When Roberto’s opened back in 2012, it quickly garnered a reputation as the ‘It’ spot to dine in Dubai – no easy feat when you’re nestled among the likes of Zuma and La Petite Maison in DIFC’s Gate Village. Having closed its doors over the summer for some intensive renovation work, lovers of classic Italian food can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the quintessential fine-dining hangout has re-opened with a brand-new look. And we headed down to check it out – all in the name of research, of course.
Let’s start with the basics – the new interior highlights a refurbished and expanded lounge, two sleek bars, and an expansive terrace that boasts incredible views of the stunning Dubai skyline. When we arrived at 8pm on a Tuesday, DIFC’s after-work crowd was happily filling up the restaurant and there was a relaxed yet elegant buzz that made us feel instantly at home.
Orders were made based on food envy inspired by our neighbours at the next table, and our helpful waiter’s recommendations, but before we dived into our starters, a selection of exotic-looking breads and olive-based dips were served to the table. These were followed by our choices of oven-baked aubergine with tomato sauce and mozzarella, seafood salad and burrata. The former was a subtle yet delicious dish complemented with tangy marinara sauce and tasty cheese, while the burrata was just as creamy and dreamy as you would expect from expert Italian chefs. The seafood salad – which comprised a melody of Canadian lobster, sea scallops, red shrimps, black mussels, cuttlefish, shrimps, and octopus – will seriously hit the spot for all the seafood lovers out there.
The chef’s special arrived for the main course and included a sharing platter of homemade tortelli filled with spinach and ricotta, along with a wild forest and portobello mushroom risotto with shaved black truffle.
The tortelli was the pièce de resistance, served in light cream sauce and black truffle brunoise – dare we say it, our favourite pasta dish of the year. The risotto, meanwhile, came generously topped with mushrooms and doused in a creamy sauce.
Our feast was washed down with expertly paired grape, but diners can also choose from some delicious drink combinations crafted by Roberto’s mixologists. And a new raw bar will expand the restaurant’s seafood offering with a selection of freshly caught underwater delicacies.
Be sure to save some room for dessert, because the Marascotta – Maraschino panna cotta with homemade strawberry sorbet and berries – will be sure to knock your socks off. Thank you, Roberto’s – we will be back! Oh, and welcome back.
INFO: Roberto’s, Buidling 1, Gate 1 DIFC, robertos.ae