Pizza, pasta and more of the very best Italian food in Doha
Time Out Doha staff
April 29, 2015 6:41 AM
Cucina Exposed brick, wrought iron dividers and tiled floors set the scene for this casual Italian restaurant. A trattoria-style eatery, Cucina focuses on its antipasti and primo offerings of pastas and thin-crust pizzas, hand tossed and baked in the brick-façade oven in the middle of the dining room. A separate dining area styled after a cellar offers a more intimate experience, while the long tables are perfect for bigger parties looking for a celebration meal. Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel, West Bay (4419 5000).
Il Teatro The elegance of simplicity in Italian food could not be more perfectly represented in Il Teatro. Dishes are beautifully presented with wholesome flavours and a respect for ingredients. Appetisers include lightly battered soft shell crab and perfectly seasoned seared scallops, although it is the lobster rigatoni that headlines the restaurant. Don’t load up on carbs, for dessert here is mandatory. Although the interiors of Il Teatro could do with some sprucing up, the food more than compensates for the dated décor. Four Seasons Doha, West Bay (4494 8888).
La Spiga The W already holds the reputation of being where the chic and trendy dine; and La Spiga by Paper Moon expands the repertoire of the hotel. A sister of Paper Moon in Jaidah Square, the restaurant’s menu is similar, with offerings such as the signature Paper Moon pappardelle with smoked beef and a veal chop Milanese. But the highlight must be the shimmering bronze oven resembling a disco ball which sends out authentic pizzas. W Doha, West Bay (4453 5353).
La Veranda The restaurant has had a makeover, and a very welcome one, with red and white latticed seats and a simple interior to reflect the cosy feel of Italy. The food has improved markedly, as well, with an excellent array of pizzas, pastas, capreses and other Italian favourites. The bread basket is also pretty special, as is the view of the Gulf. Nearly forgot… the tiramisu is a winner, and you may get serenaded! Sheraton Hotel, West Bay (4485 4444).
Le Vesuvio Situated next to the amphitheatre at Katara Cultural Village, Le Vesuvio offers two levels of seating. The rooftop space, which can be covered depending on the weather, offers spectacular views of Katara, the beach and the surrounding high-rises in the background. Those familiar with this casual brand from Cannes will notice it is significantly more stylish, but the menu of honest Italian cuisine stays true to its roots. Katara Cultural Village, West Bay Lagoon (4408 1500).
Lo Spaghetto Lo Spaghetto is packed every day of the week. Tucked away in the hustle and bustle of Al Sadd behind Royal Plaza, it caters to the many who love Italian cuisine without the formality (or price tags!) of the city’s five-star hotels. The chefs do it all from a semi-open kitchen: pizzas, pastas, salads, soups and mains, all cooked to perfection with high-quality ingredients. The restaurant is full of the vibrant colours, freshness and flavours of an Italian home kitchen. Al Sadd (4434 1601).
Paper Moon Paper Moon starkly stands out from its surroundings. The modern restaurant is an oasis among the din of traffic and construction in Umm Ghuwailina. A ride up an elevator and one is immediately transported to a world of Milanese chic. The menu is bursting with Italian favourites from antipasti, salads, pastas and main meals. Pizzas are baked in a marvellous oven that is the centrepiece of the whole place. Jaidah Square, Airport Road, Umm Ghuwailina (4016 6000).
Porcini For many of the city’s old timers, Porcini once held the torch for premier Italian cuisine in Doha. Today, the restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton remains highly regarded but perhaps less known in a sea of competition. The menu is comprehensive, with innovative hot and cold starters, several options for pasta and risotto and a full roster of mains such as sea bass en papillote and Barolo ossobuco. Heavily carpeted with chandeliers and executive chairs, Porcini is a throwback to the formal dining rooms of yesteryear. Ritz Carlton, West Bay Lagoon (4484 8514).