JBR is now totally spoilt for choice when it comes to dining venues, thanks in part to the arrival of the Rixos Premium Dubai last summer. The hotel has a range of options – STK and Lock, Stock & Barrel are both favourites depending on your mood – but if you’re looking for casual, Italian fare then Luigia isn’t a bad idea.
The restaurant itself is big and bright. It’s also very red. In a gaudy, yet slightly sterile way.
We dine on a weekend evening, and it’s quiet. It’s not completely empty, but the vibe would be aided by the arrival of some more diners.
We settle into our booth and check out the menu. So far, so good. All the usual suspects are listed, and all sound so good it’s hard to decide. After deliberation we opt for the Donna Luigia calzone, and the fusilli al ferretto alla abruzzese (AKA spaghetti and meatballs).
The dishes are excellent. Our calzone is perfectly blistered and stuffed full of cheese, turkey ham and fresh, tangy tomato sauce. The pasta is just as good, with the juicy beef and rich sauce both full of flavour. The portions are huge, too.
With a few more diners, this could be a top choice if you’re after some low-key Italian eats.
The bottom line Excellent dishes, but a sterile setting.