Modern Italian trattoria at The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain

  • Primavera
Primavera, at The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, has undergone a fair few transformations in its time and, over the years, standards seem to have gone up and down. Yet, with such a stunning venue, it’s the kind of place you want to dine, so, when we heard about a new menu revamp backed by Michelin-starred Chef Oliver Glowig, we were intrigued to see what they had in store this time.

Other than the menu, you could say not much else has changed in the restaurant – it’s still beautiful and sophisticated with contemporary décor and a unique open kitchen – but while we’re there we feel a huge difference. For one thing, the service throughout this particular experience is truly fantastic. We feel well looked after and our server is highly knowledgeable about the concept and every dish on the menu. It doesn’t hurt that she, and most of the new staff, are from Italy and, perhaps, grew up eating exactly what Primavera serves – unpretentious, authentic Italian cuisine in this ‘Trattoria Moderna’.

After speaking at great lengths with our server, we settle on the tuna carpaccio and insalata Romana for starters, followed by a simple penne all’arrabbiata and the more indulgent beef fillet ‘Rossini’ style for entrées.

With every mouthful, of every dish, we become more and more of a fan of this new menu. The raw tuna is served with a pasta salad and basil ice cream, and although it sounds like a strange concoction, it seriously works. Each flavour plays to the other’s strengths, creating a wonderful balance both in taste and texture. Meanwhile, the salad comes with romaine lettuce, almonds, candied tomato and, on our request, a lemon and olive oil dressing. It might sound uninspiring but you’d be surprised – particularly any bite with those candied tomatoes is like a revelation.

Likewise, the mains really blow us away. Even the simple penne arrabbiata – the pasta has been cooked perfectly al dente and the tomato sauce has some serious depth of flavour, plus a good kick. But the star of the show is the beef fillet served on a bed of wilted spinach and pine nuts, topped with foie gras, thinly sliced black truffle and drizzled in a beef jus reduction with a side of truffle fries. Simple in presentation but bold in flavour and well executed, this dish is certainly something special.

Finally, we finish up, on our server’s recommendation, with what she describes as a ‘chocolate lasagne’ – five varieties of chocolate with liquorice semifreddo. Texturally, this dessert is a star but taste-wise it doesn’t quite live up to our high expectations following the rest of the meal. Having said that, we still cleared the plate.

Overall, this is the kind of experience everybody hopes for at a more upmarket Italian restaurant and, based on this, I could not recommend it enough.

The bill (for two)
1x large water
1x tuna carpaccio BD5.5
1x insalata Romana BD4.5
1x beef fillet Rossini BD22
1x penne arrabbiata BD6.5
1x Chocolate five ways BD4.5
Service charge 15%
Gov levy 5%
Total BD55.8 Primavera
5 1

By Time Out Bahrain staff | 26 March 2015

Location: - Seef
Tel: 17 586 499
Travel: Seef
Cuisine: Italian
Experiences: Alcohol available, Private dining area
Times: Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-11.30pm
Price range: Bhd40+
Credit Cards Accepted: Yes
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Primavera on Map

  • Isa B Jan 02, 2015 04:18 pm
    Would you go back to this restaurant?
    Best for:
    I had a great dinner for New Years day until the end of the meal. The food was delicious, service, ambience and music perfect until the blunder at the end of the meal. I told the waitress, "take out and the bill please". The bill was brought and paid for. The take out never came out until i asked the waitress, she replied she didnt hear take out. Such a waste to half eaten main courses ! The evening was ruined even after complimentary rather apologetic chocolates were offered.
  • Mr. Large Oct 13, 2009 11:54 am
    Grossly overpriced, indifferent service and attempting to recreate 'nouvelle cuisine' which I think even the French begrudgingly agree was a culinary nonsense. Having said that this is supposed to be Italian not French.

    Arranging food delicately around a huge plate may feast my eyes but my stomach begs to differ quite vehemently.

    One to be avoided if you're looking for value for money.

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