to Italy instantly. Chef Oliver Glowig may be at the helm of Primavera, but it’s Chef Delfino Chiarello responsible for all the delicious dishes at this pop-up.

We start our culinary journey with two delicious appetisers, Caponata Siciliana and Vitello tonnato. The Caponata Siciliana is a delicious Sicilian salad with creamy eggplant and other Mediterranean vegetables seasoned with a tangy tomato sauce. It makes for the perfect starter. The Vitello tonnato also hits our taste buds right. This Piedmontese dish entails cold, thinly sliced veal covered with capers and a creamy, mayonnaise-like sauce that has been flavoured with tuna. Who can have enough of this?

Next, we indulge in the hearty Arancini con aroma al tartufo, deep-fried rice balls with sharp parmesan cheese and truffle aroma. There’s something incredibly comforting about this signature dish by Chef Delfino and we’re tempted to order a second round, but we move on to the Insalata Toscana. This Tuscan salad consists of fresh cherry tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, black olives, and sourdough bread croutons. The combination is tossed in a vinaigrette dressing that, paired with the juices from the vegetables, lends the croutons a frothy yet crisp texture. Delicious.

Next up is our main course: Guazzetto di pesce alla mediterranea cotto in “terracotta”. Part stew, part sauce, this Mediterranean dish is cooked in a clay pot with hammour, prawns, clams, cherry tomatoes, garlic, red onions, and basil leaves. It’s as good as it sounds, and reminds us of the merits that come with living on an island: great seafood. But nothing stands out in our memory quite like this meal’s sweet ending.

The desserts section brings with it the usual suspects – tiramisu, panna cotta – but we make a beeline for the Cannoli al cioccolato. Not your typical Sicilian version, these cannoli aren’t filled with ricotta cheese, but a light chocolate cream instead. Oh, and both ends are dipped into chopped pistachios from Bronte, Sicily. For the uninitiated: the green pistachios that hail from this Sicilian town are the most prized in the world, and just one bite of the cannoli at Primavera Al Fresco tells us why. Our jaunt to Italy really is the best of both worlds. Jet lag? No. Culinary satisfaction? Absolutely yes.

Call 1758 6499 for reservations and more information.

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