Madinat Jumeirah, Al Soufouh Road, +971 4 366 6125
If you want to mark a special occasion with fine dining, this is one place to visit in Dubai. Firstly, the Madinat Jumeirah never ceases to please, even if you are a local. The place oozes romantic luxury from every corner and you feel totally relaxed with the noise and traffic appearing miles away. Segreto is just the place to impress a significant other or a potential one, the restaurant is designed so that tables appear private split by lattice type dividers which look glam but not overstated. The food is spruced up authentic italian but using only the finest ingredients and you can really taste the difference. The service is ok, although we felt being a 5 star venue, it could've been better, but the interior and of course food made up for it. In the comfortable months opt to sit outside for pure decadence and end your night at the rooftop Centimetro Lounge for a nightcap.
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, +971 4 399 1111
Italian cuisine has to be one of the most frequented in Dubai with a wealth of restaurants to choose from. You will find a few that score highly in great outdoor views and secondary in food but BiCE is the place to be if you are a real Italian foodie. The interior is clean cut, sophisticated and mainly indoor, service is super and food is fantastic. The pastas will probably be one of the best you’ll ever eat and their beef and lobster carpaccios are simply melt in the mouth. Great Italian fare with genuinely good service.
Da Vinci's $$
Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai, Al Garhoud, +971 4 702 8888
This place scores for authentic italian comfort food with genuinely good service. If you happen to be in the Deira area and need an italian boost, go here. It's no a typical Dubai overly hyped restaurant, you will certainly feel comfortable here and families with kids are truly welcomed. The soups are lovely here, try the Porcini Mushroom. For mains, a selection of favourites are all on the menu as well as steaks and escalopes. The best thing about Da Vinci's is their great service and value for money. Great food, friendly service, lovely surroundings and easy on the wallet.
Jamie’s Italian $$-$$$
Marina Pavilion, Festival City, +971 4 232 9969
With so many Italian eateries to pick as an alternative, we’re opting for a new kid on the block. Ok, so Jamie may not be a born and bred Italian, but he is one talented chef and has mastered skills in this domineering cuisine type. With numerous branches already opened in the UK, the concept is fast becoming popular as a casual yet classy dining experience. Booking is not generally required unless you go in a large group reason being the place is huge. Maybe not ideal for a ‘popping the question’ date, but we have so many of ‘those’ kind of eateries, we wanted to refer you to something different and quirky. Foodwise, this is no nonsense hearty Italian grub, portions are great and ingredients do taste authentic and earthy. You can opt for pastas such as the meatball or arrabiata or go for a salmon steak or roast beef, the choice is varied but keeps to an Italian concept albeit straying off ‘Jamie style’. Service is great but beware of ‘Jamieland’ in every corner of the restaurant, if you hate him, stay away.