Marea Dubai: Chef Michael White’s two Michelin star NYC gem in DIFC

Chef Michael White’s high-end Italian pasta and seafood concept has two Michelin stars in Central South Park, New York. Here in the UAE, Marea Dubai is located in the well-heeled Financial District with high hopes to emulate its American sister’s success. Join The Huntr as we present a closer look…

Just the second Marea restaurant in the world after its original outpost in NYC, Marea Dubai has been thoughtfully designed by architect Viktor Udzenija. The perfectly-sized dining room offers a variety of chic, linen-laid tables for small and large groups. There is also outside dining available for the cooler months. Elegant and opulent finishings can be found throughout the space, including marble herringbone flooring, crisp white blinds and windows, an exposed bar with a marble-lit wall, and a neutral colour palette of tan, brown, beige and white. There’s a lift that takes guests down to the mezzanine floor, which features a private room and lounge area for cigar smoking and (on dedicated nights) a little DJ/party action.

Unlike many other international concepts that open up here in the UAE, Marea Dubai has strong ties with its original counterpart and both Marea NYC and Dubai are “run as integrated units, regularly sharing ideas, resources, and recipes to make the client experience all it should be,”Altamarea Group CEO and owner Ahmass Fakahany told The National in April 2019. The food here is all about high quality ingredients and simple but luxurious dishes. Chef Michael White’s Marea Dubai menu features a rich seafood selection alongside a handful of vegetarian-friendly options, pasta, risotto and meat and poultry creations.

Open for lunch and dinner daily, The Huntr visited Marea for a weekend midday feast. To start we opted for the Tomato Salad (78AED), which features a refreshing and delicious mixture of grilled watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, ricotta salata and basil. Plus the Lobster and Burrata (135AED) – a fantastic combination of pickled eggplant, passion fruit and basil offset by sweet lobster and creamy burrata cheese. And the Polipo (95AED) – grilled octopus with fregola (a type of tiny pasta from Sardinia), apricot and black olive, which might just be the most tender and delicious octopus we’ve tried lately and highly recommended. Onto the main event and we ordered the Bistecca (325AED) a 320 gram Wagyu sirloin with truffle potato, pave braised endive, spinach and rosemary. Steak lovers mustn’t miss this superb dish, which might just be the best we’ve tried in the UAE. Plus the Casarecce (150AED) a pasta dish with blue crabmeat, sea urchin puree, and tomato that was simple and delicious. To end a divine lunch on a sweet note, we shared two desserts the Bomboloni (55AED) – ricotta donuts with chocolate cardamom sauce and lemon ricotta sauce and the Semifreddo (55AED) sorbet with coconut mango basil macadamia. Both were faultless.

Drinks-wise Marea Dubai is fully licensed and offers a variety of alcoholic and alcoholic beverages including signature cocktails and mocktails, wines, beers and spirits and soft drinks. It is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion such as birthday, enjoy a romantic date, impress clients or toast payday.

Insider tips: The party is popping at Marea’s lounge area Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. Dress to impress. For the ultimate VIP experience, book the private dining room. Advance reservations recommended, especially for peak timings.

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