In Italian, ‘Per Te’ translates to ‘for you’, an apt name for Jumeirah’s newest Italian restaurant located in Jumeirah 1 (right behind Jumeirah Plaza, Beach Road, Dubai).
Hubby was skeptical about dining here. In his opinion, Italian cooking is overrated and simply involves massive overdoses of pasta sauce and cheese. Our dinner at Per Te last Friday managed to make him a convert, and he’s been raving about the restaurant all week!
Per Te opened its stylish glass-paneled doors to the public this January, and already has an army of ardent fans. On Zomato, they currently have a rating of 4.5.
An old Jumeirah villa has been remodeled into Per Te. The restaurant décor is bright, modern and chic with plush leather seating, striking gel-filled light-bulbs and quirky Italian-style wall art.
Per Te is divided into three sections; a café, a pizzeria and a dining area that features an open kitchen.
The dining section extends to the upper floor which also has an open terrace for smokers. The restaurant has a capacity for 150 seated guests.
Upon being seated, we were served a complimentary platter of Cherry Tomato Focaccia, and herby Ciabatta bread.
The bread platter was accompanied by a side of deliciously authentic Italian dips made fresh in-house.
This was a delicious intro to Italian flavors, and we devoured the entire platter (not a clever thing to do if you’re trying to save space for the mains!).
Taking cue from Pe Te’s logo that features a rustic-style chopping board, the restaurant’s menu has a unique design with menu cards attached to an actual life-sized board.
Per Te has every guest in mind. There is a separate menu for vegetarians and children, and you can even ask to have your dishes customized to be gluten-free.
Keeping to authenticity, the menu lists everything in Italian with English subtitles.
For ‘Antipasti’ (or ‘starters’ as we call it!) we had the ‘Tartare di tonno al frutto della passione’ and the ‘Fritto misto, sale e pepe’.
At Per Te, the presentation of the dishes is absolutely spectacular! We got click-happy, and I must warn you this post is going to be pretty image-heavy!
‘Tartare di tonno al frutto della passione’ is a fresh, succulent raw tuna tartare served on a pool of passion-fruit puree. It was a delightful dish to eat. Each spoonful of raw tuna with its delectable seafood flavor, went beautifully with the tart fruitiness of passion-fruit and the pop of crispness from the fruit’s seeds. This dish topped my ‘antipasti’ list for the night.
My hubby and daughter preferred the second starter, the ‘Fritto misto, sale e pepe’. This is an assorted basket of battered seafood and vegetables that have been deep-fried to a crisp golden brown. Forget tarter sauce, Per Te ups the game by serving this dish with an Italian pesto mayonnaise.
And here’s a click of our drinks.
I had the Strawberry, and hubby sipped on Peach. Although his drink was very peachy, I would say hands down my drink was far superior. It was a refreshing mocktail consisting of strawberry liquor, soda and fresh mint, and sadly it vanished even before the mains hit the table.
For the mains, we had to try a hand-made pasta by Per Te. We settled on the ‘Gnocchi con pomodorini e basilico’.
This is a divine pasta dish sure to make any Italian Mama proud! It consists of hand-made gnocchi dumplings that have been stuffed with mashed potato, and stir-fried with fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, dollops of butter, and generous shavings of fresh Parmesan cheese. It had a full-on buttery flavor with the starchy goodness of potatoes, and the taste fresh basil transformed this dish to an Italian masterpiece.
And then came the show-stopper, Per Te’s ‘Costolette di agnello’.
How stunning is the presentation?!
Costolette di agnello is lamb chops the Italian way. We opted to have the chops done on ‘medium’, and they were cooked to perfection. The lamb chops were served with decadently tart balsamic shallots, and soft, flavorful roasted potatoes.
And did I mention Per Te’s portion sizes are huge? Like really, really huge. Each dish is enough for two very hungry adults, and my 4 year-old had a few nibbles of the mains as well.
We were in awe with the presentation of the mains, but nothing prepared us for the stunning desserts. At Per Te, every dish is a work of art!
Our dessert selection consisted of the ‘Italiano torta ricotta’, the ‘Il blanco’ and the ‘Burrata con fichi e miele’.
The’Italiano torta ricotta’ is a ricotta cheesecake served with a delicious dripping of raspberry coulis. The cheesecake was baked to perfection, and the tart sweetness of the coulis added lightness to the overall depth of the ricotta.
Il blanco is a creation of Per Te’s very talented Chef Glady. It literally translates to ‘The White’ owing to the pudding’s stark white appearance. However bland it may look, the Il blanco is loaded with the freshness of lychee and sweet undertones of vanilla. Amaretti has also been added to the mix for a full-bodied Italian zing.
The Burrata con fichi e miele is a definite ‘no-no’ for the calorie conscious. It is a heavy, decadent dessert made up of fresh mildly salted burrata cheese, a drizzle of honey and a pile of chopped fresh figs.
Chef Glady surprised us with an additional dessert platter. He created a ‘Semifreddo chocolate with creamy balsamic vinegar’, a special treat that is not listed on the menu.
Per Te’s Semifreddo is rich, smooth and decadently creamy. The shards of chocolate are miniscule and add only a subtle hint of coco, but it is creamy balsamic vinegar that makes this dessert extra special. The creamy balsamic vinegar is sweet yet tangy, a deliciously deep russet brown syrup trickling through every spoonful.
Apart from the dessert itself, look at all the other elements on the platter. There is a drizzle of vanilla sauce, a few macaroons, an assortment of fresh figs and berries, crumbs of Italian biscotti, a sugar sculpture and an artfully thin ‘Lingue di Gato’ (an Italian biscuit named after a cat’s tongue for its fragility) balanced on top of the Semifreddo. This masterful creation is nothing short of magic, and how apt is the sugar-laced ‘Per Te’ at the bottom; sweetly made ‘for you’.
We met the men behind the magic; Per Te’s Ristorante e Café Manager Anushka Pradeep, and Executive Chef, Chef Glady.
Anushka hails from Colombo, Srilanka. He has a degree in hotel management, and a thirteen year long career in the hospitality field. In his last post, he worked as a part of the management team looking after Florain Italian Restaurant, DIFC. This was his first stint with Italian cuisine, and he brought an ample amount of experience to the table for the creation of Per Te.
Chef Glady has an impressive list of credentials on his CV. He has worked for the likes of Sheraton, Urbano Dubai, Carluccios and Ferrari World.
Originally from Chennai, India Chef Glady has worked with big names in the Italian food business and his twelve year long career in some of the world’s most prestigious kitchens has given him a sixth sense when it comes to Italian flavors and creating Italian remakes like his Il Blanco pudding. If you are skeptical about being served ‘authentic’ Italian dishes by a non-Italian, I suggest you try his creations. No doubt you too will turn into a Chef Glady fan. Follow him on Instagram to see some of his mouthwatering creations.
If you fancy giving Italian cooking a go, Per Te has a wide selection of high-quality authentic Italian ingredients up for buys. Many of these products are not available anywhere else in the UAE. Furthermore, Chef Glady uses these himself!
Per Te is a foodie’s delight. Every dish that comes to the table is made with the finest Italian ingredients. A lot of love and attention goes into each serving resulting in spectacular meals that taste even better than they look. At Per Te, the staff ensure you feel special, everything here is for you.
If you’re craving Italian, real good Italian that even my hubby would approve of, I suggest you book a table at Per Te tonight.
Per Te is located in Jumeirah 1, right behind Jumeirah Plaza (Street 12C, Villa 54). Call 04 344 6455 for reservations.
Surely there’s nothing more romantic than Italian food.