Roberto's remains one of Dubai's most beloved homegrown restaurant brands and is Dubai International Financial Centre's (DIFC) staple Italian restaurant and lounge.
This swanky venue is a second home to many of the people who work within DIFC. Popular for lunch, dinner and after-work drinks, with its earthy undertone, rich wood floors, purple and orange accents and real trees growing inside its easy to see why the restaurant is such a hit, you'll feel welcome and at home here from the moment you cross the threshold. We certainly did!
We arrived at 7pm, the DIFC's after-work crowd already filling up the bar. Guests are spoilt for seating options as Roberto's has a casual dining area, al fresco dining on the terrace with views of the city, a fine dining area complete with white linens and a relaxed piano lounge perfect for post-work drinks and people watching. Be sure to specify where you would like to sit when you book a table.
We started off at the bar with a Roberto's Aperol Spritz aperitif in hand (when in Rome). This delicious drink served over ice in a wine glass has a citrusy, sweet taste that's utterly refreshing — perfect for cooling off from Dubai's incessant heat.
Once we settled into the fine dining section, Mohamed, our friendly waiter suggested that we tell him our food desires instead of reading the menu. Going along with this game, I said I was in the mood for beef tartar. With a surprised look, Mohamed suggested the Chef's selection of five crudi (raw) dishes including sea bass carpaccio with shallot sauce & crunchy salad, Sicilian cuttlefish tagliatelle with nori seaweed pesto & puffed quinoa, tuna tartar, Mediterranean scampi tail with citrus, and Sicilian red shrimp tail with lime and maldon salt as beef tartar is not on the menu. As my date and I agreed that this dish would be suitable for sharing, Mohamed then convinced us to also try Roberto's signature crispy dough base pizza, topped with beef carpaccio, wild rocket, parmesan & black truffle shavings. Once he set off we delved into the menu to find what Secondi dishes ticked our fancy.
With seven Pesci (seafood) and 8 Carni (meat) menu items to choose from, I opted for the Wagyu beef tenderloin, and for my date the citrus marinated & roasted black cod and polenta taragna.
Cooked to perfection, the medium rare Wagyu and black cod wasn't overpoweringly sweet and melted like butter in my mouth. To finish off the evening we shared a mouthwatering chocolate fondant with raspberry lemon thyme sorbet & yuzu jelly. The jelly had a bitter taste that I wasn't expecting, however complemented the richness of the chocolate perfectly.
What you can expect from Roberto's is a sexy, vibrant atmosphere, great service and a well prepared, high quality menu of Italian favourites.
They've recently launched a Friday Italian brunch concept called Pranzo Italiano. Guests can expect a decadent seafood tower brought to their table upon arrival, with only the finest shellfish. The brunch menu includes a range of sharing appetizers, including Carpaccio di Manzo, Burratina, Calamari Lasagne Al Forno, Grigliata di Pesce or di Carne and Lobster Thermidor among many other delicious and comforting options. The raw seafood bar with unlimited live oysters is not to be missed.
The Pranzo Italiano brunch is AED350 per person including all soft drinks and fresh juice, AED425 with signature cocktails and unlimited wine and AED495 with signature cocktails, unlimited wines and Ferrari Sparkling wine.
Brunch is available 12:30pm - 4:30pm. Children under 6 dine free. Children aged 6 – 12 Kids menu is available