Roberto’s at the Ritz

An experience rather than just a restaurant

AMM RitZ Roberto
(Photo: Handout from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel)
The Ritz Carlton Hotel opened earlier this year off the 5th Circle and made quite the buzz in the hospitality, and the food and beverage industry.اضافة اعلان

It takes courage to compete in this specific neighborhood of Amman, with its several five-star hotels and their elite just across the street. Some however, may find Roberto’s at the Ritz a different-vibe kind of restaurant.

It can get quite intimidating to experience places as such; many may even think that you need an arm and leg just to dine there. I volunteered to experience one of Ritz Carlton’s outlets and tell you all about it. If you have not been there already, that is.

(Photos: Zeid Odeh/Jordan News)

Located on the 20th floor of the hotel, Roberto’s restaurant is modern and chic, yet rooted in the Italian traditions of hospitality and authenticity. The restaurant is very spacious, with clean-cut edges. It offers lunch and dinner, and brunch on Fridays; the latter added recently.

There are several seating areas at Roberto’s, included a beautiful terrace that overlooks the city. You may either sit by the bar and enjoy a cocktail and a bite or have the full dining experience on the terrace. During, there is music, if that is your thing.

The restaurant is targeting a certain psychographic segment of the market, those who are looking for a specific lifestyle that they enjoy rather than merely a restaurant with good food.

Many restaurants are targeting a certain demographic sector, which gives them an edge and differentiates them from the rest of the competition.

The restaurant serves appetizers, salads, soups, pasta, main course, and dessert. All are derived from Italian cuisine.

We ordered tuna tartar, spinach and ricotta tortellini, seafood risotto, striploin steak, and dessert, of course.

Before the appetizers, bread was served with an olive tapenade and a sundried tomato tapenade. The homemade bread consisted of sourdough bread, focaccia, and grissini. The assistant manager also made his dip for the bread from olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper, parmesan cheese, and a secret ingredient that you have to be there to try. Ask for Shadi and let him make the dip.

Many restaurants offer tuna tartar, and while debating whether we should order the tuna or beef tartar, the chef overheard us and recommended the tuna tartar. It was served with wasabi cream and avocado. The tuna was light in flavor, and the creaminess of the avocado cream paired well with it, yet the highlight was the wasabi cream, which brought a great balance of flavors to the overall dish. It was not too powerful to overcome the tuna flavor, yet not too weak not to be noticed. We were off to a good start.

The seafood risotto with crab, lobster, and prawns was cooked using bisque, which is a stock made from the shells of crustaceans, then topped with a Puttanesca sauce, which is a tomato-based sauce that has olives and anchovies. The seafood items were placed on top with basil oil to finish off the dish.

The risotto was cooked just right. The crunch of every piece could be felt, and the flavor had a great depth to it with the bisque. The puttanesca sauce on top brought a new combination of flavors that paired well with the dish, and the basil oil elevated it to a whole new level. I would personally remove the imitation crab on top, since it is not even crab, to begin with, and it is not a product you would want to see at this level of dining.

The ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta, served with a creamy-based sauce, and topped with a creamy truffle sauce was a perfect fit. The sauce was sufficient and the truffle sauce, which could overwhelm the dish, was balanced with some bites with an extra kick of the truffle.

There was a similarity in techniques used in all those dishes, which reflects how the chef thinks of his dishes in all their aspects. The dishes were very complex in flavors, which shows skill and a great understanding of flavor pairing.

The Kiwami striploin, which is a stockyard Australian wagyu, was brought on a gueridon and sliced it in front of us before being served.

The beef was of very high grade, the meat melted in the mouth. It was cooked simply, with the addition of salt and pepper, and basted with butter and herbs.

The steak was served with two sauces: jus, which is made of the juices of the meat, and a creamy mushroom sauce. The jus added a complex flavor to the steak. The mushroom sauce was creamy and rich.

Leaving the best for the last, we had the homemade pistachio ice cream topped with olive oil. No, this is not a mistake. The chef accidentally poured olive oil on top of the ice cream; it turned out that they pair very well, so it made its way on the menu. The creaminess of the ice cream and the flavor of olive oil is an interesting match.

I usually focus on three main aspects of any restaurant I go to: food, service, and ambiance. The Ritz is well known for its high level of personalized service. It is all about the small details, such as calling the guests by their name, working around the guests, and smiles and gestures from the entrance all the way to the top.

All those aspects played a role in creating a memorable experience. I hope this level will be kept for every guest.

In seven words, Roberto’s is more than a restaurant, it is, rather, a chic lifestyle.

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