I was busy with some lab works when my blogger friends were at Lounge Cafe Italiano chilling with a football star and devouring Italian cuisine. I almost cried with envy when they posted some photos on their social media accounts. Well, not really with the rubbing of elbows with a famous football player as I'm no sports fanatic, but with them bonding over delizioso dishes at the new contemporary Italian restaurant.
Though I missed the successful launching event, the people behind Lounge Cafe Italiano were kind enough to send me another invitation. This time, it perfectly synced with my once-in-a-blue-moon weekday off! Despite of not having my husband or my friends around as all of them were caught up with work, I excitedly hopped off the train at Nakheel station and headed to Lounge Cafe Italiano at Arenco Tower for a solo Italian lunch.
Lounge Cafe Italiano was buzzing when I arrived. Situated in a business hub, it served as a casual lunch venue for professionals donning sleek business attire. I, in my funky multicolored top, actually felt a little out of place and under dressed. When I settled in one of the modern glass chairs, a staff immediately presented the tasting menu and explained that they will be serving three starters, three mains and a dessert. The tasting menu was overwhelming. I was scared that I wouldn't finish everything, hence I asked for a smaller than small servings.
|Lounge Cafe Italiano: a contemporary Italian restaurant in Dubai Media City|
Then, a chef came over and invited me to try his special pizza. It's funny how I thought it he was offering a free slice to all the diners, so when he placed the whole half meter pizza on my table, I candidly asked him if everything is for me! :) He told me not to worry as I can take my left overs home. I smiled in great relief and enjoyed two slices of Chef's Special Pizza Napoletana topped with bresaola, truffles, mushroom and parmesan cheese.
|half meter of Chef's Special Pizza|
Beautifully served side by side on a rectangle stone plate are Lounge Cafe Italiano's exquisite starters. I relished the baby spinach, avocado and roast pepper salad topped with pine nuts and drizzled with balsamic dressing. It's a guilt free dish; fresh, healthy and tastes as fabulous as it looks! The sesame and honey coated tuna loin served with Sicilian orange salad and drizzled with organic grapefruit and chives dressing is beyond perfection as well! It has a superb blend of sweet and tangy flavors!
|baby spinach, avocado and roast pepper salad with pine nuts and balsamic dressing|
|sesame and honey coated tuna loin with Sicilian orange salad|
After I consumed everything on my starter plate, three main dishes on a hot stone plate were brought to my table. All three looked glorious, but the first thing I noticed was the gold flakes on top of the risotto. I might have looked really curious with the golden stands, hence the restaurant's manager walked to my table and asked how's everything. She, then, confirmed that the Risotto Milanese is indeed topped with flakes of edible gold leaf. Lavish!
I was so fascinated with the Risotto Milanese with saffron, parmesan cheese and gold that I was able to consume half of it before I took a bite from the two other main dishes. Despite the fancy add-on, it still remained a hearty comfort food; creamy and delicate with a little spike from the parmesan bits. The homemade ravioli with ricotta and spinach in butter and sage sauce is another classic offering; a healthy option that greatly satisfied my palate. The mini tuna steak was perfectly pan-seared; juicy and flavorful. It was served with eggplant in fresh tomato sauce and basil. As I wanted to save a space for dessert, I had 3/4 of the tuna dish wrapped for the husband. I watched him joyously savored the dish during dinner. :)
|Risotto Milanese with saffron, parmesan cheese and gold|
|home made ravioli with ricotta and spinach in butter and sage sauce|
|mini tuna steak with eggplant in fresh tomato sauce and basil|
I was Lounge Cafe Italiano's happiest diner when I saw the dessert plate! The warm chocolate melting cake with strawberries and vanilla ice cream is wickedly delicious. I tried not to grin from ear to ear, but deep inside I was jumping in every bite. As I couldn't stop my excitement, I actually told every staff that came near my table that it is the best dessert ever and they all agreed!
|warm chocolate melting cake with strawberries and vanilla ice cream|
|smooth and creamy vanilla ice cream|
|sinfully good, chocolate-filled, warm and moist chocolate cake|
I also fell in love with Lounge Cafe Italiano's healthy smoothies. I had two kinds during that 2-hour lunch. First, I had the Greco; a perfect blend of Greek yogurt, sweet melon, cucumber and orange juice. Then, halfway through the meal, a wait staff recommend Fragoloso; a delightful mix of strawberry, pineapple and natural yogurt! Both are delish, not too sweet, just naturally good and refreshing!
The initial reaction of being out of place quickly vanished as most of the staff are very warm. They constantly stopped by my table for a little chat and checked if there's anything I need. I was alone, but I wasn't lonely! For sure, that wouldn't my first and last at Lounge Cafe Italiano. I'm definitely going back with my husband who is a sucker for Italian food very soon.
Lounge Cafe Italiano
Contact # 04-4533318 / 800 ITALIANO
Dubai Media City
nearest Metro Station: Nakheel (red line)
To view the complete menu, please visit Lounge Cafe Italiano's website.