Hi! I’m the battered orange bag that you might see Ms.FoodKissed haul about unceremoniously. Though I’m the “work bag” (read abused) that usually doesn’t get to attend the events and dinners she gets invited to, sometimes, when the girl is too beaten to dig out the fancier “purses” from the wardrobe, I get to show my face.
Which is why I got excited the other night, when the girl and her fellow headed out with me to the unknown territories of DIFC. The stars were shining bright that night and by the way the girl chirped and checked the settings of her camera, I knew something exciting was on the way.
Regardless of the anticipation, as we walked through the doors of this restaurant, my heart still skipped a beat. At last, it was fine dining time! Crystal chandeliers, white napkins, butter knife and such sort! Despite the girl’s fit flops and undone eyebrows, I managed to keep some dignity by not spilling out my contents in excitement.
Apparently, we were at The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri. From what I could make out from the girl’s yapping to the fellow, the restaurant is overseen by Executive head chef Luca Tresoldi under the guidance of 3 Michelin Star Chef Annie Féolde. Ofcourse, none of that makes a difference to me. I was just glad to be perched on a dining table instead of her usual, dreary office table.
We were met with impeccable service and a lovely welcome platter of focaccia. The starter order comprised of Condimento balsamica, Fresh Burrata and Yellowfin tuna tartare.
Condimento Balsamica is carefully aged 36-month old parmesan cheese. A generous dash of seasoned balsamic condiment is drizzled over it, visibly making it the perfect accompaniment to the promisingly thick wine menu I spotted. The girl has one of the most expressive faces I’ve seen, and from the way her smile curled up, I knew she was loving her cheese.
Fresh burrata came with deliciously juicy roasted tomatoes. The fellow was having burrata for the very first time and I could hear the girl explain that it’s a cheese with quite a fan following. Long story short, the burrata was wiped clean.
The Yellowfin tuna tartare was freshly seasoned with red pepper, green lemon dressing and rocket salad. It was a gorgeous thing to look at. If a bag felt so impressed, imagine the blogger girl! Obviously, she clicked away. With the rocket leaves and without, on the plate and on the fork. Against the wall and over the wine glass. Yellowfin tuna tartare endured the paparazzi and went down the palate in all its glory.
One of our main courses were the Seasalt- crusted sea bass, served with The Artisan’s signature virgin sauce. The fish covered with flour and crusted with sea salt was brought to our table for a quick glance of approval. The girl thought it was a good build up to the excitement of the dish. 5 minutes later, in walked the sea bass out of its salt crust, looking like a deliciously transformed broadway model. The seabass skin carried a rich layer of capers and sun dried tomatoes that made the girl go bonkers with her photography. But what really, absolutely made her eyes twinkle with delight was the arrival of the second mains – The home made agnolotti stuffed with Mantova pumpkin, sage, butter, roasted almonds topped with….wait for it…PARMESAN FONDUE! Even to my non-existent senses, the dish felt like all of worldly sins on a platter. At the risk of sounding crass, it was the cheese-lovers ultimate orgasm. The parmesan glazed over the exterior, while the stuffed pumpkin’s satin texture lulled and lured the palate in the interior. The girl had her eyes closed after the first spoon, and didn’t bother opening them until she heard her spoon scrape the dish bottom. I don’t need the base of my yearlong relationship with her to swear that she is going to recommend this dish to anybody who would bother to listen.
Now, she maybe my darling owner. But I call a spade, a spade. And I must say this girl is a greedy little kitten when it comes to desserts. I watched her conveniently forget all about the “we-are-reducing-sugar” pact as she shamelessly ordered the Artisan Tiramisu, the Chocolate Fondant and The Artisan Cremino. I sat there shooting stares of rebuke at her, while she gleefully clapped her hands at the entry of the desserts, one by one.
The Cremino was a stunner. Presented in a sophisticated tea cup, the biscuit base harbored 3 different chocolate variations- 70% dark, milk and white chocolate, all topped by some candied hazelnuts and hazelnut cream. It looked good, and by the way it was creamed off, I’m sure it tasted good.
The Artisan Tiramisu got a squeal but I was quite surprised to hear that being a licensed Italian restaurant, the tiramisu didn’t have any Marsala in it. The girl enquired and was informed that a revamp in the menu shall soon sort that out.
The Chocolate Fondant was glam in presentation. But I’ve seen enough of the girl’s Instagram feeds to know that this one didn’t quite stand out. Nevertheless, it was chocolate and couldn’t go wasted as long as my girl was on the table!
You know that contented smile someone has when fed good food? Yeah, I saw that on the duo’s face about now. While they took their time to pool remarks over the food, I had a look at some interesting cocktails that stood out from the wine and cocktails menu.
Kir All’Italiana – Italian Prosecco, hibiscus syrup, blackcurrant liquer and golden powder.
Maestro – Hennessy VS Cognac, Rittenhouse Rye Whisky, Herbal Liquer, Sweet Vermouth, Blend of bitters.
Polynesian – Matusalem Classico, Ypioca Cachaca, passion fruit puree, Nettle cordial, bitters, lime juice.
The Mismatch – Jameson Whiskey, Jose Cuervo, Traditional Tequila, Green apple juice, Fresh Ginger, Lime juice, Sugar and mint.
The Artisan can confidently rave about two things for sure – the service and the cheese. The former was thorough, endearing and warm. From the server who stepped forward to tilt the cocktail glass to show off the gold powder perfectly, to the Restaurant manager who overheard the girl chat with another blogger on dessert wines, and proactively brought along a taster glass, the service was full rounded. And for an Italian restaurant serving 36-month old parmesan cheese and decadent cheese fondue atop their agnolotti, they have their cheese pretty sorted too.
Do I think the girl will recommend this place as second-trip-worthy? I don’t think. I KNOW. And you just HAVE to take the word of a woman’s bag. We seriously KNOW our ladies!
The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri – A Pricing Story:
Burrata – AEd 90
Yellowfin tuna tartare – Aed 78
36-month old parmesan – Aed 26
Sea-salt crusted sea bass – Aed 185
Agnolotti with parmesan fondue – Aed 90
Artisan Cremino – Aed 55
Artisan Tiramisu – Aed 54
Cocktails – From Aed 65 to 85.
The Artisan is located in Level P5 of Burj Daman Building, DIFC, Dubai. Ph: +9714 3388133. FoodKissed was invited to try the menu and provide feedback. In all honesty, FoodKissed thoroughly enjoyed the food and will go back if she can help it!
A walking epitome of food-lust, permanently craving for chicken, cheese & chocolates of all and every form. A marketing and content writing professional living in Dubai with my husband, who has learnt to be the perfect side-kick in food explorations around the world. If you find me raiding the fridge at ungodly hours, I'm just inspiring my tummy.
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