Restaurant Review: Roberto's

17 May 2012

In the mood for Italian fare in a glam setting? Strap on your Ferragamos and head to DIFC for a modern spin on the classics

Address: DIFC Gate Village 01, Dubai
Tel: 04 386 0066

The decor is sleek and sophisticated, the clientele is decked to the nines and the wait staff attentive and informed. But the big question we had for Roberto’s – the swanky new Italian restaurant in DIFC – was would our meal be tiny and artisanal to match the waistlines of the female clientele, or would we get a hearty gourmet bang for our buck? Luckily for our stomachs, after three courses at Roberto’s, we were plenty full and making plans involving our treadmills for the following morning.

Designed in shades of muted grey and lavender and able to seat up to 200, the restaurant boasts two separate terraces, a non-smoking and smoking dining room, and a large bar area.
We chose to sit in the back and still managed to enjoy a view of the Burj Khalifa – but our eyes were on our plates most of the time! To start, we went for the golden fried calamari and artichokes which was nicely flash fried and packed with succulent squid. We also tucked into the buffalo mozzarella starter with ripe tomatoes drizzled in pink garlic balsamic vinaigrette and taggiasca olives. The cheese was creamy and fresh and very generously proportioned to the thick slices of tomato.
For mains, we chose a classic Italian dish of ossobucco and were very pleased with the super soft, no-knife-necessary cut of veal. Slow-braised and packed with flavour, it was paired with saffron risotto which complemented the rosemary and bay leaf spices in the meat. Pasta lovers won’t be disappointed with the classic plate of ravioli, prepared norcina-style and filled with porcini mushrooms, cream cheese, veal ragout and black truffle shavings.

While we were enjoying our desserts of ciccolato (a warm chocolate streusel cake with berries compote) and a frozen After Eight (a light chocolate and mint sorbet version of the famous bite-sized treat), we chatted with Roberto Rella, the restaurant’s namesake. Wearing sunglasses Bono-style, he revealed his favourite dishes, telling Ahlan!, “I’m very traditional – I love a good carpaccio with shaved parmesan and Roberto’s fettuccini with Canadian lobster. Also the spaghetti with scampi from New Zealand, veal Milanese, and veal tenderloin.” Next time, we’ll order Roberto-style!

On The Menu...

Granchio – Blue ocean crab cake with sea asparagus tempura Dhs80
Fritto – Golden fried calamari and artichokes Dhs78

Ossobucco – braised veal shank served with saffron risotto Dhs155
Fettuccine Roberto`s Dhs155

Tiramisu Dhs48
Frozen After Eight Dhs45