Alici Dubai: The Esquire Review
Dubai is no stranger to Italian food, but only a handful of the hundred or so restaurants in the city do it well (read: authentically).
One that does to the cuisine justice, however, is Il Borro Tuscan Bistro. The restaurant has been at the top of Esquire’s Best Restaurants in the Middle East list two-years running and has since expanded into a new Bluewaters establishment with stunning views of Dubai’s Marina district.
The general idea is to take everything that makes Il Borro the award-winning restaurant that it is, throw in some of the freshest seafood this side of the Amalfi coast (indeed, Alici means ‘anchovies’ in Italian) and set a new standard for fine dining here in Dubai. So how does it fair?
Alici Dubai: What’s the Vibe?
Alici Dubai borrows many design elements from its meat-focused cousin. The dining room is light, bright and airy, and while it’s spread out over two floors (and boasts a hefty amount of square-footage) doesn’t feel gargantuan.
Design is minimalist but sophisticated, with lemon and orange trees dotted about the dining room and only a few nods to the restaurant’s aquatic theme. Don’t expect to find any huge bass stuck to the walls, here.
The best seats in the house are without a doubt upstairs, and in the cooler months, the small terrace provides some truly amazing views. These tables would be perfect for a pre-meal aperativo, but you’d best check they aren’t pre-booked beforehand.
Alici Dubai: How’s the Food?
While Alici specialises in seafood, you can feel Il Borro’s classic influence in the dishes.
Everything is done simply, really letting the ingredients shine. Yes, that old mantra is starting to go a bit stale, but it certainly still yields results on the palate. And on the plate, it seems – as the restaurant boasts more than a few followers on Instagram thanks to its top-notch presentation.
While it does offer a few token meat dishes, there’s not much point forgoing any of the restaurant's seafood options. Not many restaurants can bang out fried fresh anchovies this good, each pasta on the menu reads better than the next. Our advice: go hungry and bring friends; that way you can taste as much as possible.
Alici Dubai: What’s the Verdict?
Ultimately, Alici has faithfully recreated everything we love about Il Borro. The food is fantastic, and with a top-notch view to match.
Alici Dubai: Where is it?
Alici Dubai is located on Bluewaters, near Caesars Bluewaters Island Resort.