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Food & Drink

10 of the best Italian restaurants in Dubai

Wed, January 27, 2021

There are plenty of restaurants in Dubai delivering world-class Italian cuisine and earning praise from diners, but we've selected the ones that consistently come out on top.

There are plenty of restaurants in Dubai delivering world-class Italian cuisine and earning praise from diners, but we've selected the ones that consistently come out on top.

1

Il Borro

il-borro-tuscan-bistro-dubai

Taste the best of Tuscany in Dubai, only at Il Borro. The award-winning restaurant is the brainchild of Salvatore Ferragamo's son, Ferrucio Ferragamo, who opened the restaurant in Dubai and instantly attracted the city's gourmands.

While the menu elevates Italian fine dining to levels that impress, you can still notice authenticity in every bite thanks to homemade recipes that celebrate organic produce. Book a table at the restaurant's airy terrace in winter and let the staff recommend their favourites, or simply choose the tried and tested classic Italian ossobuco that features a slow-braised veal shank served with creamy mash.

2

Ronda Locatelli

Ronda Locatelli Dubai

Expect the finest flavours by celebrity chef Giorgio Locatelli at this Italian eatery. Located at Atlantis, The Palm, Ronda Locatelli reinvents the classics to exceptional standards. While the setting seems rather refined, the menu has the feel of a homey family-run pizzeria with familiar dishes including Napoli pizza and ravioli di pollo for mains, and creamy tiramisu for dessert.

As one of the longest lasting Italian eateries in Dubai, Ronda Locatelli has built a name for itself and is a great spot for those who love good food done very, very well. Backed by great views, this place is ideal for every meal, which is why it's a popular choice for both the city's residents and hungry visitors.

3

Bussola

Bussola Dubai

A favourite during the cooler winter months, Bussola features three restaurant concepts in one – the ground floor restaurant for a traditional fine dining experience, an upstairs rooftop that showcases the tastiest wood-fired pizzas in town and Bussola Mare for a luxury beachside treat. From here, you can also enjoy prime sunset views of Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah in the distance.

The menu is ode to Sicilian-influenced fare with plenty to savour for diners of all ages – try the raviolini del plin al ripieni di vitello con fondo di pollo e Parmigiano (handmade ravioli filled with veal and cheese) or the signature La Bussola traditional pizza.

4

Scalini

If you're looking to impress, Scalini at the Four Seasons Resort on Jumeirah Beach Road is an excellent dining choice. The restaurant is proud to offer a menu filled with time-honoured recipes, many of which can be traced back to old culinary books from Italy – the picattina al limone (escalopes of veal in lemon sauce) and the spaghetti all'Astice (signature spaghetti with lobster) are both divine.

The food here is exceptional, but so is the service. The waitstaff are friendly and knowledgeable, making every dinner here all the more special. Whether you take a seat inside or on the outdoor terrace, you'll appreciate the finer details that have gone into the designing the airy space.

5

Matto

There's something effortlessly charming about Matto. Located in Business Bay's Oberoi hotel, the service is as welcoming as a cosy Italian trattoria while the setting delights with an egdy vibe and bright murals. Named after the Italian word for ‘crazy’, Matto defies expectations with dishes such as artichoke cake with pecorino cream cheese, roasted octopus with shallot-accented potatoes and cannoli stuffed with sweet ricotta, dark chocolate and pistachios.

With a lively vibe that attracts the city's trendsetters, several themed specials and dining deals available all through the week, you'd be wise to book well in advance. You're in for a treat!

6

Gia

Located in The Dubai Mall it may be, but Gia is a far cry from food court dining. Sitting right next to the Burberry store in the mall’s high-end Fashion Avenue section (with a terrace offering a view over The Dubai Fountain), Gia’s food is as prestigious as its position suggests. Focusing on Tuscan cuisine, highlights from the menu include the tagliolini al tartufo (truffle pasta) as well as the tagliata di wagyu, featuring the famous Japanese-style marbled steak. Gia’s chefs are not afraid to experiment, also offering regular special menus, such as Emirati-Italian fusion food starring rigatoni biryani, camel lasagna and more.

The restaurant’s service is widely praised, particularly the skill of staff preparing drinks from Gia’s extensive selection, using show-stopping tricks such as dry ice for inimitable flair.

7

Andiamo!

Andiamo! in the Grand Hyatt hotel is very much a classic Italian restaurant, complete with a Vespa moped, vibrant cityscapes on the walls, and an open-plan kitchen. The menu is centred around classic Italian dishes and crowd-pleasing favourites, including wood-fired pizzas, but with plenty of room for innovation. This makes Andiamo ideal for family meals, as plenty of insiders note – across the menu, there will be something for everyone. Many also praise the extensive and delicious dessert selection, particularly the cannoli and the ever-popular tiramisu.

Service is regarded as excellent, with Andiamo’s staff more than happy to make recommendations, or offer personalised touches for diners celebrating a special occasion – usually in the form of an elaborately-decorated dessert.

8

Leonardo

Simplicity is the watchword at Leonardo, located in the Stella Di Mare hotel in Dubai Marina. The restaurant’s chefs focus on the basics, with fresh ingredients prepared as skilfully as possible, without gimmicks or frills – but definitely with flair, as many dishes are given their final touches at the table before being served.

Standout dishes include the beef carpaccio, tuna tartare in gazpacho, and the homemade gnocchi, among many others. Pasta is also made on the premises, and drinks are mixed at the table – putting the focus firmly on the skills of Leonardo’s staff, both in the kitchen and out front. Along with the attentive service, guests single out the ambience of the restaurant, which is decorated with sketches and models of Leonardo da Vinci’s creations, including his famous wings as a ceiling.

9

Solo

Based in Raffles Dubai, Solo is consistently one of the best-reviewed Italian restaurants in the city. Taking pride in being 'homegrown' – not a branch of an international chain – Solo focuses on providing authentic regional Italian cuisine, created with locally-sourced or seasonal Italian ingredients, and served with passion. Again and again reviewers praise the service of Solo’s extremely dedicated and knowledgeable staff, who are on hand to offer recommendations and advice.

Solo’s fresh ingredients shine through in dishes such as the seafood risotto, the burrata with basil sponge, and the homemade ice cream. The restaurant is also famous for its innovative drinks, many of which are made right at the table.

10

Vivaldi

The most striking thing about Vivaldi is the view: set above Dubai Creek in the Sheraton Dubai Creek hotel, the restaurant’s terrace and extensive windows give a stunning view over Dubai’s waterway, as well as to the city’s famous skyline, including the Burj Khalifa. The interior design keeps the focus on the setting, with an elegant, minimalist theme.

When it comes to the food, the focus is on high quality dishes, beautifully presented. The mozzarella tasting plate is a highlight, as is the seafood risotto according to many guests. Desserts are described as abundant, and delicious. Vivaldi is one of the few venues in Dubai offering an evening 'brunch' (in the Dubai sense of a high-end buffet) on Fridays, with a mixture of buffet items and freshly prepared dishes. Between the excellent service and exceptional views, it’s easy to see Vivaldi’s appeal.

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