For lovers of authentic Italian food look no further than Cucina! This haven of Italian cuisine is located at the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha, offering both à la carte and a brunch option there truly is something for everyone.

CUCINA ITALIAN CHEFWe were fortunate enough to be invited for a delicious brunch at Cucina and upon entering the restaurant we were greeted by the friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful staff. They directed us through the beautiful, rustic yet refined interior and past the display of incredible looking desserts to our table. It was here we could truly appreciate the atmosphere created by the exposed brick walls and archways, hanging lights and varnished wood furnishings, immediately it felt like being transported to Italy for a wonderful candle light dinner.

Masterminding the menu at Cucina is the Sicilian-born Head Chef Claudio Trovato. His craftsmanship and understanding of Italian flavours brings unique dishes to Cucina that nonetheless feel authentically Italian. Chef Claudio believes that to get the best from Italian cuisine local and seasonal ingredients should be used, to ensure you are enjoying fresh ingredients at the height of their flavours. Beyond just crafting the delicious menu, Chef Claudio brings warm Italian hospitality to Cucina, the notion of guests being part of La Famiglia (The Family) certainly shows through in his dedication to make amazing food for all his guests. Perhaps the best example of the family welcome you will receive comes from the name of the brunch itself. ‘A Casa Della Nonna’ brunch isn’t just any brunch as its meaning in English is brunch at grandmother’s house.

As for our dining experience at Cucina, we were first brought the chef’s selection of appetizers; these delicious treats were mostly a collection of different vegetables cooked in an Italian style.  The caramelised onions were particularly delicious. A big stand out of the brunch was brought shortly after the appetizers, this being the fried calamari and the mac and cheese croquette. The batter for the calamari was crunchy and the tartar sauce brought alongside it offered a fantastic crunch with a pop of zesty flavour, making for a truly fantastic experience.

Following next was probably the highlight of our Cucina experience; a truffle pizza!  This piping hot, fresh-from-the-oven pizza was brought to our table on a classically Italian pizza peel. As the pizza slices were split a wave of delicious aromas were released, the combination of the earthy truffles and melted mozzarella was incredibly inviting. Biting into this pizza was like taking a bite from a work of art and we couldn’t help but feel slightly sad when we had finished. Part of the reason this dish was so great is the care Cucina takes when making their dough, this process takes 72 hours and it is definitely worth it.

Along with the pizza we were brought a seafood risotto and bucatini pasta in richly flavoured tomato sauce. The seafood risotto was truly fantastic, and for a dish with such reputation for being difficult to master, Cucina made it look easy. The bucatini pasta in tomato sauce was perhaps the most anticipated of all the dishes, owing to it being so synonymous with Italian cuisine and it truly did not disappoint.

Believe it or not, because we certainly didn’t, we were still to have our main course. We were given multiple options but ultimately we settled on the seafood salad, swordfish, mozzarella in carroza and a ‘squashed meatball’. The seafood salad seemed to contain as many types of seafood as the sea itself, making this salad fitting for any lover of seafood.

The ‘squashed meatball’ was incredible; the meat practically melts in your mouth. This was covered in a rich tomato sauce that had been made to better pair with the meatball, showing the dedication of the chefs to give the best possible experience. The fried mozzarella in carroza had a fantastic crunch from its breadcrumb coating and the inside was filled with molten mozzarella that practically oozed deliciousness as we cut it apart.

Now it was time to revisit that immaculate dessert station… With heaps of sweet treats to try – including profiteroles (of all flavours), maritozzi, tenerina and of course tiramisu – this is a sweet-tooth’s paradise!

If you are looking for a reasonably priced Friday brunch to spend with your family or friends, this Casa Della Nonna brunch is perfect for you! Cucina is a homey, beautiful restaurant which is brought alive by Chef Claudio and his passion for cooking!

The Casa Della Nonna brunch at Cucina costs QAR145 or QAR265 with selected beverages. Reservations are required, to make a reservation or for more information please call 4419 5510 or WhatsApp 6643 6890.

Author: Matthew Wright

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