If you mention Dough to anyone in Bath, the first thing they’ll think of is pizza – this lovely little restaurant in the Corridor specialises in thinking outside the (pizza) box when it comes to dough, from sourdough to seaweed to hemp. With plenty of vegan and gluten-free options too, Dough is a firm favourite with Bath’s foodies. Recently, however, they’ve expanded their non-pizza menu and when I saw the tasty pics popping up on their Instagram, I just had to go and try it out for myself…
With its high ceilings, hanging blown-glass lamps, copper-coloured walls and deep blue banquettes, Dough doesn’t look much like your typical Italian trattoria. It’s a stylish space that still manages to be welcoming, with the chefs spinning pizza dough and slinging toppings from an open kitchen in the centre. We tucked ourselves away in a cosy corner, and got stuck into the menu – there were all sorts of gorgeous smells in the air and so many yummy options it was seriously hard to choose.
|Warm burratina wrapped in parma ham|
I started with a glass of Primitivo and warm burratina, wrapped in parma ham and served with salad, sundried tomatoes and pesto dressing. It was the perfect combination of simple, scrumptious ingredients – the burratina was rich and creamy, nicely balanced by the saltiness of the ham and the sharpness of the sundried tomatoes, and the pesto was so tasty that my dining companion kept stealing it to dunk his bruschetta. Bruschetta, of course, is something you’ll find on most Italian restaurant menus, but like many simple classics it’s very easy to get wrong – thankfully Dough hits just the right level of garlic (enough to taste amazing, not so much that your dining companion will want to move to another table), and serves sweet little cherry tomatoes on top of proper doorstops of bread.
On to the main event, and this is where I really struggled to narrow down my menu choices – in the end I went for fritto misto, crispy golden calamari and prawns, served in a seaweed bread bowl. The seafood was gorgeous, with a fabulous crunchy coating and sweet, fresh prawns and squid inside, but for me the real star of this dish was the bread, which was insanely moreish. I spent quite a lot of time trying to pin the flavours down, but all I can really say is that it was gloriously savoury, and perfect dunked in the chilli aioli it came with. I had to really, really restrain myself in order not to wolf the whole thing. My dining companion, meanwhile, chose the sformata di melanzane – that’s a crispy aubergine parcel, stuffed with homemade pasta in a tomato and smoked ricotta sauce, to you and me. I wasn’t quite sure how this dish would work, but it was love at first mouthful – the smoky bitterness of the aubergine was just the thing to go with the rich filling, and the textures were gorgeous too.
Now I have a confession to make – I know we were there for the rest of the menu, but we did order a pizza as well, just to double check they were still amazing. We went for the Smokey, with speck and smoked mozzarella on my favourite Dough base, the Grano Arso – one of those fabulous cucina povera inventions that’s born out of necessity but turns out to be a delicious idea. Traditionally, farmers would burn the stalks in the fields after harvesting the grain, and then the poor would collect any last remaining kernels before the burnt stalks were ploughed back into the soil. With the ‘burnt grain’ (which is the literal translation of grano arso), they would make bread that had a subtle smoky flavour. As a pizza dough, it’s the ideal foil for rich melted mozzarella and cured meats.
Frankly, with three main courses between two of us, we were pretty stuffed by this point, but you can’t go to an Italian restaurant and not have dessert. It was another tough choice but I’m a sucker for a good tiramisu, and I was intrigued by Dough’s twist on it – added to the classic coffee-soaked sponges and whipped cream is a generous layer of Nutella on the top and bottom. I’ve never had a tiramisu like it before but it was an inspired combination and fabulously indulgent. My dining companion was a little more restrained and ordered the lemon sorbetto – between ourselves, I don’t normally consider something a dessert unless it involves chocolate, but I was won over by this gorgeously summery sorbetto, which comes with a splash of prosecco poured over the top. Sharp and citrussy, it tasted of sunshine.
I have to admit, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this menu, but I was blown away – everything we had was quite simply outstanding. It was a week ago now and I’m still thinking about those main dishes (and wondering how soon I can legitimately go back). It might be hard to resist the pizza, but seriously, you don’t want to miss the rest of the menu.