The chance to let someone else do the cooking on press week is always welcome. And when that someone is a professional and the dinner in question is at Trattoria at the Wyndham Garden, literally three minutes’ drive from our Juffair office, it’s all the better.
I really like the ambience of this traditional Italian-style eatery, the red and white checked table cloths and old grape bottles imprinted with special offers and pressed into service as quirky info bearers on the table.
Admittedly, it was quiet when we stopped by on a weekday early evening, taking advantage of the 7pm-9pm Happy Hour. But, I’ve been here at weekends and it is bustling.
For starters, my friend chose beef carpaccio, which came with a twist. The chef explained that he sears the outside to seal in the juices before the quick freezing which allows the wafer-thin slices to be carved. My dining companion declared the flavour to be excellent but wasn’t sure about the departure from the norm, finding the two different textures somewhat disconcerting.
I had Zuppa De Mare – a rich, creamy soup, bursting with juicy chunks of seafood and flavour.
My main course contained the evening’s piece de resistance – truffle wedges with Parmesan and rocket. I have to admit I am a bit of a truffle fiend and to come across big, fat, steaming-hot potato chips with the added bonus of truffle oil. Well, suffice to say, I scoffed all the wedges and actually saved for later the beautifully cooked tagliata de manzo – beef fillet flavoured with aged balsamic vinegar and thyme – that accompanied them!
My friend was equally happy with her osso buco which, though not quite falling off the bone, was deliciously flavoursome and tender.
Dessert was a sweet pastry tart packed with crème patissiere and topped with fresh fruit – another triumph that sent us away happy.
Happy Hour? It certainly was for us.