Thursday, October 6, 2016

Spaccanapoli {Italian Style}



Since moving to Abu Dhabi a few years ago, I have been on a quest to find my favorite food: Pizza.  Sure there are a hundred pizza places, but until last week, I have been yet to find one that checks off both quality and value.  Spaccanapoli, located in the Crowne Plaza downtown flies under the radar.  Their pizza, while not essentially Neopolitan, is very good.  The crust is chewy, the cheese is flavorful (offering buffalo mozzarella, and burrata), and the price is reasonable most especially during the daily happy hour, when everything is 50% off!  I decided to go decadent and I ordered the Chef's Special.  While not traditional, it was really tasty.  Fresh tomato sauce with large chunks of burrata, shavings of black truffle, scattered with a few morsels of tender lobster. ( I told you it wasn't traditional.)  It was served perfectly hot with a side of spicy olive oil...another favorite of mine. There was no pre-shredded preserved parmesan, no little packets of chili peppers (Grazie Dio!).  They also offer pizza by the meter (cut in squares, like in Rome) that are great to order for a large group.  Infact, when I was visiting there was a group of about 12 Italians that had ordered about three different meter long pizzas.  I thought about pulling up a chair to their table.

Spaccanapoli, while specializing in pizza, actually has a full menu.  I love fritto misto, and so started with that.  Most importantly, the few calamari and shrimp were perfectly cooked and delicious.  But I thought the presentation was lacking (an easy fix).  It was spread on a bed of lettuce, trying to be too fancy.  A simple delicate pile in a little basket with some paper to absorb any leftover oil, would have been more appetizing.  

Their pastas and risottos are just as good as the pizza. The potato gnocchi were very light and fluffy, and held together perfectly on the fork. They were covered in a simple butter sauce with fresh truffle and a little sage. Gnocchi can be rich and heavy, but these instead left me still happily looking forward to the rest of the meal. As a main dish I ordered the Branzino, which comes with roasted potatoes, cherry tomatoes and capers. In real Italian style, the dish was very light and healthy.

They have a simple offering for dessert, a few gelati and a few cakes. The chocolate gelato and the tiramisu gelato were the best of the gelatos (skip the vanilla) and served in generous portions. The Tiramisu cake was also a favorite. It was light and yet still full of rich, creamy coffee and cocoa flavor. The service was really great, surprisingly knowledgeable and efficient. With a fairly
extensive offering, and lots of promotions running, I will try to stay away for another week.












Spaccanapoli - Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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