One of our favourite pizza places to order from and visit from time to time, Russo’s New York Pizzeria doesn’t skimp out on flavours and decent portion sizes. We were thrilled to be invited to their spring menu tasting.
Our verdict: Fresh, healthy new additions to their themed spring menu and it did not disappoint. There are some items we would love for them to permanently add on. An existing pizza place attempting fresh, new healthier options is not something you might initially consider, but the team at Russo’s and Chef Ali’s creativity really shine through so definitely give it a try.
The Spring Menu by Russo’s New York Pizzeria is split into two options, simply named Menu 1 and Menu 2. For this tasting they served us the dishes from both menus. Here is what we thought of the dishes and below is where you can find the menu options. However Russo’s New York Pizzeria did tell us that you can swap a few dishes between menus, so it would be worth asking which those are.
Focaccia bread & dips: As a pre-appetizer the restaurant serves fresh focaccia bread and three dips: olive tapenade, needle mushrooms & ricotta and sun dried tomato.
Bruschetta: A fresh modern twist on this popular appetizer to go with the spring theme. The bruschetta was well presented. Circular pieces of focaccia bread with pesto and a buffalo mozzarella slice topped with dressed salad leaves and micro herbs.
Zesty Quinoa Salad: White quinoa, cherry tomatoes, red beans, spring onions, fresh coriander with a citrusy lemon dressing. This dish was one of the best we tried. Fresh, light and a nice balance of flavours.
Pizza Alle Zucchini: We enjoyed this pizza even though it isn’t something that we’re used to, it may even come off as a flatbread to some. Lovely, crunchy crust, thin slices of zucchini and generous pieces of sun dried tomatoes over the top.
Asparagus & Feta Cheese: Simple, modern appetizer consisting of perfectly blanched green asparagus spears, topped with sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, toasted walnuts and crispy bacon drizzled with a balsamic glaze. It’s a great combination of flavours for a spring time dish.
Tagliatelle with Mushroom & Truffle: A generous portion of egg tagliatelle pasta and creamy mushrooms with truffle oil, the smell of which hits you as soon as the dish is on the table and is thankfully not overpowering once you dig in. Being on their healthy themed menu, there isn’t any sauce or much cream but trust us, you wont miss it.
Watermelon Mojito: As expected, made of watermelon, mint and lime; this was an icy perfection of fresh flavours. With the summer months almost upon us already, we can definitely see ourselves coming back here for this.
Pineapple Power: A blended mix of fresh pineapple, cucumber, celery and spinach; this drink is definitely refreshing and in tune with the spring theme. However we didn’t taste much of the pineapple sadly. It’s more of a healthy vegetable juice, so if you’re a fan of sweeter, fruity drinks we suggest to go with the other option.
Avocado Semifreddo: A surprisingly delectable dessert. Smooth, creamy semifreddo with pistachios to add some texture and caramel drizzled over the top. This dessert is not too sweet and not heavy. We loved it! Definitely recommended.
Vanilla Tart: Maybe we had very high expectations (we love tarts!) but this was a slight let down. The vanilla custard itself was delicious. Great texture and sweetness and we loved that you can see the black dots of vanilla bean in it. The tart shell however was a bit overpowering in flavour and too thick on the edges. Still a nice dessert, but we preferred the semifreddo from the two.
The service at Russo’s is great. As patrons who have visited the restaurant before, we’ve never had any complaints. The staff are attentive and friendly and Chef Ali was a delight to interact with.
We’ve been fans of Russo’s Pizzeria since around the time it opened in 2013. Even though situated in a small obscure mall, it’s got a warm, cosy feel to it with an open counter showcasing their large pizza ovens and a service counter from the kitchen behind it. Framed pictures of Italy, New York City and the creator Anthony Russo line the walls along with popular Italian ingredients. Not forgetting their pizza boxes which line the spaces around the open kitchen counter space adding to that warm, rustic feel (the pizza boxes are red, brown and white). Besides booths on one side of the restaurant, they’ve also got tables that can be lined up in a family style setting on the other to accommodate big groups (especially if you order their popular large pizza).
To Book or not to Book
Being a pizzeria that also does deliveries, we don’t think you’ll have much of an issue getting a table or booth if you choose to dine in. But as we always say, if you’re planning to visit with a large group it’s just better to call and reserve a table.
How to Get there
Russo’s New York Pizzeria is located inside the Jumeirah Centre Mall, which is at the start of Jumeirah Beach Road near 2nd December Street (on the side where the UAE Flag is located) and very close to the Jumeirah Mosque.
By Car: You can get to Russo’s New York Pizzeria by heading for Jumeirah Road. If you are coming from the Abu Dhabi side, keep driving down almost to the end of Jumeirah Road and park right after Tim Horton’s. If you are coming from the Dubai side, once you are on Jumeirah Road, take the first main signal u-turn and follow the same instructions. Parking is always a problem for Jumeirah Centre Mall as there is only the RTA parking available and that to, not many spots. There is some parking available on the side of Tim Horton’s and in the area behind the mall if you get lucky. These are free for the most part, but we are not sure if you are allowed to park there. Our recommendation for Russo’s New York Pizzeria is to park in the RTA parking or across the street.
By Cab: The easiest landmark for Russo’s New York Pizzeria is Jumeriah Mosque, a cab driver will know this location however if they don’t know this, you can tell them to take you to the Satwa side of Jumeirah Road and from there head in the direction of Abu Dhabi. Once you spot Tim Hortons, take a u-turn and get off a couple of shops after Tim Horton’s. This will take you to the entrance closest to Russo’s New York Pizzeria.
Public Transport: There is no metro anywhere near this location however there is a bus station fairly close by that caters to the following bus routes: 8, 88, C10 & X28. These bus routes are connected to the Dubai Metro. From there, the station is a 5 minute walk.
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/N9e3YbDTQAM2
Entering the Jumeirah Centre mall from the main entrance in the middle, you will see Russo’s straight ahead of you.
Set Menu 1 [AED 89]
- Zesty Quinoa Salad
- Pizza Alle Zucchini
- Avocado Semifreddo
- Watermelon Mojito
Set Menu 2 [AED 109]
- Asparagus & Feta Cheese Salad
- Tagliatelle Mushroom & Truffle
- Vanilla Tart
- Pineapple Power
Note: Our meal was provided by Russo’s New York Pizzeria as part of their Sprint Menu Tasting. However, our thoughts and opinions are unbiased and our own.