Bella Vista brunch at Il Faro

A real Italian feast in stunning surroundings

Bella Vista brunch at Il Faro
Bella Vista brunch at Il Faro Image #2

There's something unique about the Palm Jumeirah’s Il Faro.

Literally translating to “The Lighthouse”, this little, lighthouse-shaped Italian restaurant found on the North East-facing side of the island’s trunk lives true to its name. It’s uniqueness comes in two forms: firstly it’s one of the few licensed, free-standing restaurants you’ll find in the emirate, and secondly, it’s one of the few places that genuinely makes us feel like we’re sat, whiling away the hours on the coast of the Med (barring the stunning views of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, which serve as a constant reminder that we are, thankfully, still firmly in Dubai).

And that’s where the name of Il Faro’s Friday brunch, Bella Vista, rings especially true – the views out to sea are only interrupted by private islands, boats, and the aforementioned Burj Al Arab.

And the view of the menu gets us equally ready for a whopping-great, hearty Mediterranean lunch – packed full of mozzarella, tomatoes, cured meats, seafood and most importantly, carbs.

It’s effectively a set menu, there’s no buffet in sight – just a feast of freshly prepared dishes.

The afternoon starts with caprese salad, fresh burrata, and huge chunks of parmesan cheese accompanying a charcuterie board of cured meats. A stand-out dish from the starters, the arancini is crunchy, yet oozing with molten cheese when you carve into one, which we’d personally much rather eat like an apple than with a knife and fork, but, hey, manners cost nothing, right?

An initial disappointment is the relatively limited apperance of main courses on the menu. On paper you’ll see one pizza, one pasta dish, one seafood and one meat dish.

It looks a bit threadbare, but there is the option to specify which pizza you’d like to order – and there was one other thing we overlooked. The four dishes you see on the menu are brought out on demand, so you can, for all intents and purposes, have as much as you want. And the pizzas are absolutely exquisite. Whether you’re chowing down on the quattro formaggi with its tangy gorgonzola, the diavola with its spicy beef salami, or the humble margherita – the pizzas here are pretty special, and even left our real-life Italian friend conceding the food is almost as good as their nona’s cooking. The menu, like most Italian dishes, does more with less.

A well-prepared sea bass with a tomato reduction and accompanies some creamy penne. But it’s really about the pizzas at Il Faro.

So it’s with much regret that 4pm comes around and we’re out of pizza. We take no shame in saying that we then stayed here until dinner time, purely so we could justify ordering more. None whatsoever, because all in all, this is a stunning feast.

A real Italian feast in stunning surroundings

Magnificent pizza, gorgeous views, and fantastic value

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