A Food Voyage Through Europe

Europe may be one of the smallest continents of the world, but when it comes to its culinary heritage, this part of the world has given people across the globe foods that they cannot live without.

Be it pasta, pizza, crepes, a number of cheeses specially mozzarella, salads, fondue, roasts, steak, cutlets and an array of puddings, there is a lot this world owes to this continent for what we eat today.

European cuisine is very commonly referred to as ‘Western Cuisine’, for having its influences on non-indigenous cuisines of the Americas, Oceania, and Southern Africa, which derive substantial influence from European settlers in those regions. This cuisine has literally crossed continents and has left a significant mark across the globe.  In Dubai, one thing we love is the easy access to traditional global cuisines and it goes without saying that we have no dearth of European cuisine restaurants as well. From traditional Italian, French, German to English, Spanish, Greek and Portuguese tastes, we have it all.

 At Connector, we have journeyed on a culinary adventure through Europe and have brought together a total of 36 European restaurants together for our readers to help them book their tables for upcoming dinner plans.

English

Bread Street Kitchen
Located at Atlantis The Palm, Bread Street Kitchen is internationally renowned Chef Gordon Ramsay’s stylish Dubai restaurant, with delicious dishes such as the signature Beef Wellington. Whether you are looking for British classics, Gordon’s signatures or Bread Street Kitchen must-try dishes, this restaurant will exceed all expectations. Call 04-4262626.

Geales
London fish restaurant Geales in Dubai Marina’s Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa serves the finest British seafood, including fish ‘n’ chips. Other dishes include fresh seafood, shellfish, crustaceans, crudo delicacies, small bites and homemade sauces and traditional British deserts including apple crumble and berry trifle. The interior is plush and modern, and has a fine outdoor terrace overlooking the hotel beach. Call 04-3165550.

Reform Social
Located in The Lakes, Reform Social and Grill is one for the family. Mirroring its sister restaurant, based in London, the vibrant venue features a restaurant and bar alongside a garden and lakeside view. The first class British menu includes a BBQ menu complete with food from former British colonies such as the Carribbean, Africa and Australia. Call 04-4542638.

Rhodes W1
One of the biggest names in the British culinary world, Gary Rhodes has put British food back on the map. By returning to the roots of the nation’s cuisine, Rhodes has reinforced the gastronomic beauty of British flavours. With a fine dining, elegant atmosphere, Rhodes W1 adds flare to all its dishes whilst giving a nod to traditional cooking. Call 04-3176000.

The Scene
For a genuine taste of home without all the fluff, The Scene is the ultimate gastronomic pub experience. With an air for flavour and keeping it traditional, Chef Simon Rimmer has mastered the art of true British cuisine. The Scene offers favourites such as Beef Wellington, Cherry Bakewell Tarts and who can say no to an all-weekend roast? Call 04-4222328.

The Underground Pub
Located at Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, the English-styled pub brings the best of British to Dubai Marina. This quirky London Underground themed pub offers all-England style home comforts from quiz nights, all the latest sporting action and weekly live bands. Call 04-4084221.

French

Bistro Domino
Located in Ibis Dubai City Centre Deira, the stylish French Bistro Domino restaurant offers an alfresco dining terrace and a selection of international favourites in an exciting contemporary setting. The ideal place to grab a quick snack, have a delicious lunch or dinner, and catch up with friends. Call 04-2925000

Carine
Carine is a Mediterranean restaurant with very much a French slant to it along with Italian and Greek elements. Located in the Emirates Golf Club, an elegant and stylish restaurant with an indoor dining area and two terrace areas overlooking the immaculate championship greens, with Dubai’s skyline in the background offers a menu with enough to choose from whether on an individual basis or for sharing. Some of the top dishes include tuna tartare, watermelon and feta salad, grilled harissa prawns, lamb cutlets, sea bass, passion fruit cheesecake and molten brownie. Call 04-4179885.

Le Cirque
Famed as the go to dining destination in New York, Le Cirque’s Middle East restaurant in The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC, offers tempting French cuisine with a twist of Italian flair, in the comfort of a sleek and sophisticated space. The menu takes influence from the NY original with fresh, light and contemporary dishes at its core. Items on the menu include veal carpaccio, lobster risotto, sea bream, confit salmon and corn fed chicken. Call 04-3722323.

