June 2 is Italy Republic Day so why not try some Italian food at these great restaurants in Dubai?
Ronda Locatelli The dish: Basil Mozzarella Tomato Pizza Their pizza menu is vast – again, ideal for those with fussy little ones in tow. Finally, the warm red decor, central pizza kitchen and giant domed oven creates a cosy atmosphere with a bit of culinary entertainment while you wait to be served. Service is friendly and fast here, while the bill will end up looking reasonable in comparison to other Palm-based restaurants. Open Sat-Wed noon-3pm (lunch), 3pm-5pm (afternoon menu), 6pm-10.30pm (dinner); Thu-Fri noon-3pm, 3pm-5pm, 6pm-11.30pm. AtlantisThe Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 2626).
Roberto’s The dish: Burrata A simple and delicious way to start is with the burrata: a perfect combination of creamy mozzarella and tomatoes. Of the pasta dishes, the spaghetti carbonara with wagyu beef bacon is mouth-wateringly good. Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-midnight (lounge open noon-2am). Gate Village, DIFC, www.robertos.ae (04 386 0066). Business lunch: Dhs119 (two courses). Daily noon-3pm. Brunch: Dhs360 (with soft drinks), Dhs425 (with grape), Dhs495 (with premium beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4.30pm.
Pizza Express The dish: Calzone Pesto Inspired by the classic dish from Naples. They fold pizza dough around a delicious filling, finish it with Parmesan cheese, bake until golden and serve with a fresh salad. Get Calzone Pesto for Dhs74. It’s filled with Turkey ham, pesto, roasted red onion & mushrooms, baby spinach, creamy cheese sauce, mozzarella and parmesan. Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai (04 441 6342)
Heinz Beck The dish: Beef teamed with ‘topinambur purée’ for Dhs75 For starters, beef teamed with ‘topinambur purée’ (aka artichoke), mushrooms and coffee sauce proves to be a deliciously cohesive dish, with coffee being a surprisingly good match for the other nutty and autumnal ingredients on the plate. Mercato Mall (04 344 4161). Other locations: Cedre Villas, Dubai Sillicon Oasis (04 388 6121), Trade Centre Road (04 352 4591).
Armani/Ristorante The dish: Risotto Vialone Nano lemon and thyme-seared langoustines This has been inspired by the balanced combination of ingredients. It combines the creamy texture of risotto with the freshness and the acidity of the lemon, along with the refined sweetness of the scampi. Gold and caviar to complete the dish are a nice homage to Dubai, the city of gold. As you would expect from a multiple award winning restaurant, the food is excellent. Every course is crafted to perfection, and service is suitably slick and professional for such a restaurant. Open daily 7pm-11.30pm Armani Hotel Dubai, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).
Solo Bistronomia The dish: Spaghetti allo iodio Chef Corrado Pani says: ‘In this recipe there is sea urchin, mullet roe and mussel butter (a butter we create from fresh mussels). It is very fishy, so anyone who loves the taste of the sea will be all over this, but those who don’t can go for another dish… I’m from Sardinia and there we have lots of sea urchins. The plate we use to serve this dish is a sculpture of a sea urchin. I bought them directly from Sardinia and they cost €250 per plate…’ Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha, Dubai (04 370 8999).
Cavalli Caffè The dish: Tiramisu Chef Mark Molnar says: “My favourite dish at Cavalli Caffè is La verde, a green pizza topped with parsley, garlic, chillies and mozzarella. Our classic Burrata Pizza and healthy Insalata di Quinoa are also a big hit with our diners. And of course, our decadent array of desserts are not to be missed, especially the Tiramisu and the chocolate Fondente al Pistacchio. The Beach, Dubai Marina, Dubai (04 551 9671)
Eataly The dish: Spaghetti al cioccolato Dhs45 Homemade chocolate spaghetti alla chittara, green beans, shrimps in a light seafood tomato broth. Available on their special chocolate menu until June 13, other highlights include the burrata cheese filled with Venchi dark chocolate and pan fried beef medallion topped with spicy dark chocolate plus Calzone filled with ricotta cheese and Venchi chocolate served with whipped cream. Lower G floor, Dubai Mall, Financial Centre Road, Downtown Dubai (04 330 8899).
Al Grissino Restaurant & Lounge The dish: Shrimp scampi marinated in mandarin (Scampini marinati al mandarino) for Dhs50 Freshly opened last month in DIFC is Milanese import Al Grissino Restaurant & Lounge Dubai. Having originally opened in 1952 as a trattoria in Milan, the new venue is located in Emirates Financial Towers. The menu focuses on seafood, with marinated and raw specialities, plus a range of traditional and original recipes such as potato and saffron soup with salted butter croutons, burrata risotto with crispy bresaola, sea bass baked in a sea salt crust, veal shank with tomato mousse and truffle demi-glace, traditional tiramisu and chestnut semifreddo with pomegranate sauce. 16th Floor, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, Dubai (04 3524000).
Sicilia The dish: Carpaccio Start light with delicate slices of carpaccio to save room for one of the hearty pizzas or daily specials (which, in the past, have included a particularly impressive baby squid ink risotto). Adventurous palates should try the pizza marinara with fresh spicy sardines, which is lavishly dressed with tomato sauce, plump black olives, chilli, sweet cherry tomatoes, creamy blobs of burrata and thick fillets of marinated sardines, with a bitey acidic tang.