Tag Archives: Dinner Date

Roberto’s

Roberto's
A photo journal of dinner at Roberto's with my FIODTuesdays dinner guests: Powered by the one and only Restronaut  There's no doubt the the Roberto's commands one of the best atmospheres and settings in Dubai. Mind you they don't serve the city's best food yet they are fully booked on a daily basis. Does that say something about the demands of the restaurant crowd in Dubai.  A great place to eat and be seen rather than focus on food. Guilty I am for falling into that category, whenever Roberto's is proposed for drinks or dinner I always get excited and respond with I'm in! Would they be as successful in Beirut, Paris or New York? Either way kudos to them, I know their doing something right! For a full Fork It Over Dubai review of Roberto's check out the link. Love, Tala

Prime 68

Prime 68
For the past couple of years, driving up and down Sheikh Zayed Road, everyone has commented, either positivity or negatively about the two extremely tall towers that have now become the new JW Marquis Hotel in Business Bay. Driving up to the hotel one of my dinner guests comments that it feels exactly the same as the first time he had drove through the Marina way back when. A new road, a new area and a new boundary that has been set. Its traffic lights now relatively empty, but rest assured in a span a few short months, the “build it and they will come” mantra of Dubai will take into effect. Pressing the 68th floor we shoot up into the sky at a leisurely speed. Knowing that JW Steakhouse, an institution in the Dubai steakhouse scene, is also part of the Marriot family, my expectations start to rise with every floor that we pass. Walking into the restaurant the first thing that strikes you is how bright and lit the steakhouse is.  Proudly proclaiming that dark steakhouses are a thing of the past, Prime 68 boasts white lacquered finishing with only a touch of black that plays on its 50s theme. As a group of 9 dinner guests, we pass the romantic two seat-er booths, which have mirrored ceilings mind you, to the open space next to the glassed kitchen. Taking our seats, we are handed horizontal menus that open upwards rather than to the side, which I find interesting, but the noteworthy part is that yes its just one beautiful concise page. Weary about the service based on a review that popped up right after Prime 68's opening, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there have been some improvements. Our starters arrive and my spoon splashes into the luxurious lobster bisque I ordered. A warm creamy creation with a kiss of the sea. Recovering from the initial enchantment of the dish, my spoon fishes for pieces of lobster to surface only to be successful twice. Though some lobster bisques do not require you to add lobster meat to them, my dinner guest and I agreed, if you going to add meat, be generous with it. Looking at the very unassuming crab cake, its full-on ode to the nude color makes me take a bite in passing, only to look back startled and with a smile as if it snapped three times in my face (in the form of a triangle) telling me “I better recognize”. The fresh chunky meat paired with a spicy sauce is one of the best I’ve had. A taste of the scallops with pomegranate seeds is lovely. My dinner guest did comment he would have preferred the larger sized scallops to the mini ones offered. The star of the show arrives, the steak, and my usual, perceived by some as boring although perfect to me, cut of fillet is cooked to medium as requested. As with any circumstance, the start of the show is nothing without his or her supporting actors, the sides, oh glorious sides. Wild mushrooms, steakhouse fries, buttery mash, grilled asparagus, lobster mac and cheese, truffle gratin, onion straw and sweet potato toped with marshmallows. Dare I say, their sides may rival that of The Exchange Grill’s, my one and only steakhouse true love. The nominations for the best supporting actors go to, the crispy airy onion straws, the gooey rich lobster mac and cheese and the interesting sweet potato toped with caramelized marshmallows. All winners in my books. And for desserts cheesecake and bread pudding paired with a delicious dessert wine. After pairing the two, I vow to never have dessert without a dessert wine in hand. Taking bite of the cheesecake, I experience the first fumble of the night. Grasping for flavor I take another bite followed by another to no avail.  Beautifully presented the cheesecake whole-heartedly tries to deliver, but forgetting her lines, calls out ‘Line’ only to and empty back stage. Taking a sip of my dessert wine to forget the past and start a new, I begin with the bread pudding topped with vanilla ice cream. A combination of pudding, French toast and vanilla, it’s a type of dessert that makes you sit back and say, “Mmm that’s good!” I am going to put Prime 68 in my Top 5 steakhouses in Dubai. I still haven’t settled on the order but it’s up there. I would request that they dim the lights ever so slightly and select some interesting music just to ring in a dinner mood. At AED 500 per head (including drinks) though an expensive bill, is still competitive based on what is on the market, the quality and taste of food that was delivered.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION JW Marquis OPENING HRS. 6 pm to Midnight CUISINE Steakhouse PRICE PER COUPLE AED 1,100 TELEPHONE # 04 414 3000 WEBSITE JW
THE FORK-O-METER
Ur New Steakhouse Spot
     

