La Dolce Vita
A world of pizza, pasta and
panettone awaits you in Dubai’s
Italy has long been honoured for its rich culture and history. After all, it was the fountainhead of the mighty Roman Empire, Roman Catholic Church, Humanism and Renaissance, and while we’re on the subject, if it wasn’t for famed Italian painter Leonardo da Vinci we’d never have had the Mona Lisa. Bottom line, Italy is famous for everything from fast cars to fashion houses and a lot in between. But for the foodies among us, its crowning glory has to be that it’s the birthplace of all manner of culinary delights.
The good news is that you don’t need to trek all the way to ‘the boot’ to experience traditional Italian fare because Dubai’s five-star hotels are abundant with world-class eateries, which take inspiration from the beautiful country.
Armani/Ristorante, one of the Armani Hotel Dubai’s high-end restaurants, takes its lead from gastro hotspots such as Sicily and Rome. Alternatively, Rococo at Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach is the perfect place to head for authentic, yet contemporary combinations which ooze Latino flare. Other top choices include Ossigeno at Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa and La Veranda at Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Returning visitors will be pleased to see that old favourites such as Splendido at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai are still cooking up a storm. Read on for our top selection of Italian eateries. Buon appetito!
Giorgio Armani’s first foray into the world of hospitality has brought with it a new collection of culinary hotspots. At the top of the list is Armani/Ristorante.
Italian-born head chef Alessandro Salvatico has done an outstanding job of crafting a menu which combines old-fashioned favourites with contemporary innovations. Begin with the beef carpaccio and tartar. The ingredients are so fresh they almost jump off the plate. Of course, the test of any good Italian restaurant is its pasta and we’re pleased to report that the black squid ink tagliolini with scallops and mussels gets
the thumbs up. For those who don’t want to go down the pasta route, look out for the halibut fillet with cappuccino sauce. Carnivores should direct their attention to the grilled Angus beef fillet.
For the ultimate indulgence, traditional classics such as lemon parfait and tiramisu win points for presentation, but we urge you to try The Sphere, which is served with vanilla cream, violette crème brulée and cassis sorbet.
Location: Armani Hotel Dubai
Open: Daily 7 to 11pm / Tel: 04 8883888
A taste of the Mediterranean awaits you at Rococo. This chic Italian restaurant, located at the Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach, offers authentic Italian cuisine including homemade pasta, traditional Mediterranean salads and pizza baked in a wood-fired oven. There is also a scrumptious selection of meat dishes, including Angus beef carpaccio with 24-month aged parmesan cheese and slow-cooked New Zealand lamb rack.
Nestled away on the first floor opposite The Hub, Rococo is a popular spot for romantic diners seeking an intimiate culinary experience. Atmospheric lighting coupled with live music from a violinist creates a warm ambience that’s hard to beat. With views of The Walk – Jumeirah Beach Residence and further ahead, the Arabian Gulf, diners can take advantage of the picturesque scenery as they enjoy some truly authentic flavours of Italy.
Location: Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach
Open: Daily 7 to 11pm / Tel: 04 4484848
A pleasant trattoria located at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, La Veranda offers Italian cuisine with the option to dine alfresco by the beach. Since it first opened its doors in 2006, this Mediterranean-inspired eatery has been a firm favourite with families due to its laidback atmosphere and friendly vibe.
While Dubai’s five-star eateries are usually identified by their complicated culinary creations, La Veranda takes a different approach, serving unfussy cuisine, but doing it with style. Generously topped pizzas, such as the tonno e cipolla, which is a tantalising combination of tomato sauce, mozzarella, tuna, onion and oregano, are served alongside flavourful lasagnes and perfectly prepared salads.
Relaxing views of gentle water lapping the luxury yachts moored in the adjacent marina are an added bonus to this very enjoyable restaurant experience.
Location: Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Open: Daily 11am to 11pm
Tel: 04 3480000