Taste of Milan
Milanese seafood specialist Al Grissino replicates its menu perfectly in Dubai
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.