Roberto’s DIFC

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Stepping into Roberto's Fork It Over Dubai can feel the energy of the restaurant emanating from all directions. Well dressed patrons elbow to elbow on closely positioned white draped tables, the buzz of something new in the air and the aroma of Italian cuisine. Fork It Over Dubai: This is exactly where I want to be this evening.  Spotted, Foodiva in a beautiful red dress and Fork It Over Dubai in a beige chiffon number, same time, same place. For tonight is not going to be an ordinary review, no, but a first for Dubai - a collaboration of the greats. Our eyes meet, we greet each other with a gentle nod and proceed to our table. Fork It Over Dubai: (Glancing at Foodiva): Let's begin... Foodiva: I already have. ........ FooDiva: Wow! It’s buzzing in here, packed...like La Petite Maison. A good mix of customers. Love it. Mind you, not too keen on our table sandwiched between other diners....those corner banquettes are so much more prized [sigh]. Guess that puts play to in your face photography ce soir – dodgy i-phone here we come! Complimentary Aperol in hand [Disclosure: FooDiva was recognised on arrival], a new Italian aperitif for us both – similar but not as bitter as Campari with the acid orange cocktail chosen to match Roberto’s colour scheme we’re told - we perused the menu... FooDiva: Menu’s huge. I must admit I couldn’t resist and skimmed through it online earlier. Fork It Over Dubai: True it is huge. Though I'm a girl who likes her options, when it comes to menus, I prefer them tight and concise. After much ‘what are you thinking’ banter, neighbouring food envy and our helpful waiter’s recommendations, we placed our order, and our starters rocked up pretty pronto. FooDiva: That was quick! No it’s OK [to waiter] we can serve ourselves. Fork It Over Dubai: I would expect nothing less when they know FooDiva is in the house! A signature dish of ocean crab cake, sea asparagus tempura & light horseradish mayonnaise. FooDiva: Looks strikingly similar to Bice’s crab cake, but a smaller portion I think. Mmmm...crab’s definitely fresh and sweet, but the breadcrumb coating is a tad overcooked. I could nibble on the tempura though dipped in the mayo all night long. Fork It Over Dubai: It may have been a tad over cooked, but I am enjoying the contrasting textures between the crispy crust and the soft crab meat within. I would although ask for a more generous serving of sauce to last me throughout the whole crab cake.  Pan-seared duck foie gras, glazed pear in port wine balsamic & crispy topinambour. FooDiva: Beautifully seared and plump. Brioche freshly toasted. So light. Love, love, love. Fork It Over Dubai: Mmm like butter in my mouth and enjoying my ever so perfume-y Negroni recommended by my personal alcohol advisor.  Sicilian red shrimps, asparagus & saffron risotto. FooDiva: Loving my dirty martini and the fresh plump green olive touch. Shrimp is sweet, juicy and tender. I know we shared a portion but why just one each? Could have done with more asparagus spears too especially as they’re still in season in Europe. Perfectly al dente risotto though. Fork It Over Dubai: The best part of this dish for me is the different textures between the soft risotto and the almost crunchy shrimp. So I need more shrimp - Stat! Branzino - salt-crusted sea bass (serves two) with grilled vegetables and filleted at our table. We also ordered three sides - green asparagus in lemon oil, sautéed garlic broccoli and crispy golden potato wedges. FooDiva: Gosh it comes with vegetables [menu did in fact stipulate in teeny font]. Naughty - they should have told us not to order sides. Sea bass is so flakily fresh. The roasted vegetables [courgettes, fennel, tomatoes] are full of flavour. Love the crunchy broccoli. Asparagus a little bland in contrast with the roasted veggies. But oh no the wedges are way too under cooked and certainly not ‘crispy and golden.’ Explaining this to the waiter who muttered something about this particular brand of Aussie potato? Doesn’t ring true with me...but lo and behold, the Italian chef ushers out a new serving of potatoes which were indeed well cooked, crispy and golden. Fork It Over Dubai: Sides dishes to me, are like perfect accessories that bring a whole outfit together. Judging from these sides, my outfit would be on the "What not to wear" section of a fashion magazine. But Foodiva I agree with you, the sea bass is so far the star of my meal. Juicy, white, ever so tender fish with roasted vegetables similar to beautiful jewels as sides. Now thats an outfit I'd like to wear! Signature dessert of tiramisu.  Curry madras marshmallow, coconut ice cream, mint-sugar chocolate and bananas. FooDiva: Struggling to pick a dessert here, nothing really shouts out to me. How about the curry marshmallow? You’re the dessert queen though! Fork It Over Dubai: Alright, since you picked something contemporary, lets go for something traditional  - tiramisu it is.  FooDiva: The unusual combo of flavours intrigues me but they don’t work and it looks a mess. It’s impossible to even describe. Out of place for an Italian restaurant whose menu stays true to Italian influences – would have worked better in a high-end Indian. I wish I’d chosen the cheese platter instead - some gorgeous Italian gorgonzola and a chunk of parmesan wouldn’t go amiss! Fork It Over Dubai: Honestly the first thing that strikes me about the dessert before we even tasted it, was how fussy it was. The different colors, shapes and garnishes seems to contrast everything that is simple and Italian. The curry flavor was out of left field considering that everything up to this point was strictly Italian - not a fan. The presentation of the tiramisu is spot on and in one word - simple which is what I enjoy.  FooDiva: Service whilst hugely welcoming is a little too attentive, but then again they’ve figured out we’re reviewing. Almost too prompt, a little more time between courses wouldn’t go amiss. Looks like other tables are getting the right attention though. Fork It Over Dubai: How much is too much is tricky. But at the end of the day I would rather have an over attentive man, I mean waiter, than one who doesn't have the time of day for me.  As two Cinderellas walk out near midnight... FooDiva: Still buzzing in here – amazing. And by the looks of it mostly two seatings. It’s just a shame the lounge area [before you enter the main restaurant and bar] is dead. But we’re told that will open up with the terrace (overlooking Burj Khalifa) come winter time. Fork It Over Dubai: Can't wait for that.  The team at Roberto’s handed us a comment card, so we thought we’d share the completed form with you here instead. The overall quality of food and attention to service is very evident at Roberto's. The strongest pull back factor that Roberto's has is its atmosphere, its a place where you can really feel the vibe and electricity of the Dubai city life. I know Roberto's will have a bright future in the Dubai restaurant scene. Check out Foodiva's Review of Roberto's HERE!
THE DETAILS
LOCATION DIFC OPENING HRS. 12 - 3pm, 7 - 11:30pm CUISINE Italian PRICE PER COUPLE AED 1,000 TELEPHONE # 04 3860066 WEBSITE http://www.robertos.ae/
THE FORK-O-METER
A Craving Quencher Restaurant
     