La Petite Maison
One of the most talked about names in French cuisine is La Petite Maison. With restaurants all over the globe in London, Istanbul, Miami, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it’s easy to see why. La Petite Maison epitomises French Mediterranean cuisine with local produce from Nice topped off with olive oil straight from Alpes Maritimes. Call 04-4390505.

Les Cuisines Restaurant
From traditional French cuisine to Asian specialties and Arabic dishes with a twist, the all-day dining restaurant at Sofitel Dubai Downtown, offers a wide range of delicious dishes. Right by Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, it’s open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Families and friends settle down for a meal in a bright, laid-back atmosphere. Call 04-5036666.

German

Brothaus Bakery - Bistro
Located in the Steigebberger Hotel Business Bay overlooking Dubai Canal, this cosmopolitan German bakery in the heart of Dubai features a homey intimate design and spacious green outdoor terrace. Open for breakfast at 7.30 in the morning, it serves authentic German breads and other bakery treats. Look for nutritional salads and hot sizzling German dishes for lunch and dinner. With a friendly indoor and outdoor seating areas with great food, it’s a fun place for any day of the week. Call 04-3690000.

Greek

Elia
Following its opening in 2007, Elia has pioneered the Greek cuisine scene. Head Chef Yiannis Baxevanis has over 30 years’ experience in culinary arts, creating a menu that embraces the fundamentals of Greek cuisine. The Bur Dubai restaurant’s menu sticks to crowd favourites such as moussakka while giving them that fine dining edge. Call 04-5012690.

Gaia
Gaia is a contemporary taverna serving authentic and fresh Greek-Mediterranean cuisine with a modern touch. Decorated with neutral hues of grey and beige, Gaia is an extremely chic and sophisticated choice for Dubai diners. Look for the ice market in the centre of the restaurant where you can view and select fresh fish and seafood from, all with the help of the restaurant’s in-house Fishelier, who is on hand to make recommendations tailored to your preferences. Some of our top favourites are raw tuna in truffle oil, fresh lobster salad, baked feta cheese, garlic prawns caramel apple cheesecake and fillo mille feuille. Call 04-2414242.

Mythos
Picture great food in a cosy Greek taverna and you’ve got Mythos. Their homemade meatballs, known as ‘keftedakia,' are a divine nod to modest and flavourful Greek cuisine. Combining traditional Greek dishes with fresh ingredients, this soulful spot is the perfect home away from home. Call 04-3998166.

OPA
Walk through a secret garden, full of bougainvillea with an olive tree in the centre, and the beautiful smell of jasmine, and you enter Opa, traditionally decorated to give you a feel that you are in an outside courtyard of a taverna on one of the hundreds of Greek islands, though you are indoors. Located at the Fairmont Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, its menu offers a good selection of dips, salads, and both hot and cold starters. Some of our favourites are the Santorini fava, beetroot salad with yoghurt and mint, grilled Cypriot haloumi, kleftiko and loukmades. Call 04-3570557.

Taverna Greek Kitchen
Located at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, the home-grown concept brings the much-loved flavours and dishes of the Mediterranean to the waterside location in Dubai. The open-style kitchen allows guests to be transported to a local Greek family-run restaurant. The Taverna Greek Kitchen concept is based on a sharing style with a wide variety of meze including cold plates, salads and appetisers to start. Highlights include Ksidato Octopus, slow braised octopus with vinegar, oregano, onion, Salicornia and extra virgin olive oil. Classic Greek dishes such as Tzatziki, Taramosalata and Athinaiki are also a staple part of the menu. Call 04-5895665.

Zorba Greek Restaurant And Bar
Located at Century Village, one of Dubai’s oldest al fresco dining courtyards, Zorba serves up authentic Mediterranean flavours and you take a trip to Greece with every bite. Along with the fresh flavours, a live Greek band make sure that guests are entertained throughout. Greek delicacies that Zorba specialises in are moussaka, kalogeros of Naxos and kotopoulo lemonato. Call 04-2280304.

