The Shortlist

Casa Mia, Le Méridien Dubai
Nominated for Best Italian
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Teeming with atmosphere, this cosy venue has an authentic Italian vibe and is always busy. Staff are welcoming and the attentive, zippy service makes the experience even more worth it. The ambitious menu offers adventurous delicacies including Italian caviar, salmon and sea scallops carpaccio, and teeny morsels of tasty baked land snails with herb and porcini butter. As well as cold meat cuts, you can tuck into Sardinian-style gnocchetti pasta with sausage, fennel seeds and a somewhat overpowering saffron sauce, which is served up from the pan straight onto your plate at the table. For something a little heavier, opt for the roasted corn-fed chicken breast or the thin escalope of veal served with a mushroom sauce, buttery mashed potato and wilted spinach. Even if you’re bursting at the seams, it would be silly to miss the opportunity to sample the faultless creamy vanilla pannacotta with spiced red berries and mango carpaccio.
Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7.30pm-11.30pm. Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud (04 217 0000).

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