A Rosso-Colored Perspective on Italian Food

Last April, we attended a bazaar in Four Seasons Hotel. After that, we found ourselves asking where we’ll have dinner after because most of the food in the bazaar were the finger, baked, and sweet variety. We were craving for something savory and filling. On our way to the Kingdom Mall, our Saudi friend spotted Rosso, one of Four Seasons Hotel’s restaurants. While Rosso has its own following, it’s a bit overshadowed by the more popular Four Seasons’ restaurants The Grill and Elements (we like Elements!). We were also curious on how Rosso will fare with our favorite Italian restaurants in the city so we went ahead and tried it.

The red glass walls welcome guests to Rosso.

The red glass walls welcome guests to Rosso.

Welcome to Rosso!

Welcome to Rosso!

Just by looking at its interiors, ROSSO is being true to its name. RED. It’s so red that the carpet, the leather sofas, and most of the plates are in this hue. Even their menu has a cover with a photo of ripe, plump, and very red tomatoes in it. If it turned out to be a Chinese restaurant, I won’t be surprised but Rosso is an Italian restaurant great for families. It celebrates Italy’s cuisine and its tradition and culture of enjoying meals with the family. If you think of the pizza, for example, you will notice that indeed, it is a food that is meant to be shared. It’s topped with generous toppings and cut equally for each member of the family. Of course if you want more slices, it’s possible to ask for an extra slice and no one will bat an eyelash. Servings are good for all.

Rosso is elegant; its interiors is a feast for the senses.

Rosso is elegant; its interior is a feast for the senses.

Rosso's tablescape

Rosso’s tablescape

Rosso has an extensive a la carte menu from starters, soups, salads, main courses, pizzas, pasta, and desserts. They also have a family-style menu for tables of up to 10 guests. A buffet of antipasti is followed by a procession of pastas, risottos, pizzas, main courses and desserts.

Rosso 1

The antipasti buffet sits in the middle of the restaurant.

Rosso 19

Vegetable salads, seafood bits, and potato dishes.

More choices.

More choices.

The ladies and I decided to make a beeline to their antipasti buffet. The appetizers were nice. There were cheeses, salads, vegetables, and seafood. There were shrimps, mussels and baby octopus! Yes! We fell in love with the potato balls that were so tasty.

Delightful seafood

Delightful seafood

Cheese? Yes please!

Cheese? Yes please!

More cheese? YES PLEASE!

More cheese? YES PLEASE!

The antipasti buffet is available on its own for SR 140 per person but if you’re ordering a main course, you only pay SR 85. Is it worth the price tag? If you’re a fresh, healthy eater then yes but if you’re the kind that gets full easily and wants more protein then no. Stick with the a la carte main courses.

Our bread and olive and butter spreads.

Our bread and olive spreads.

While we were circling the antipasti table, a selection of bread were placed in our table. I enjoyed this roll that has garlic and herbs in it. We enjoyed the bread and appetizers with our well-curated drinks that came in interesting bottles and glasses.

My favorite bread looks like a cinnamon roll but it has herbs and great with butter.

My favorite bread looks like a cinnamon roll but it has herbs and great with butter.

Our friend’s Cinque Terre mocktail came in a shaker. It was such a nice presentation! This mocktail has pomegranate juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, tonic water, and mint. Our friend truly enjoyed this drink. I had the La Maddalena which has pineapple, pineapple juice, brown sugar, lime and mint leaves.

Let's drink to that!

Let’s drink to that!

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, SR 45

La Maddalena, SR 45

La Maddalena, SR 45

I’m in love with pineapple juice so this is a winner in my books. It’s sweet and refreshing but the too many pineapple bits and mint leaves got in the way of drinking this mocktail. I couldn’t remember what Reina and our Saudi friend had but they were also good. We were balking at the drinks’ prices though but oh well. We were at Rosso after all.

We decided to go safe on our choices for pasta and pizza. What more can be as basic and fool-proof as Carbonara, Lasagna, and a Meatball Pizza?

Carbonara, SR 90

Carbonara, SR 90

It's adequate but order something else in the pasta department.

It’s adequate but order something else in the pasta department.

The Carbonara has a creamy egg sauce and beef bacon. It was a bit disappointing because the flavor was so subtle we couldn’t figure out if they’re just trying to highlight the beef bacon or it was really lacking in salt. It was good for sharing though and we were happy we ordered another pasta.

Lasagne Della Nonna, SR 85

Lasagne Della Nonna, SR 85

The Lasagne Della Nonna is tagged as “homemade grandmother’s lasagne”. This is my favorite dish in our table. It was rich and creamy and hot. The dish was oozing with cheese we thought it doesn’t have pasta sheets anymore. Haha! The beef sauce and cheese were so goo together. Ordering this dish is one of the best decisions we made that night.

Polpette Pizza, SR 120

Polpette Pizza, SR 120

Thin, crispy, chewy, delicious!

Thin, crispy, chewy, cheesy, delicious!

The Polpette Pizza is under their Pizza Pazze category. Not so sure what that means but when I Googled “pazze”, the translation came back as “crazy”. Really? Haha! This pizza has tomatoes, meatballs, and mozzarella. So simple yet so good! The crust is thin and it has just the right amount of sauce and cheese that made every slice gooey and creamy. Rosso’s clever, uncomplicated pizzas with just fresh ingredients, no matter how many or how less, is what makes Rosso one of the best Italian restaurants in the city.

Gelati, SR 20 per scoop

Gelati, SR 20 per scoop

And we thought we'll be missing on the mascarpone.

And we thought we’ll be missing on the mascarpone.

We ended our dinner with scoops of gelato in chocolate, pistachio, and mascarpone flavors. We enjoyed these rich, intensely-flavored Italian ice cream; it’s hard to choose which was the most delicious flavor! Haha!

We indulged ourselves in Rosso’s Italian gustatory delights. Their prices are competitive with other Italian restaurants in the city so we can say that it’s also worth going here especially if you want to just enjoy your time with your family and friends with good Italian food in an elegant yet comfy setting. We could have talked all night in this place but alas, it was getting really late and these titas of Riyadh need their beauty sleep. Haha! Seriously, visit Rosso to spoil your taste buds once in a while. Rosso is on the ground floor next to the lobby lounge. Attire should be smart casual and ladies, sorry, no removing of abayas in this hotel restaurant.

Rosso

Four Seasons Hotel,

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

W: http://www.fourseasons.com/riyadh/dining/restaurants/rosso/

T: +966 11 211 5500

E: restaurantreservations.riyadh@fourseasons.com

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Janelle
Janelle

The Editor-in-Chief speaks 7 languages: Filipino, English, Wit, Sarcasm, Truth, Creativity, and The Pink Tarha.

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