Of late, Dubai has become a veritable warren of top notch Italian restaurants. Among them is Le Meridien’s Casa Mia, which marked its 20th anniversary on November 13. When it comes to the pleasures of authentic Italian dining, I reckon it is truly a cut above the rest.
The service is impeccable without being intrusive and the food is exceptionally good.
From the moment I entered this stylist eatery in the hotel’s village terrace, we knew it would be a memorable experience.
Executive chef Maurizio Lazzarin and guest master chef Graziano Prest of Michelin star restaurant Tivoli let their hands do the talking as they took me to an unforgettable gastronomic journey.
From the antipasti section, they got me thin yellow tuna fin slices topped with lime dressing and oriental salad (Dh80) and a fried egg sitting on a spinach and cheese fondue bed with the much sought after white truffles on the side (Dh160).
Next up was a Gnocchi de patate rosolati con seppie e bottarga roa (Dh100), a perfectly pan fried pasta dish with cuttlefish and Bottarga roe, a salted, cured fish roe that originates from Sardinia and Sicily and is famously known as a poor man’s caviar. The gnocchi (pronounced N’YAW-kee) are essentially potato dumplings. Not exclusive to Italy, they have long history in classic European cuisine and make for good pasta because of their light, pillowy texture. I quite liked it. A confit duck leg (Dh160) topped with a sprig of rosemary was also wolfed with equal relish.
I rounded the meal with Dessert Dolomiti (Dh45) a mound of white chocolate mousse with vertically mounted slices of meringue to recreate Alps mountains, pistachio for the grass and cocoa for the soil, all sprinkled with berries and flowers. Casa Mia has both indoor and outdoor seating options, but now that the weather is just about perfect for al fresco dining we suggest you take advantage out the restaurant’ outdoor patio area. And yes, make reservations in advance to avoid disappointments.
Dinner for two: Dh450 approximately
Location: Village Terrace, Le Meridien Airport Road, Garhoud
Call: 04-217 0000
We recommend: Deep-fried egg in corn crust, Potato gnocchi with cuttlefish