When you arrive at The Artisan, you’re greeting by a door surrounded by undergrowth and Polaroids of happy diners.
We were too hungry to stop for pics, but as it turned out we needn’t have rushed, as the restaurant wasn’t busy.
Summertime in Dubai and the living is – quiet, especially in the financial hub of DIFC. This seasonal slowdown means we have even more attention from the smartly dressed staff at The Artisan by Enotecha Pinchiorri.
This low-lit restaurant is the Dubai version of the three Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, Italy. So how well does the concept travel? OK, spoiler – we think this is some of the nicest Italian food we’ve eaten in Dubai. It’s high-end, with prices to match, but pitch perfect if you want to treat yourself or anyone else.
We start from the antipasti leggeri menu of smaller dishes, with a cherry tomato and olive-topped pizza (AED 50). The dough was crunchy and feathery light – a promising start to our feast. We pair this with a prawn and burrata carpaccio (AED 85) from the more substantial antipasti selection. Here the marinated shellfish contrast sublimely against the buttery cheese.
Italians have a traditional saying “the appetite comes while you are eating” and The Artisan structures its menu to reflect this, with staggered courses in manageable portion sizes.
However, you’re free to pick and mix as you choose and our carb craving lead us to order tagliolini pasta veal ossobuco, as recommended by our waiter. This Milanese speciality from northern Italy combines ribbons of homemade egg pasta with succulent, slow-cooked bone marrow (AED 75). Don’t be deceived by the serving – we are full by the time we finish. Our menu mix-up continues as from the secondi, or second plate menu, we try salmone tagliata (AED 115). Slathered in a potato leek cream, tje marinated organic salmon is plump and juicy.
Carb overload continues with our contorni or side dish – roasted rosemary sweet potatoes (AED 19) and Parmesan mashed potato (AED 22). Can you ever have too many potatoes? Not when they’re mashed into a light froth, or baked to crispy perfection.
Dessert offerings at The Artisan change daily and our visit coincides with apple pie (AED 40). Served with ice-cream, it is a little dry and lacks the wow factor of the rest of our meal. Coming to the rescue is a trembling bowl of panna cotta (AED 40), dotted with apricot sauce and crisp little amaretti biscuits. Shavings of tonka beans lend a flowery smoke to our dreamy blancmange.
We leave The Artisan completely content, and find time to stop for that all important photo by the foliage.
The Artisan by Enotecha Pinchiorri, Level P5, Burj Daman, DIFC. 12pm-11.30pm (closed Fridays). 04 338 8133. Dubai Week dines anonymously unless otherwise stated.