Antonio Marras Ristorante
Each part of the design of the store was chosen by Antonio himself, from the recycled oak parquet flooring to the French Aubusson carpets to the floral wallpaper. Expect to pay Dh200 for a three-course meal. Find it at The Boulevard, City Walk 2; call 055 372 6843.
The family behind the Salvatore Ferragamo fashion brand recently opened Tuscan Bistro Il Borro at the new Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel. Named after the Il Borro estate in Tuscany, which is owned by the fashion family, the restaurant brings the taste of Tuscan cuisine to the UAE – by importing ingredients from the gardens of the Il Borro Relais and Chateaux estate in Tuscany to Dubai, four times a week.
Il Borro has a relaxed and modern atmosphere that encapsulates the fashion brand. The Ferragamo company is currently run by Salvatore’s son Ferruccio Ferragamo and his four siblings (Salvatore Ferragamo himself died in 1960 after founding to fashion brand almost 40 years before). The menu consists of antipasti sharing dishes, pizza, pasta and oven-baked dishes; executive chef Andrea Campani wanted to put a modern twist on classic recipes making sure they look as appealing as Ferragamo’s fashion creations. Expect to pay Dh400 for a three-course meal; call 04 275 5555.
Bulgari Il Cioccolato
Either dine in on the sweet treats with a tea or coffee in the café (complete with Bulgari interiors, and images of celebrities wearing Bulgari jewellery, naturally), or take your chocolates away to indulge at home or give as a gift. There’s also some interesting flavours to try including fig and balsamic vinegar, and lavender and salt. To mark the opening of the café earlier this year Bulgari produced a limited-edition chocolate called Bulgari Dates and Pistachio. Expect to pay Dh150 for a box. It’s at the indoor courtyard at City Walk 2; call 04 385 6179.
Armani/Dubai Caffé and Emporio Armani Caffé
The sister café Emporio Armani caffé now has two branches in the UAE. This more casual dining experience has a huge dessert menu, plus hot and cold savoury dishes designed by the Armani Group’s corporate chef in Milan. Traditional dishes get a modern twist. Of course, in true Armani style, presentation is everything, so each dish is a work of art, created with minimalistic colourful designs. Must-tries include the impressive selection of salads and the Italian sharing platters. Make sure you leave space for dessert – the fresh cakes and pastries are incredible. In true Italian style the restaurant recommends finishing your dish with a shot of espresso. Outlets are at the Galleria on Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi (02 676 6995) and Mall of the Emirates, Dubai (04 341 0591). Expect to pay Dh175 for a three-course meal.
Finish with the huge selection of Italian gelato and sorbet, then get ready to dance the night away as the restaurant turns into a nightclub late in the evening.
Also, The Jazz Room, a room located within the main club, has re-opened. The soundproof room with private bar is open to guests every Wednesday and Thursday. Fairmont Dubai, Shaikh Zayed Road, 04 332 9260.
GF Ferré Chocolate Bar
This café is inspired by the designs of late Italian fashion designer Gianfranco Ferré, known as the architect of fashion. This place is all about presentation which (unfortunately for us) means some of their dishes look just too good to eat (don’t worry, we still eat them!) The breakfasts here are hugely popular, but don’t miss out on creating your own chocolate fondue (from Dh55), where you can choose your favourite chocolate and the items to dip. First floor, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai; call 056 188 3849.
While the prices are surprisingly reasonable (around Dh80 for a main course), your credit card is sure to take a beating in the surrounding shoe stores including Gucci, Prada, Christian Louboutin and more. Call 04 501 6810.
None of the pizza bases here contain yeast, sugar or salt, and there are a number of dishes that are under 400 calories. Nonno claims to have ‘the world’s thinnest pizza’ at just 0.4cm, but the base still tastes delicious with its huge selection of menu toppings, which include fashionably named menu items: Fashion Week, Size Zero and Red Carpet pizzas, as well as dessert items such as The Make-up Artist and Hazelnut Chocolate Clutch. The quirky concept provides quite a unique twist (even if you are ultimately eating a pizza!). It’s located in Bay Avenue, Business Bay, and expect to pay Dh50 for a pizza. Call 800 696 6666.