Italian Comfort Food at Its Best…Buca di Beppo

Sometimes the only thing you really need to get your back on track is a steaming, fresh hot bowl of cheesy pasta with all the Italian accompaniments. And this is exactly what we got and more at Buca di Beppo, an Italian eatery straight from the US, at Festival City in Dubai. The space is divided into a grape room, a poster room, and a room that overlooks views of the waterways facing Festival City. With seating for almost 260, the eatery is spacious, comfortable, and completely family friendly.

The menu is divided into starters, pasta, pizza, and mains, as well as a fun virgin beverage menu from which tried the virgin strawberry magaritas’ and a strawberry passion fruit mocktail. This was followed by some choice starters including my favorite Mozzarella Capresse followed by a large Buca trio platter which held the quintessential fritto misto items—fried calamari, fried mozzarella, and spicy

shrimp served with a homemade marinara sauce.

From the mains, we opted for a variety of assorted pasta dishes as well as their famed Supremo Italiano pizza. So the signature spaghetti with meatballs came with a half-pound meatball atop spaghetti with marinara  sauce which was not only hearty, but packed with flavor. The cheese manicotti was a dream for cheese lover like me packed with three different kinds of cheese—topped with a creamy Alfredo sauce and drizzles of homemade marinara sauce.

And the shrimp Florentina was loaded with garlic shrimp and crushed red pepper with a light, spicy tomato sauce. Our pizza was the Supremo Pizza with spicy Italian beef sausage, beef pepperoni, bell peppers, onions, and a yummy meat sauce. It’s presented on top of an empty large tin can which gives it a unique aesthetic twist. And from the non-pasta main dishes, we sampled the Salmon Sorrento which was a well-seasoned grilled salmon fillet with lemon butter, served with tomatoes and capers.

Despite our groaning tummies, we are always ready and eagerly willing to tuck into desserts. We indulged in the Italian cheesecake which was rich, dense and not too sweet—the way I like it. And the brownie ice cream which had scoops of ice cream over in-house baked brownies.

The Verdict: Buca di Beppo is a really good place to indulge your cravings for authentic, flavorful Italian food in a really friendly and family friendly ambiance. The views are spectacular here and the service is relaxed and friendly.

Visit: Festival City Mall – Ground floor; 971 4 286 5057

Website: www.bucadibeppo.com/restaurants/international