Review: Roberto celebrates ten years in Dubai
Even before I stepped into the extraordinary Roberto, I saw breathtaking Burj Khalifa views that never went out of style. Dim, ambient lighting, sociable servers, upbeat music and flamboyant decor take over the surrounding space as you pass through the impressive homegrown DIFC dining and lifestyle destination.
This modern Italian restaurant is one of the unique dining concepts originating in Dubai that has gone international successfully. But the brand isn’t resting. Ten years later, there are plans to grow in the Middle East and expand into Asia. Roberto’s brand ambassador and co-founder, Mustafa Turgul, has been at the heart of the brand’s development since the beginning; together with the Roberto’s team, they create the Roberto’s experience, which is as much a lifestyle or fashion statement as it is a dining or leisure experience.
Speaking of culinary experiences, you can choose from a curated selection of food by award-winning Group Executive Chef Francesco Guarracino and Chef Danilo Valla, who collaborate with renowned 9-Michelin-starred culinary master Enrico Bartolini on each new menu.
The DIFC environment is modern and elegant with lounge, open plan kitchen, indoor and outdoor seating and two separate terraces with stunning views of Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai skyline. Not only that, but Roberto’s also offers home dining, home delivery and their recently launched ‘Roberto’s at Sea’ experience – a luxurious dining experience at sea aboard a 58ft yacht.
This March-April, Roberto’s has numerous celebrations to mark its decade (details below), including a special 10th anniversary menu I had the chance to try, and I can confidently say that if you don’t, you’re missing out.
We sat on Roberto’s Cortina patio, an intimate outdoor space for a comfortable tête-à-tête. A three-piece band entertained the evening and sipped from the restaurant’s famous grape list to set the mood for a sumptuous feast.
Chef Danilo showed each dish from the anniversary menu, walking us through the ingredients, flavor emulsions, and finally the artwork on our plates.
First up are the single-serving, bite-sized hors d’œuvres, which include Panino al vapore e caviale (exquisite steam bread, oscietra caviar, and sour cream), as sinful as it sounds. Cipolla mango e foie gras (foie gras mousse, mango and crispy onion), slightly chewy with a silky sweet umami; and Riso croccante al curry e polvere de finocchietto (puffed curry rice, fennel seed powder and grapefruit) ).
The rest time between each dish ensures that there is plenty of room for each dish.
Appetizers come in the form of Tonno affettato, thinly sliced yellowfin tuna with a smoky mayo in the center, complementing soft fish, colorful tomatoes, salsa, tapioca puffs and kaffir limes. And Roberto’s award-winning Polpo, consisting of slow-cooked grilled octopus, artichokes and chili sauce.
We were told that Polpo was the first course that chefs Francesco and Enrico cooked together. When tasting a piece, I see why it could easily be considered a culinary masterpiece. Expect a bite of juicy octopus with a slightly crispy skin, and the creamy sauce simply brings the dish together to produce a sublime seafood character.
Seafood at Roberto’s is valued and, like everything on the menu, it’s caught from the frigid waters between the Canary Islands and southern Spain. And delivered to the restaurant in no more than 48 hours.
Two types of pasta followed, the ravioli that describes Italy in the dish, featuring ravioli stuffed with burrata and pappa al pomodoro and topped with taggiasca olives; and Chef Enricos’ signature dish Risotto alla barbabietola, gorgonzola e noci, not only beautiful as in the photo, but also luxurious in taste. Crimson beetroot risotto served on a plate, surrounded by a richer walnut sauce, garnished with cherry sauce, and topped with earthy gorgonzola. It’s an amazing fusion of flavors.
Branzino is Roberto’s grilled wild sea bass cooked to perfection with kale and a rich verjus sauce.
Finally, desserts came to our table, which included Ciocco colato, a warm dark chocolate foam that was as light as a feather, and hazelnut ice cream; and a resistant treat, Gelato verde oro – a delight that melted in your mouth Fruity frozen treats with Lorenzo No5 extra virgin olive oil for a subtle spiciness.
From the ambience to the dining, Roberto’s is undoubtedly unique. Perfect for a business dinner, your next date night or evening party, you will enter in awe and be impressed.
Roberto’s 10th Anniversary Menu is currently available until April 14th. March 21st is Rawberto’s (focusing on Roberto’s crudo bar), March 22nd is The Italian Butcher (Chef Danilo Valla presents a menu featuring fine cuts from the in-house meat dryer), March 24th Enrico’s Best Choice (9 Michelin-starred Chef Enrico Bartolini has curated a gala dinner), March 25 is Roberto’s decade (the Celebrate the pinnacle of the anniversary celebration with world-renowned Ben DJ). Call +9714 386 0066 or email email@example.com website or Instagram.