It needs to be said straightaway that the Crowne Plaza’s Italian is misleadingly named. Although there are a few tables in a crowded outdoor courtyard, the vast majority are inside a greenhouse-like dining room. The space is remarkable in that there is nothing quite like it in Dubai. Yet the same cannot be said of the food. Spaghetti Bolognese, penne arrabbiatta and a carbonara have all been seen and tasted many times before. Pizzas, thankfully, fare a little better. Cooked in an Italian-style with thin, crispy crusts, they also tend to come with generous dollops of tomato sauce. Try the beef bresaola with rocket and parmesan. At around Dhs50, they represent decent value for money for a busy central location such as this. If you’re in the neighbourhood, Al Fresco might be a decent option as a regular, but it is not worth crossing town for.