Last weekend, we stayed at Radisson Blu Ajman, and had dinner at Filini. The fully licenced Italian restaurant has stunning, welcoming interiors complete with a real-life Vespa at the front, a rose-gold coffee urn and other interesting artifacts from an Italy we envision when flipping through travel magazines.
Bargain alert! If you love Italian… the pasta, the pizza, the fruity wines, the tiramisu, the works, you can have it all in unlimited quantities for a mere AED 144 per person.
This amazing offer is available for both lunch and dinner throughout the week at Ricetta, Four Points by Sheraton’s authentic Italian restaurant.
You get a taste of provencal Italy as soon as you walk into the restaurant with its cheerful red checkered tablecloths, the make-believe fruits and vegetable market and a wall plastered with classy black and white photographs of Italy.
Friday brunches have become a foodie institution, and as Dubai dwellers we really are spoilt for choice with all the options out there. But my only qualm about most brunches is the timing. The standard norm is a 1 pm start, but Friday sleep-ins are so precious. We usually crawl out of bed by noon, and then there’s the Friday prayers to attend. We therefore never really make it to a brunch before 2.
And then I get invited to try out a ‘Linner‘, a New York concept now adapted by Cucina, Courtyard Marriott. Here’s how the foodie equation works:
Breakfast + Lunch = Brunch
Lunch + Dinner = Linner!
“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren.
If one of the world’s most beautiful women credits her beauty to spaghetti, why haven’t we come up with a pasta diet yet? And so was my excuse last Saturday, as I indulged in not one but a total of 9 decadent pasta creations by artisanal Head Chef Antonio Lacovelli at Trattoria Toscana.
Matto translates to ‘crazy’ in Italian, and this much-hyped new restaurant in The Oberoi Dubai, has worked hard on living up to this theme. The ambiance here is more in tune with a gastro-pub; the lighting is dim, a DJ revs up tunes from an amputated scooter, and a dominating wall displays this stunning graphic of a man swallowing a fish.
We walked in with our little 6 year-old, and felt a little out of place. This is not a family-friendly space, and given we got there on a Thursday night, the tables were filled with boisterous co-workers and doe-eyed lovers ringing in the weekend.
Le Meridien Hotel & Conference Centre (conveniently located near Dubai International Airport), is one of the oldest hospitality institutions of the city and also happens to be a treasure trove of foodie finds.
One such gem is Casa Mia. Aptly translating to ‘my home’, I absolutely love the cottage-inspired interiors of this space. The service is topnotch, the wine selection immaculate and above all, the food here is incredibly ‘delizioso’.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of DIFC is one of Dubai’s latest Italian imports, one with the much coveted Michelin Star association. The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri already has a huge fan following in Florence, and the dishes this restaurant churns out under the guidance of 3 Michelin Star Chef Annie Féolde are fabled to be absolute works of art.
The original branch in Florence has been around since the early 1970’s, and was established by Chef Annie and Giorgio Pinchiorri. Today, the restaurant has earned a reputation as an institution for gourmet excellence, and I was therefore super excited about the prospect of trying out their highly coveted Italian spread, right here in Dubai.
Sandwiched between Grand Habtoor and Le Royal Meridien Hotel in JBR Dubai, I have discovered yet another hidden gem. Cucina Mia is an Italian restaurant owned and operated by Italian Chef Domenico Serra, and is located on the ground floor of Trident Grand Residence (JBR).
‘Cucina Mia’ translates to ‘My Kitchen’, and this very endearing name lives up to its promise of offering unabashedly authentic, homely Italian dishes. But don’t take it from me! I was introduced to Cucina Mia by an Italian friend who vouches that the fare is just like how her Mama does it 🙂 What better way to explore a country’s cuisine than to dine with someone who grew up eating it?
Oscar Farinetti opened the very first Eataly store in Turin (Italy) in 2007. Today this ‘mega-store’ has a presence across 6 different countries, and their extensive range of Italian produce can also be bought and delivered worldwide on their online store.
Eataly is an Italian restaurant, but most of the restaurant’s expansive space is taken up by Eataly’s ‘mega-store’. The brand sells everything you could possibly need to whip up an authentic Italian meal!
I am a regular at their Dubai Mall branch. I find it to be the perfect spot for a mug of Italian mocha and a fancy sweet treat. Last week, I got invited to Eataly’s newest branch at Dubai Festival City. Till then, I thought Eataly was a cafe-cum-Italian food store. I now know they have a full fledged menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner 🙂