Irish

Irish Village In Garhoud 
This Irish restaurant offers more than you would expect from one when in Dubai. With sprawling outdoor garden setting, live concerts every now and then, a place full of character, it is loved by everyone who visits it. Complementing the whole ambience is its authentic menu with dishes such as the fish and chips, bacon and cheese toasties and the classic Irish stew which will certainly keep the hunger pangs at a bay. Call 04-2824750.

McGettigans At Dubai World Trade Centre
Home to concerts, exhibitions, theatre and comedy shows McGettigan’s is a go-to spot for all occasions. With large screen TVs playing everything from rugby, football, golf and cricket, it’s one of the city’s best sports bars offering live music and promotions on food and beverages daily. Another hangout spot within the property is The Den filled with pool tables and plasma screen TVs, and open booths making it ideal for groups of friends. With dishes inspired from Ireland and beyond, the Irish restaurant is also a popular choice for traditional roasts every Saturday and Sunday. Call 04-8006247.

Italian

Alici
Now open on Bluewaters Island, Alici (Italian for anchovies), is a southern Italian eatery that serves the finest fish and seafood with an Italian twist, in casual chic surroundings. Alici’s menu accommodates seasonal produce and fresh catches of Italian and local. The recipes are simple and one can experience a variety of dishes with selections devoted to crudo, oysters, Alici signature antipasti and hand-made pastas. The menu includes fish dishes as well as a selection of meat and side dishes to round off. The vegetables and the extra virgin olive oil come from the best organic farms located in the south of Italy. Call 04-2752577.

Bussola
As an award winning restaurant, Bussola has incorporated one concept within three restaurants. Start the evening overlooking the sunset in the Bussola Lounge before enjoying the sumptuous tastes of Italy in the lower restaurant, which offers diners a fine dining experience. For a more casual atmosphere, head to Bussola’s pizzeria where you can try out the restaurant’s signature pizzas. Call 04-5117373.

Casa Mia
The irresistible aroma of freshly baked pizza has an undeniable power over the senses, especially in the relaxed surrounding of Le Meridien Village. The chefs at Casa Mia take you on a gastronomic journey to Italy with delicious home cooked Italian fare right here in Dubai. Call 04-7022455.

Cucina Mia
 Located in JBR, Cucina Mia means ‘My Kitchen’ and functions very much like an Italian family-run pizzeria, where wholesome family recipes are served in a friendly environment. Pizzas are super authentic and are sold ‘by the meter’. You can sample the true Italian tastes on your plate. If you know what Italian cuisine tastes like, you will be highly impressed by the taste and those who have never been to Italy, would have high standards set for their taste buds. Menu highlights include bruschetta, pappardelle alla bolognese, fiori di zucca and crème brulè. Call 04-4259696.

Certo
Located in the Radisson Blu Hotel at Dubai Media City, Certo is an all-time favourite of many. The menu is extensive and offers a blend of authentic Italian dishes and a range of contemporary dishes. Signature dishes include the sorrentini gnocchi with buffalo mozzarella, homemade pappardelle with braised lamb ragout, the spaghetti aglio with Sicilian red prawns, wood-fired and gourmet risottos. Another noticeable thing here is that it changes its menu on a weekly basis inspired by the seasonal produce, however it never stretches far away from authentic flavours. Call 04-3669131.

Eataly
Spread across one massive space in The Dubai Mall, the Italian favourite combines a grocery store and a high end Italian food restaurant and café. Eataly follows the original concept, and is the first Eataly to open outside of Turin. The restaurant section features different food stations including a rosticceria, a panini and piadina sandwich maker, a counter offering pizzas and pastas, gelato stand and a coffee counter. The grocery section will widen your knowledge of a wide range of cheeses, including fresh mozzarella. Don’t miss the tempting Nutella chocolate section. Call 04-3308899.

Positano
Where seafood, fresh vegetables and authentic produce meet, it doesn’t get much more Italian than Positano. Based in the JW Marriott Marquis, this award-winning restaurant has a team of highly skilled chefs with an air for handcrafted cuisine. Plus, children below 6 can dine for free! Call 04-4143000.

