An Italian night out with Vivaldi at Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers

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Well I’ll say this for sure: Vivaldi has one heck of a brilliant view.

The outdoor seating of this Italian restaurant (it actually used to serve French cuisine many, many years ago!) overlooks the Creek and diners are treated to the old-world charms of dhows slowly passing on dark, lapping waters with the glittering Burj Khalifa twinkling down at them. The best of old and new Dubai can be found here, and I never realized it before.

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After being greeted by Elmar de Beer, Vivaldi restaurant manager, Thorsten Moennich, director of F&B at Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers, and Manish Law, the executive chef, we settled down for an interesting chat about the hotel’s F&B, Vivaldi in particular, before branching out to the F&B industry in general. Food blogger I may be, but I certainly had more insight that night into the F&B industry that gives me things to talk about in the first place. There are lots of plans for the restaurants at the hotel, which includes menu changes and an interiors revamp, happening over the next few months. Sounds good!

I was asked whether I would like to get something off the menu…but was given the option of being surprised by Italian chef, Daniele Bolognesi.

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I chose surprise. I was also told by Elmar the aim of the restaurant is to provide good food that reminds people of something their mother would make at home. My companion and I had no restrictions as such (although…no seafood, I pleaded) and we settled in to munch our way through the night, after everyone bid us goodbye.

My fruit cocktail juice:

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…this I sipped on as I dipped fresh bread into three awesome dips kept there for us. 

Amuse bouche: Chiacchiere with Porcini Cream Cheese

This was beyond gorgeous. The Porcini cream cheese nestled at the bottom of the plate gave me finger-licking tingly moments, and boy, was it creamy!

Salad: Endive, orange and gorgonzola fondue

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I don’t like salad normally. There have been very few restaurants on this planet that has gotten me to finish their salad. I’m a very picky salad eater, that no doubt stems through my carnivore habits. Did I finish this salad? Yes. Every last green leaf bit. For that alone, I thank the chef. It’s really difficult to get me to like salad.

Starter: Eggplant Parmigiana

I look at the dish placed in front of me. “Is that vegetarian?” I ask my friend as I poke it gingerly. She cuts into it and says she thinks it is. Read above…carnivore. I bite into it…and I don’t care suddenly that it’s actually eggplant (a veggie item I actually loathe). I finish it up while my friend says she’s full already (“How can you be full?” I cry. “There’s more coming!”). I enjoy the mixture of the eggplant flavour with the tomato-based sauce.

First course: Panzerotti Raschera Cheese Trafle Arome

Oh. My. Goodness. These little shells were things of absolute beauty. They looked lovely, and then when we were asked if we wanted pepper and parmesan, we screamed (okay, just me) yes and watched as these were covered with shavings of black and yellow (cue in song here). They were soft and just what creamy dreams are made of.

Second course: Slow Braise Lamb Shank in Borlotti Beans Ragut

Meat! Extremely tender and easy to cut, the meat flavour blends very well with the beans, providing a good balance between the two. 

Dessert: Babá with mascarpone texture

I’m a dessert person, after being a meat person. Or maybe I’m a dessert person before meat? Anyhow, the point is, this was what I was waiting for. As I cut into the small yeast cake, I was pleasantly surprised by how melt-in-your-mouth it was. Mixed with the strawberries and mascarpone, I was in a happy place.

After this, Chef Bolognesi came over to our table to say hello, and he was extremely friendly, asking about our thoughts on his superb creations. Needless to say, we told him exactly what we thought!

I like Italian food anyway, so I knew I’d have a good night out. It’s surprising – I had never been to this restaurant before, in spite of having lived in Dubai since 1989. Right now, with the excellent weather, people were filling up the tables on the terrace…which is what I’d suggest anyway so as to complement the well thought-out menu with a sparkling view.

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Disclosure: I was invited to sample the menu at Vivaldi. I luckily remembered to ask Chef Bolognesi to write down the menu we sampled because I was far too busy dedicating my attention to eating his creations and forgot to write everything down myself. He obliged 🙂

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11 thoughts on “An Italian night out with Vivaldi at Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers

  1. Sheryn

    As always, your photographs are gorgeous and drool-inducing! That view is gorgeous, I love the Creek even though I’ve only been there about 3 times in the 5 years I’ve lived here! Do you think you could recreate that chiacchiere and porcini cream cheese at home? I picture finally using the colorful hard-plastic shot glass I bought to serve them at a party or maybe just as snack this weekend when we celebrate Christmas! Do you think it was just mushrooms and cream cheese, or do you remember tasting anything else? I’d think some garlic in there wouldn’t hurt!

  2. Drina C @ Eaternal Zest

    Gorgeous pics Devina; how’d you manage to get so much light? or did you use a high speed lens?nice review too 🙂

  3. Spaniard

    The pics are superb and the comments also!!! and let me tell you Chef Daniele´s dishes are “amazing”. I was couple of weeks ago there and had a lovely, lovely lunch ( the view, the atmosphere and of course the food).Thanks!!

  4. sarah

    I don’t think they gave you enough food – they could have fit in at least 2 or three more courses 😉 Looks great – never been, will have to go.

  5. Devina Divecha

    Thanks Sheryn; much appreciated 🙂 I know what you mean…re visiting the Creek. I feel even I don’t go there enough (and I’ve been here 22 years now!). I’m probably the worst person to ask for re-creating anything at home. I create something…but rarely ever what I intend to (don’t worry, it’s all edible though!). Your idea sounds amazing…if you do it, I want to see pics! I don’t remember much else apart from that…the cheese was really over-powering. I’ll ask my friend if she had any other insights and let you know!

  6. Devina Divecha

    Sarah (@the_hedonista) … hahahaha and I’m sure I could’ve tried fitting 2 or 3 more courses in my belly. Especially if there was more cheese. Yummmmyyy.

  7. Devina Divecha

    Spaniard – thanks for dropping by. I’m sure the view has its own charm during the day 🙂 Perhaps I might make a second visit during the day? 🙂

  8. Devina Divecha

    Hey Drina…thanks! The light is because of my flash. I rarely ever do without it now, and to be honest, when using the macro lens (which is what I used for most, if not all, these shots) the flash is a must. The lens I used is either a 50mm Prime, or the macro which is an f2.8 100mm. Bounce the flash off the ceiling and lower its intensity for a more natural look (as I hate hate hate hate obviously-flashed photos).

  9. nadia

    This is a very lovely review of what looks like an amazing meal. The photographs of the gorgeously presented food is making us drool!

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