Italian maestro Massimo Bottura opened Torno Subito at W Dubai – The Palm hotel in Dubai and it’s a visual pastiche of Italy in the 1960s when the country was booming, Cinecittà studios were making the best films in the world, and Italians flocked to the Rimini’s ‘riviera’ for endless summer holidays of careless abandon and fun.
Bottura, who had previously claimed that he would never open another Osteria Francescana for any price, took the opportunity in Dubai to create something completely different. This is not po-faced fine dining, but the very opposite. Guests can come in to dine straight off the beach, the can picnic, sip signature cocktails outside or they can even take out pedaloes.
To quote Bottura, his menu “celebrates Italian tradition in evolution”. Guests can dig into a selection of dishes originating from the North to the South of Italy, utilising authentic ingredients, almost 70% arrive from Italy. Little crossover from Osteria Francescana’s menu appears. Diners can expect to see a handful of signature plates such as the Tagliatelle Al Ragù, a recipe handed down from Massimo’s Grandmother made with different cuts of beef, slow cooked and hand-chopped.
Torno Subito remixes tradition with the Avant-Garde in a playful menu of his favourite recipes. The kitchen is led by Chef Bernardo Paladini, the hand-picked protégé of Bottura. After spending 7 years in Modena at Osteria Francescana and Franceschetta 58, Chef Bernardo brings a clear thread, through his own culinary talents, to Dubai.
The name ‘Torno Subito’, meaning "I'll be right back", comes from the notices that shopkeepers would leave on the widows of their stores as the dashed off for a long lunch and a nap in the hot afternoon.
The restaurant was designed by Bishop Design by Paul Bishop and the only brief for the project was to “imagine Massimo Bottura having fun”. What they have created is a kaleidoscope of electric pinks, brass fittings, mirrors, chequered floors, pastel furniture and Fellini references. It’s an assault on the senses.
Bishop Design describes its work:
“Pastel tones are complemented with a bold mélange of colour, in turn, contrasting against a morphing monochromatic floor dynamic which seamlessly blends into a unique, three-dimensional agitated sand print flooring. Furniture was eclectic and evocative of design classics such as Gio Ponti to Paola Lenti."
“The interior aesthetics achieves a bright welcoming and ultimately engaging venue offering high-end food and beverage yet enjoyed within a casual setting. The venue encourages its clientele to venture in for a meal, a drink or even a dessert allowing the patrons to interact with its interior and external dynamic as the day transcends into night wilfully relaxing as the sun sets and the beachfront takes precedent. Ultimately ‘La dolce vita’ of bygone days realized through this truly current and unique venue both in its interior and moreover in its food offering that culminates in creating Massimo’s vision into reality. Thus ‘Torno Subito,’ as the name playfully suggests, lives up to this philosophy and beyond.”
The team at Don Julio have taken over an unloved corner of Buenos Aires. Organic produce harvested at the community-focused urban garden Huerta Luna de Enfrente will exclusively benefit local soup kitchens. Read on for the full story.