Viva Italia!

Viva Italia!

Piaceri da Gustare at Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa has everything you expect from a classy Italian joint - and more



by

Karen Ann Monsy

Published: Fri 11 Oct 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 11 Oct 2019, 2:00 AM

The first time we visited this property, we got turned away. Not for lack of hospitality, don't worry - it was just that the restaurant we were looking for was a short drive away at the other end of the property. No doubt, the valet attendants must be quite used by now to the looks of disbelief their instructions garner. If anything helped us get a sense of the sheer size of the resort, it was that.
Well, this time, we were happy to drive right up to the main lobby of the hotel and be graciously ushered into their Italian joint, Piaceri da Gustare, which was just off to the side of the bustling reception. The restaurant was no less busy than the main lobby, and the meal we had held plenty of indicators why. The menu had everything you'd expect from an Italian place. Pizzas and pastas and risottos - all slathered in plenty of cheese (of course).  
We started off with the bruschettone (crunchy sourdough with San Marzano tomato salsa) and a traditional Tuscany salad. You can't hit an Italian place and not try a pizza, so we picked up one of their seven options too. Rigatoni pasta with delish beef bacon bits followed, together with Scaloppine ai funghi (thinly-sliced cuts of beef tenderloin cooked with mushrooms and beef jus). To finish, a mixed wild berry tart and a leavened pastry cake. Two words: so good. Two more words: details below.  

Taste: Everything was so very satisfying. You definitely don't want to miss the pasta or the torta della nonna dessert. My partner and I are massive pizza fans; this one (called Diavola) had a tad too much pepperoni to enjoy. But we had absolutely no complaints about the rest.

Ambience: The restaurant has high walls, a brick facade, floor to ceiling windows and lovely, classy furniture. Need we say more? Plenty of points for decor. Larger tables would've been nice, as these got too cramped after a while. The overall vibe was dreamy though.

Service: Service was good in that the servers were keen to be of assistance. There was a clear language barrier with two of three servers, however, which impeded communication. When this was not a problem, however, service was super prompt and cheery.

Presentation: The dishes came out well-plated in the kind of plain white dishes we've come to associate with most classy Italian restaurants. The desserts were especially inviting, and one even had a little heart framed in icing dust on the side. Pardon the pun, but I thought it was sweet!

Value for money: Prices are on the steeper side here, with salads at Dh49, pizza at Dh98, pasta at Dh78 and desserts at Dh49. Save for the pizza, we were quite happy with our meal though, portions were filling, and the ambience most enjoyable. Not a bad bargain.

AT A GLANCE
Piaceri da Gustare, Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa
Tel: 07-2288844
Average cost for two: Dh450 (approx)
Rating: 4/5
karen@khaleejtimes.com

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