About PR

A freelance travel and motoring writer and photographer since 2004, living in UAE since 1999 (Al Ain!) Paolo Rossetti has published over 200 articles in The National, Gulf News, and Khaleej Times, as well as Arab Wheels, Middle East Car, Top Performance, and Wheels magazines. This love for cars and travel has taken him on an amazing journey of discovery in the UAE and Oman - and in this blog, Paolo wants to share his knowledge of great places to visit with you, just like numerous good buddies have shared their stories with him. Paolo is sad to hear of UAE expats (and nationals!) who spend their weekends bored in malls, when he knows there are awesome adventures to be had if only people knew where to go. Check out the photos and you will be astounded - is this really in the UAE? You betcha! On this website Paolo provides a lively travel article on a monthly basis, with description, photos, route, GPS file, and even a Google Earth map for you to follow at your leisure. It's free of charge because Paolo is not motivated by profits but by his admiration of the UAE and by helping you make the most of your stay in the UAE, be it a few months or a lifetime. To adventures!

Weekend Dining at Pappagallo in Abu Dhabi

This is one of those reviews that focuses on the food… nothing else matters when the food is right, and Pappagallo delivers deliciousness as an Italian trattoria should!

Italian Executive Sous Chef Stefano Micocci at the helm, lucky pirate parrot on his shoulder.

(Pappagallo is parrot in Italian)

Actually, the restaurant has a fun aura, and the setting outdoor in The Village at Le Meridien Abu Dhabi has a fantastic atmsophere, but really let’s talk about the food:

Pappagallo

Lamb shank that melts in your mouth, cooked long and slow – with reduced sauce of mushrooms decorated with asparagus.

Pappagallo

Seafood Risotto, cooked directly in the fish stock, the rice grain is from a specific variety that absorbs liquid and releases starch, resulting in a tasty creamy texture.

The restaurant interior is simple and cozy.

Pappagallo

Pappagallo has a great seafood selection. Pictured above is the Linguine dish, and below is the Seafood Mixed Grill (Grigliata di Mare).

Pappagallo

Cotoletta – a Milanese favourite, and the lifelong enemy of the Wiener Schnitzel! Basically, and let the veal cutlet wars begin, the difference is the northern Italian version is traditionally bone-in and cooked in olive oil, while the Austrian version is boneless and cooked in butter. Either way, let’s have peace and just enjoy!

Pappagallo

Pappagallo

Carpaccio is raw meat – but for those who turn their noses up at the idea, the accompaniment of salty grana padano, bitter rucola, and the creamy explosion of mozzarella di bufala, and if you do as I like and squeeze a lemon over it all adding the acidic notes, the mouthful of combined ingredients make the “raw” disappear into a flavorsome bite.

Pappagallo

Caprese salad, but special because of the fresh mozzarella cheese – so creamy that the little tomatoes are there just to tickle your taste buds.

Pappagallo

And then there’s pizza! Cooked in a brick oven, we tried the Pappagallo special pizza with duck and rucola and gorgonzola and were very happy with the selection! Next time I’ll go for the Bufalina pizza, above, with the mozzarella bites!

Pappagallo

For dessert, more Italian trattoria classics – Tiramisu and Millefoglie. Literally translated as “pull me up” and “a thousand leaves”. Both excellent!

Pappagallo

Overall, for an authentic and unpretentious, delightfully delicious and genuine, trattoria-style Italian meal, you can’t go wrong at Pappagallo!

And check their website quick, as I think I saw a mention of 30% off the bill on certain days and times!

Pappagallo - Le Méridien Village Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato