Roberto’s is a fine dining Italian restaurant located in the invariably buzzing Financial Centre in Dubai. Divided into three concepts, you can choose to dine or drink at Roberto’s main dining room, the lounge or the intimate private terrace.
I had the chance to visit on Monday evening where they are having the one night only “Dine with Bartolini Venetian Carnival”. Basically, two Michelin starred Chef Enrico Bartolini came back to Dubai to present a mix of traditional and contemporary Venetian dishes. He collaborated with Roberto’s Dubai’s Executive Chef Andrea and they presented Venetian specialties and contemporary creations on a 4-course menu, which was set to celebrate the “City of Masks” in true Roberto’s style.
Since it was my first time to visit the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was packed considering that the place was massive. The view from our table was amazing where you can see the stunning Burj Khalifa and a bit of the Dubai skyline.
So let me take you on a journey to Venice through the food prepared by Chef Enrico and for a bit of a spoiler, it was great.
We started with the Stuzzichini that included the Pane di Arlecchino, Ostriche Sulla Roccia, and Raviolo fritto. All of these are very very good and tasty, the presentation is so elaborate but the keyword is quality over quantity. The food was so tasty that you have to savor the flavors and revel in all that goodness in anticipation of what’s coming next.
Next up was the antipasto which was Focaccia finissima ripen di radicchio tartivo, tartufo nero e crescenza or in much simpler terms, focaccia bread stuffed with radicchio tardivo, black truffle, and crescent cheese. This one is prepared beside your table so you can see how they prepare the truffle and how fresh the bread is. It’s best paired with a Chardonnay Barocco and as soon as I’ve tried it, the more I was excited to try what’s next on the menu.
The first main course was the Risotto in savor Veneziano or in other words, squid ink risotto. Again, parts of it were prepared as they were served on your table and it had a very distinct taste that makes you just want more. The only downside is that you’ll have black lips after which we easily washed down with a Santa Christina Chardonnay.
The second main course was the Lenticchie, calamaretti e noccoile in tech di mare or baby squid and Castellucio lentil stew with hazelnuts and artichoke. This was probably my favorite because they cooked the squid in a way that it’s very easy to chew and not rubbery at all.
We finished our meal with the dessert called smoked pumpkin soup with chocolate and pistachio. If you’re thinking soup as dessert, you’re wrong because it’s actually not a soup but more of like a chocolate that tasted like pumpkin. It was very creative, to be honest and I really loved it.
There was also the petit four which had this ingenious mask shaped chocolate. It was what I expected it to be and was the perfect way to end a beautifully prepared meal.
All in all, it was a great evening. I love the hospitality, all the staff knew exactly what they were doing and they did it with a smile all the time. I love the food, of course (although I wish there could have been more 😜) and I love the background music because it’s soothing but not overpowering as well.
I also love the crowd and the views and the buzzing sound from everyone and it’s so nice to see that a place like this is thriving despite all the news that restaurants are closing down front, left and center. I’m sure Roberto’s will flourish in the years to come because I believe they have perfected the art of great food with a cozy ambiance and incredible hospitality.