Taste of Italy
Whether it’s pizza, pasta or panna cotta you’re longing for, satisfy your culinary cravings at one of Dubai’s top Italian restaurants
BiCe may be one of the more established Italian restaurants in Dubai, but it has lost none of its charm or attention to detail since opening in 2001.
This cozy yet sophisticated eatery has wooden floors and cream walls adorned with black and white prints of old-world Italy. Chef Cosimo Danese and restaurant manager Piero Giglio know just how to work the kitchen and the floor, and boast a winning combination of experience, talent and passion impressing Dubai’s regulars and visitors on a daily basis.
All dishes are made in-house, from the lobster carpaccio to the warm chocolate soufflé. The hand-cut pasta including ricotta and spinach tortelli simply melts in the mouth while the black and white tagliolini with garlic, light chilli, tiger prawns and asparagus is ideal for a lengthy dinner with family and friends. For a more casual experience, stop by for a quick glass of Chianti and a thin-crusted pizza.
BiCe prides itself on its hospitality for which the international restaurant group, started by Beatrice Ruggeri (Bice to her family and friends), has become known.
Location: Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Open: Daily noon to 3pm and 7 to 11.30pm
Contact: 04 3182520
This small, but chic Italian restaurant is located in the Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach, one of the newest properties to open on The Walk in Dubai Marina.
Nestled on the first floor opposite The Hub bar, Rococo offers consistently good Italian cuisine including homemade pasta, traditional salads and pizza baked in a wood-fired oven.
Anyone looking for a spot of romance would do well to dine here. The deep leather booths lend themselves perfectly to intimate dining while the crimson décor creates a moody, relaxed setting.
Rococo also offers al fresco dining with a small terrace overlooking The Walk and further ahead, the Arabian Gulf. Whether you’re sitting inside or out, the service is friendly and attentive. Choose from the wide selection of wines for a well-rounded, unpretentious dinner.
Location: Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach
Open: Daily 7 to 11.30pm
Contact: 04 4484848
Though located in a prime business hotel, Certo has a relaxed feel and lacks the stuffiness of eateries in many of the city’s other business properties. The service is warm and friendly and the décor chic, with clean lines and elegant furniture.
The restaurant specialises in traditional dishes, from homemade antipasti and pastas to pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven. Choose from a wide selection of speciality olive oils to add a tasty twist to any meal, complemented by a pick of grapes from the restaurant’s six-metre-tall wine tower.
The real star of the show, however, is the menu. Imaginative signature dishes such as linguine with mixed seafood, tomato sauce and rock lobster, in a pizza crust is a hit time and time again.
Slowly cooked seabass fillet with porcini mushrooms, spinach, baby potatoes and balsamic vinegar is a delicious, lighter alternative. Dessert lovers are in for a treat too. Look out for contemporary twists on old favourites including a trio of tiramisu: classic, Amarena cherries and Amaretti along with pannacotta with espresso and honey sauce.
Location: Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City
Open: Daily noon to 3.30pm and 7 to 11.30pm
Contact: 04 3669111
This cosy trattoria is reminiscent of an old Italian kitchen with exposed rustic brick, open kitchen and the aroma of tomatoes, olive oil and oregano. The wood-fired pizza oven bakes crispy, thin-crust treats while the chefs serve up a delicious variety of traditional Italian anti-pasti and salads, accompanied by home-made pastas, pizzas and risottos.
Located in the lower lobby level, in the Atrium Wing, the restaurant is casual and relaxed, serving reliably good food for lunch and dinner. There are also fun and lively performances from the waiters and chefs who regularly perform their own unique rendition of ’O Sole Mio, leaving children in fits of giggles.
Location: JW Marriott Dubai
Open: Daily noon to midnight
Contact: 04 6077977
This bright and cheerful restaurant, headed by chef Riccardo, serves generous portions of authentic northern Italian cuisine. With traditional antipasti, homemade pasta, wood-fired pizzas and home-style main courses, the food is as varied as it is tasty.
Ideal for families, with brightly coloured booths and a spacious floor area, Andiamo! incorporates live food preparation into the restaurant experience enabling diners to watch skilled chefs take centre stage in the open kitchen.
This light-hearted, casual and contemporary atmosphere works particularly well during Friday brunch with carving stations for roast lamb and beef and live gelati and tiramisu stations. The pizza oven with its colourful mosaic of flames emerging from the top is a focal point.
The prosciutto montanara pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella, parma ham, rocket leaves, mushrooms and parmesan is both filling and moreish. Or, for muslims, the capricciosa pizza with tomato, mozzarella, black olives, artichokes, mushrooms and beef bresaola is a tempting alternative.
Location: Grand Hyatt Dubai
Open: Daily 12.30 to 3pm. Sat to Wed 6 to 11.30pm, and Thu and Fri 6 to 11.30pm. Also Fri 12.30 to 4pm
Contact: 04 3172222
This contemporary and spacious restaurant serves authentic cuisine for lunch and dinner, with friendly service and an open kitchen.
Watch as the chef and his team prepare traditional pastas, thin-crust pizzas, tasty salads and appetising desserts.
Browse the á la carte menu and sample favourite dishes such as delicately seasoned tenderloin fillet or seafood salad with light Mediterranean dressing and risotto armeniese. Then there’s the baked portobello mushroom with smoked mozzarella and black truffle, a winner every time.
Dine at Prego’s from 6 to 7.30 pm and receive 20% off your food and beverage bill. Alternatively, head to this inviting eatery on a Friday lunchtime for brunch and indulge in a buffet of oysters, pasta, pizza from the wood-fired oven and much more. Round off your meal with a glass of fine wine at the bar for a wonderfully relaxing culinary experience.
Location: Media Rotana Dubai
Open: Daily noon to 3.30pm and 7pm to midnight
Contact: 04 4350000
At the centre of this trend-setting bar and lounge is an Italian and international restaurant. Featuring funky, zebra print chairs and crystal chandeliers, diners can expect fresh, seasonal ingredients on Roberto Cavalli crockery.
Location: Fairmont Dubai
Contact: 04 3329260
Le Dune Pizzeria
Located an hour’s drive out of the city in the desert, this welcoming eatery fuses Arabic and Italian décor, from wooden furniture shipped from Italy to traditional Arabian lanterns.
Location: Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Contact: 04 8096100
This superb restaurant features authentic Italian cooking for contemporary palates. Enjoy fresh breads, pastas and deli items surrounded by New York-style décor with a large outdoor patio.
Location: Ritz-Carlton Dubai
Contact: 04 3994000
Though not strictly an Italian restaurant, The Med offers a Pasta ‘e’ Basta Italian night every Tuesday. Look out for antipasti, salads, olive oils, freshly baked pizzas, lasagnes and pasta made to order with a selection of sauces and cheese.
Location: Media One Hotel
Contact: 04 4271000