Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo

Italian food and a Michelin star pedigree at the Sheraton Dubai Creek

  • Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo
  • Friday brunch (Friday)

    Classic Italian dishes and twists on the favourites, plus a room dedicated to charcuterie cuts. Dhs199 (soft drinks), Dhs269 (house beverages), Dhs389 (sparkling and mixed beverages), Dhs95 (children aged six-12), free (children under six).
    Timings: Noon-4pm

  • Evening brunch (Tuesday)

    A mix and match brunch offering with diners able to create their own meals using numbered cards that correspond to dishes on the menu. Music through the evening is provided by the DJ. Dhs179 (water), Dhs239 (carafe of grape or two bottles of Italian hops).
    Timings: 7pm-11pm

When a restaurant is under the patronage of a Michelin-starred chef we think it’s perfectly acceptable to expect great things from your meal. The menu at Vivaldi opens with a page laying out all of Alfredo Russo’s accomplishments – and it makes for impressive reading, especially about the awards and accolades coming throughout his long career.

The menu itself also makes for good reading, with a short but delicious-sounding selection of pastas and mains, and a few pizzas. The decor inside is light and spacious, but we were outside looking over the Creek.

The music was a little incongruous – it seemed more Oriental than European – and since we sat on the terrace, there really was nothing to give the impression that this was an Italian restaurant.

Service, though well meaning, was a little hapless. We seemed to have two waiters, and neither knew what the other one had taken orders for. As a result it took until halfway through our starter for drinks to arrive, and bread came a good five minutes before any oil to go with it.

The starter was a tagliere, a sharing meat and cheeseboard. There wasn’t a lot of either and it came with some undressed rocket leaves, roasted tomatoes and olives. It was underwhelming. When you order a starter like this, where there’s no actual cooking involved, you expect the individual pieces to be outstanding. We can’t say they were here. The cheese was a bit on the cold side, not long enough out of the fridge, and the meats were standard. All in all, it was a let-down and if you do make it to Vivaldi, we recommend trying one of the other options.

The main courses were more hit and miss. We chose agnolotti, which was square pasta parcels stuffed with braised beef. They came in a butter sauce with sage. It was simplicity itself, and very good. The pasta was thin and cooked perfectly, the beef was melt-in-the-mouth and full of flavour and the sauce was rich. There was nowhere to hide with this dish and thankfully it was well executed.

The same cannot be said for the other main course – a cod fillet. It was described as coming with a parsley and brioche crust, French beans salad, semi-dried cherry tomatoes and roasted garlic and potato sauce. Let’s start with the crust, because it was anything but crusty. The green topping for the fillet was soft and could have done with a few minutes under a grill before coming out of the kitchen. The fish itself was also limp and lacking any identifiable flavour.

The sauce saved the dish somewhat from the doldrums – it was light and earthy at the same time, and was the only real flavour on the plate. The salad of green beans turned out to be a meagre portion of beans, nothing to class it as a salad, and the semi-dried tomatoes were roasted on the vine, another misleading description on the menu.

Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo promised so much, but on our visit failed to deliver on many fronts. The view was stunning and the pasta hit the spot but other than that, there is room for much improvement. If Chef Russo was in the kitchen rather than just having devised the menu the presentation and execution of the dishes would most likely have been on another level, not the one we experienced.

The bill (for two)
1 x tagliere sharing platter Dhs130
1 x agnolotti Dhs68
1 x cod Dhs140
1 x soda water Dhs22
1 x mocktail Dhs35
Total (including service) Dhs395 Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo
5 1

By Time Out Dubai staff | 16 December 2014

Location: - Deira
Tel: 04 207 1717
Travel: Baniyas Street
Cuisine: Italian
Experiences: Alcohol available, Outdoor seating, Brunch served
Times: Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm
Price range: Dhs350-499
Credit Cards Accepted: Yes
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  • Katja Aug 05, 2015 10:13 am
    Would you go back to this restaurant?
    Decor
    Service
    Food
    Ambience
    Value
    Service is often a weak point in Dubai, and Vivaldi was one of the worst experiences we had. Staff had no knowledge at all about the menu or wine list and couldn't even set up for the starters without major faux pas'. A complaint to the manager produced a new waiter who was friendly and capable. Why not sending competent staff in the first place? It clearly wasn't because the restaurant was so busy.
    Atmosphere was lacking with the restaurant being nearly empty, which wasn't helped by the uninspired decor.
    Food was ok, but not up to standards one would expect of a restaurant associated with a chef with Michelin star.
    Even the lovely view over the creek couldn't be enjoyed as the windows were extremely dirty.
  • michele lorusso Jan 15, 2015 11:52 am
    Would you go back to this restaurant?
    Decor
    Service
    Food
    Ambience
    Value
    There is no such a thing as "MICHELIN STAR CHEF" but yes a MICHELIN STAR RESTAURANT unless the restaurant as the chef name. I would propose for this instance a "MICHELIN STAR STEWARD", i believe it`s fair enough.
  • Dr. Raji Mathew Aug 25, 2010 11:49 am
    Best for:
    Decor
    Service
    Food
    Ambience
    Value
    Back from lunch. Had the grilled lamb. Soft meat of moderate quantity.
    The best thing to enjoy is the view across the creek.
    Supposed to give 15% discount on the Emirates NBD card. The waiter first said there's no discount and when I asked him to check, they gave only 10%. It's not the amount but if it was checked then it would have been obvious what the discount is rather than give whatever comes to the mind. I promptly signe the receipt but let it be known that it should have been 15%.
  • Camilla Aug 10, 2010 05:29 am
    Would you go back to this restaurant?
    Best for:
    Decor
    Service
    Food
    Ambience
    Value
    Been there several times, and never been disappointed. For once, that's what we call a "true" classy -yet humble- Italian restaurant: classic dishes with a touch, based on good products and good technique, for a very reasonable price. Good note: if you have any food allergy problem, the staff (and especially the chef!) is very attentive, and that's a real bonus.
  • alessandro Mar 17, 2009 05:48 am
    Would you go back to this restaurant?
    Best for:
    Decor
    Service
    Food
    Ambience
    Value
    Excellent food
    Reasonable prices.
    surelly one of the best Italian restourant in Dubai

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