Italian food has influenced the world; Pizza, Pasta, Latte Coffee, Tiramisu, Risotto are few of the famous foods that Italy has gifted to the World. Since the beginning of the Meditteranean Era in the 1st Century, Italy has a long history behind it and so its cuisine too. Apicius – the first cookbook of Meditterean basin has emphasised the Food and Culture together, and since Romans are the ancestors of Italians and colonised on Meditterean lands, Italian cuisine has kept the culture of food on prime importance. This cuisine finds its roots from the 1st Century. Even if the Italian cuisine has influenced the World with its culturally rich and delicious food, natives cannot be solely credited for this popularity. Adjacent countries, colonists, and invaders have significant roles in the culinary trail of Italy. Bakers of Greece taught Italians to bake the bread; Sicilians introduced Cheese; Marco Polo brought noodles from China to Italy, and that is how the country fell in love with spaghetti pasta. Arabs were the colonist of the Sicily (Southern Italy) during the 9th century and fetched the eastern spices to this land as well as introduced Sugar to natives. During 1773 to 1779, the two famous chefs: Neapolitan Vincenzo Corrado and Autonio Nebbia emphasised on Vegetarian Food and Italians, started using Vegetables in their cuisines prevalently.
The most popular of all pizzas – Margharita Pizza was created by Chef Raffaele Esposito in honour of the queen of Italy – Margherita di Savoia, in Naples. However, Neapolitans had been eating bread dough with Tomatoes and Olive oils for at least 200 years. When Chef Esposito invented the Margharita Pizza, nothing new but certainly something attentive happened in the History of Italy and country quickly adopted this recipe as one of its Culinary Masterpiece. Today, Pizza is synonymous to Meal for the majority of the World population.
From time to time, varieties of cookbooks; passionate and creative chefs & culinary artists; historical events, and food trends has channelised culinary journey of Italy and offered the new culinary horizons to the country.
Enrico Cerutti, the youngest son of Cerutti Family- the owners of Restaurant in Lago Maggiore, Italy, had a passion for Food and Restaurants. With a lineage of Cerutti’s and training in Swiss and Italian culinary science, Enrico used his experience to help his customers to understand what was needed to enjoy the real Italian espresso by selling coffee on the Italian and Swiss Markets. In 1951, he opened his first Swiss-Italian restaurant in Milano – Cerutti il Cafe. Enrico was a passionate and self-driven artist who found his way to success through Coffee and Food. Cerutti cafe in Abu Dhabi is a reflection of his passion since it is a franchise of his 68 years old cafe from Italy. As Arabs stationed in Southern Italy and contributed the lion’s share to the Culinary tradition of Italy, Cerutti Cafe in Abu Dhabi is influenced by Emirati culture and gaining the popularity amongst citizens of the country. Divided into three sections: Cafe, Sheesha Zone, and Restaurant, Cerutti cafe is Hidden Gem of the Capital.
Cerutti cafe has a separate menu for its Coffee. Locally roasted coffee beans and brewed by qualified baristas, varieties of Latte (milk in Italian) and Espresso Coffee are a speciality of this place. Frothy and aromatic Cerutti Latte is recommended with Cerutti Healthy Breakfast.
When Eggs topped with grilled asparagus served with cereals & hot milk and honey as a sweetener; bread with jam and butter; fresh salad and fruits, an idiom – Breakfast like a King, gets justified. To add more elegance to your breakfast experience, try Cerutti Caprese, sliced mozzarella with fresh tomatoes. Special drink – Minta Coffee, topped with ground cocoa powder is refreshing and unique; this one cannot be ignored at breakfast.
Start your lunch with Garlic Bread as an appetiser and then heading to Mini Burgers, Vegetarian Fusilli, Chicken Margherita, and Cow Mozzarella Pizza as a Main Course. Chicken breast sandwiched between fresh mini bread buns is a delight with potato fingers and ketchup. Adorably plated Mini Burgers are comforting and tasty.
Vegetarian Food is widely consumed in Italy since 1773. Various pasta is compatible with vegetables due to the naturally balanced product of their combination; soft pasta goes well with fresh herbs. Tomato sauce as a binder, varieties of vegetables for texture, and swirly Fusilli as a base make Vegetarian Fusili an excellent choice of Lunch in Cerutti Cafe.
Chicken Margherita – Chicken breast topped with mozzarella cheese served with spicy tagliatelle pasta and cherry tomato, maybe a customised version of Margherita Pizza but there’s no similarity between this dish and Pizza. Pizza is about bread, its crust, olive oil, tomatoes, vegetables, and oodles of cheese; Chicken Margherita is just about tender chicken breast, mozzarella cheese, and tomatoes. If Cerutti Café wanted to invent something to pay tribute to Chef Esposito (inventor of Pizza Margherita), customisation of Pizza with ‘Margherita’ itself could have been a better choice. Although Chicken Margherita is tasty and worth a try, iconic Margherita Pizza is irreplaceable.
Mozzarella is a traditionally southern Italian cheese made from Italian buffalo’s milk by the ‘pasta filata’ method. Mozzarella received a Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (TSG) certification from the European Union in 1998. This protection scheme requires that mozzarella sold in the European Union is produced according to a traditional recipe. The TSG certification does not specify the source of the milk so that any milk can be used, but it is speculated that it is usually made from whole milk. Cow Mozzarella is popularly used in Italian cuisines. Cow Mozzarella Pizza is decent preparation reflecting the exclusivity of Mozzarella cheese; thin crust, fresh vegetables’ topping, and flavour of olive oil make this pizza the Authentic Italian food experience. A sprinkle of chilly oil, chilly flakes, or hot sauce on gratifying cheese can be enhancing, but the de facto taste of this Pizza is unbeatable.
There is a separate kitchen in Cerutti cafe to prepare the Arabic grill platters. These platters are better to enjoy with Sheesha to experience the Emirati culture in the Italian atmosphere.
‘Work is the meat of life, pleasure the dessert’ – B.C. Forbes
The consumption of varieties of the menu needs a ‘pleasant labour’; one deserve a fruit of labour, and a delightful dessert is a pleasurable fruit in Cerutti cafe. Artistic plating, fresh ingredients, and balanced sweetness are a pure delight in Cerutti cafe’s desserts. Mango Delight Cake is a unique art of Cerutti cafe; chocolate cup filled with delightful mango pulp and cake topped with spring of mint is surely the mouthwatering treat for sweet scavengers. Insert the spoon in mango cake, break the piece of a chocolate cup, close your eyes, taste the scoop, and immerse in the blissful experience of this sweet heaven. Chocolate lovers, Chocolate Fudge Cake, has got you covered. Fresh chocolate cake topped with vanilla ice-cream and emerging ice-vapours is treated to both – eyes and taste buds. Cerutti cafe is the mecca of desserts and food art lovers in Abu Dhabi.
When you think that you are done with their desserts, Apple Pie Latte says ‘Hello!’, and you have no choice but to welcome it. The sourness of Green apple, the sharpness of ground coffee, and sweetness of milk are combined to the perfection in Apple Pie Latte; this one is the signature drink of Cerutti Cafe.
Serene vibes, attentive staff, and a real feel of Italian cuisine are the essence of Cerutti Cafe, Abu Dhabi. Zomato (Abu Dhabi) categories this restaurant in their ‘Hidden Gems’ section and it is undoubtedly a gem to cherish.
Average Cost: AED 180 for two people (approx.)
Location: Al Jazeera Tower, Near Commercial Bank of Dubai, Corniche Road, Al Markaziya, Abu Dhabi
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