La Petite Maison

La Petite
Stepping into La Petite Maison my party of two gorgeous girls and I are instantaneously transported to up town Paris. From the interior, the paintings on the wall, the oversized flower vase to the French restaurant manager sporting his oh-so French moustache – aka a black line over his lip. At the center of our table, instead of a candle or a flower, three plump, ripe tomatoes and a lemon – interesting change. As we take our orders from our two paged concise menus, I can’t help but notice the frenzy of liveliness, conversation, buzz and excitement that all come together and make up one of the best restaurant atmospheres that I have seen in Dubai. Our starters of beef carpaccio and warm prawns in olive oil and basil arrive. The beef carpaccio is topped with a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper. Unfortunately that’s all I can seem to taste - the toppings rather than the beef itself. Slightly disappointed, I turn to my prawn dish hopping to be tastily reimbursed – and I am. True it’s a fairly simple dish, but I enjoy elegantly simple over anything complicated. The combination of the basil and prawns blossome my appetite like it is the begging of spring. A complementary string bean salad soon follows, made up of el dente string beans, an oil based dressing and slices of tomato and foie gras. True foie gras is made up of baby duck liver, a comment one of my dinner dates make, but all I can think is Oh Baby it tastes to good to care.   Next come our mains of lamb cutlets, trudo fish and truffle based rigatoni pasta. Trying scoop up my portion of fish proves to be mission impossible. Rather than being a fillet of tender white meat it was a fillet of hard, spiky, chunky bones. Its taste is lost in the bad aura of its lack of ease of consumption. The lamb cutlets on the other hand are seasoned, cooked and presented to perfection. The mustard based sauce on the side is an excellent compliment. And finally, the best for last, the heaven on a place, the whatever else sayings you can think of were coined just for the rigatoni pasta dish. The dish is composed of lusciously creamy white sauce, el dente fresh rigatoni pasta and wait for it… fresh shavings of real truffles. I’m a complete and utter sucker for anything truffle based. Each bite dances its way around my mouth and all the way down my throat until I can’t wait but put another bite in my mouth. Our apple tart is crisp and beautifully presented. The crème caramel has the perfect layer of crispy, caramelized sugar coating the vanilla infused, supple custard below. And finally our French toast - not just any toast you’d have for breakfast but one fit for royalty. It oozes luxurious ingredients, golden bread, real butter, sugar and cinnamon. Each bite was as rich as a bite of steak but as light as a macaroon. La Petite Maison is based on a sharing concept and with exceptionally small portions, so sharing more and ordering more is a must. I think to myself what an ideal restaurant for my more than abundant male friends who have an undying fear of commitment. An environment that encourages you to dabble a bite from here taste a bite form there and never commit to one dish. I always rate the success of a restaurant on the propensity as to which I recommend it to others. With La Petite Maison I felt I was recommending it left, right and center. When in La Petite Maison your orders should include the warm prawns in olive oil, the truffle pasta and the French toast – the remaining dishes are your choice.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION: DIFC OPENING HRS: Sun Thurs 7 - 11 CUISINE: French PRICE PER COUPLE: AED 700 TELEPHONE # type  04 439 0505  
THE FORK-O-METER
A Love At First Site Restaurant