Architectural Digest (UAE)


Hip Italian eaterie Marea has arrived in Dubai from NYC


IF THERE HAD BEEN A SEQUEL to Tom Wolfe’s 1987 Bonfire of the Vanities, the social x-rays would surely have moved on from the novel’s see-and-be-seen restaurant La Boue d'Argent to Marea, whose 2008 launch in Manhattan quickly saw it become a firmament in the city’s social whirl.

The forgiving glow of the backlit onyx bar and the two-Michelin star food, courtesy of super-chef Michael White, has now been transporte­d to Dubai, where the city’s very own socials and business people gather in the new DIFC venue. The starched-white tablecloth­s and smartly attired staff are offset by a menu that feels like a Sicilian breeze has wafted over it. Clean crudos, charred octopus, billowy burrata — these are ingredient­s that transport the senses.

The interiors by local talent Viktor Udzenija are simply luxurious, and the restraint allows focal points to shine

– quite literally when it comes to the Lasvit glass bubble installati­on connecting the restaurant to the bar. As you descend, the atmosphere changes, feeling less formal and more louche. This is where you come to celebrate the closing of a big deal late into the night and, if you’re feeling like one of Wolfe’s Masters of the Universe, the silk-lined private dining room should be capable of containing all your excesses. marearesta­

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