Taste of Mi­lan

Mi­lanese seafood spe­cial­ist Al Grissino repli­cates its menu per­fectly in Dubai

Virtuozity - - FINE DINING -

In Mi­lan, the up­scale restau­rant Al Grissino is fa­mous for its seafood. With a menu that in­cludes ev­ery­thing from oc­to­pus with asparagus to chi­tar­rine with sea urchin, this is no pizza joint. Beloved by fans of high­end cui­sine, it’s the per­fect em­bod­i­ment of fine Ital­ian din­ing with a fo­cus on seafood. What, then, hap­pens when you take that menu, word-for-word, and bring it to the Mid­dle East?

The orig­i­nal restau­rant may have opened up in 1952, but ear­lier this year, Al Grissino opened its first fran­chise out­side of Mi­lan by bring­ing its menu to Dubai. This isn’t just another big-name restau­rant try­ing to cash in on the Gulf, how­ever – the menu here mir­rors the one in Mi­lan to the let­ter. While most restau­rants tend to wa­ter down their dar­ing dishes to cater for a more in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence, Al Grissino sticks firmly to its guns—it’s a beau­ti­fully Ital­ian way of do­ing things.

That said, we doubt that the orig­i­nal Mi­lan restau­rant of­fers such a dra­matic and sump­tu­ous set­ting. Sit­u­ated near the top of Emi­rates Fi­nan­cial Tow­ers in DIFC, it of­fers stun­ning views of the Burj Khal­ifa, Down­town Dubai and Sheikh Zayed Road. And you get to en­joy the vista from the in­side of a warm, cozy and homely set­ting, with thick leather chairs and heavy, solid ta­bles.

In terms of the food, as in Mi­lan, you’ll have to be a fan of seafood to get much joy out of the menu. But if you are into this type of cui­sine, you couldn’t do any bet­ter than Al Grissino. The dishes are as nu­mer­ous as they are var­ied, with cold ap­pe­tis­ers and sal­ads of­fer­ing fresh takes on fish-based dishes, and stodgy hot meals pro­vid­ing the ul­ti­mate in high-end com­fort food.

The afore­men­tioned oc­to­pus is a real high­light, as are the king prawns mar­i­nated in grape fruit. And if you aren’t of the seafood per­su­a­tion, the restau­rant hap­pens to do a fab­u­lous sir­loin steak with a penja pep­per crust. The sea urchin, it must be ad­mit­ted, will be a bold choice for most ca­sual din­ers, but the seafood risotto is one of the high- lights on the mains menu.

Added to this, Al Grissino has a fab­u­lous se­lec­tion of wines to choose from – most of which will pair per­fectly with the food be­ing served. Be sure to save room for dessert, though—the sig­na­ture Cioc­co­latoso is not to be missed.

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