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REVIEW: The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri

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There are certain restaurants that require that you make an effort, without even having a dress code. The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri is one of them. The recently opened Italian eatery in DIFC isn’t pretentious, but its debonair décor makes you feel that you should put your best heeled foot forward.

Being part of the same family as Enoteca Pinchiorri, a famous three Michelin-starred restaurant in Florence, Italy, it’s got a pedigree background while being slightly more casual than its Italian counterpart. When we arrived on a Thursday night shortly after its opening it was busy, with (slightly louder than) background music and creative drinks pulling in the crowd. Although there are round tables and stiff white tablecloths, the overall style is modern enough to attract DIFC diners.

The menu is compact but varied, with small starters, antipasti, pasta dishes and mains. The miniature pizzas are a must while you wait for your starters (because we must have food in front of us at all times). We opted for the yellowfin tuna tartare to kick things off, which was deliciously zesty. Our dinner date had zucchini flowers stuffed with buffalo mozzarella – with a satly fried coating and a smooth cheesy filling, we had serious food envy.

The pasta and risotto dishes are quite large and rich, so if you’re thinking of going all-out and having a ‘pasta course’ before your main, it’s probably a good idea to share. The mushroom risotto with porcini mushrooms was very creamy, leaving little room for much else, and although it was an excellent dish it was probably the least exciting thing we tried.

Our favourite was the monkfish fillet stuffed with stewed onions and beautifully served in a neat row of broccoli. The crispy coating locked in the moisture making the monkfish tender, and its flavour wasn’t overpowered by the stewed onions.

If there’s one thing Italians excel at – apart from pizza, pasta, and all types of food in general – it’s dessert. There’s a large selection at The Artisan, and we high recommend the profiteroles. They’re covered in lashings of very thick chocolate so it’s a heavy end to the meal, but if sweet flavours are your weakness you won’t be disappointed. The chocolate fonant is another winner, and every bit as excessive.

www.theartisan.ae

Three dishes to try:

Fried zucchini flowers (AED70)
Stuffed with a mix of buffalo mozzarella and Tuscan pesto, this is a delicious start to the meal, ideal for cheese lovers.

Monkfish (AED155)
Crispy monkfish stuffed with stewed onions and served with broccoli and red chilli sauce. The flavours in this dish are subtle but perfectly balanced.

Tiramisu (AED54)
A light texture but with the rich mocha taste, this is up there with the best tiramisus that we’ve tried.

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