Luciano's
Located at the poolside in Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, Luciano’s romantic and rustic Italian feel makes it one of Dubai Marina’s best loved neighbourhood restaurants. Dine amongst the kitsch interior, or al fresco under the palms, as they serve up a hearty range of authentic dishes including antipasti, fresh pizza, pasta, and home-made ice-cream. Call 04-4084202.

Luigia
Located in the heart of JBR at Rixos Premium, this Italian restaurant places an emphasis on authenticity, simplicity and quality. Luigia draws its inspiration from the love given by Italian grandmothers to their families through the art of cooking. It takes pride in serving up only the most authentic ‘tried and tested’ recipes, handed down from generation to generation. Guests can sample authentic pizzas cooked to perfection in the specially built Neapolitan wood fired oven, signature homemade pastas and traditional specialties along with a variety of classic Italian desserts. Call 04-3496950.

Roberto’s Restaurant And Lounge
This restaurant enjoys the reputation as not only one of the top Italian restaurants, but also one of the top restaurants in Dubai in general. The moment you step in, there are rare chances that you won’t fall for its lovely décor and outdoor terrace. Talking of food, you get the best classic Italian dishes. From delicious sea food to staple pasta and pizza, every penny is worth spending. Reserve this spot for a special occasion when you don’t mind splurging a little more than usual. Call 04-3860066.

Ronda Locatelli
Located in Atlantis The Palm, Ronda Locatelli blends the charm of an Italian countryside with the modernity of Dubai. The menu boasts a range of vegetarian and vegan options and apart from already existing options, anything can be customised to be served as vegan food. Signature dishes are focaccia bruschetta, focaccia all’aglio, gnocchi alla Sorrentina, mushroom tagliatelle and sfera di cioccolato. Call 04-4262626.

Portugal

Tasca
Savour true flavours of Portugal at Mandarin Oriental. Tasca takes inspiration from a traditional Portuguese eatery, “tasca”, serving genuine food and drinks but with a contemporary twist. The menu is based on a sharing concept and dishes include a modern take on a range of Portuguese classics from both the sea and the land, such as Giant Red Shrimp, Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, Piri Piri chicken with smoked avocado cream, and a surf and turf platter with Blue Portuguese Lobster. With spectacular views over Dubai’s glittering skyline on one side and the Arabian Gulf on the other, the restaurant offers both indoor seating and an outdoor terrace dining area, complete with an infinity pool overlooking the Gulf. www.mandarinoriental.com

Spanish

Al Hambra
Al Hambra is a traditional Spanish eatery that makes you feel at home. With an ambience resembling that of a bustling Valencian tavern, this restaurant is a little Spain in the heart of Dubai. Try the zingy gazpacho or chorizo frito, or work your way through a delicious pile of calamari rings, king prawns, or our popular chicken and rabbit paella. Al Hambra is not just popular for its extensive menu but also for its lively atmosphere. Call 04-4323232.

Casa De Tapas
Modelled on the traditional rustic bodega style venues in the alleyways of Madrid, Casa de Tapas is one of the most iconic Spanish restaurants in the UAE. Located at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, the restaurant features delightful classic dishes created by a highly qualified team of Spanish chefs. Everything from paella and tapas selection to drinks, music and décor, has been designed to offer a mouth-watering dining experience full of Spanish flavour in the heart of Dubai. Call 04-4161800.

El Sur
In a casual setting, El Sur does not compromise on fine flavour. Specialising in tapas, El Sur uses fresh ingredients and dynamic recipes with their innovative menu pushing the boundaries of what you would expect to find in a traditional Spanish restaurant. Get transported to the city of Madrid hitting every gastronomic spot on the way! Call 04-3997700.

Salero
This distinctive tapas cuisine fuses traditional food-sharing platters with a modern twist and selections from Spain’s best bodegas. From the vibrant kitchen firing up authentic paella dishes to flawless Flamenco performances, it is the closest you will get to stepping into a local bodega in España right in the heart of Dubai with live entertainment. Call 04-4095888.

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