There's a newly opened Italian restaurant in Dubai Festival City and its name rings a bell. If you're a pasta lover, surely you have come across Barilla pasta in the supermarkets. The company behind the world's best selling pasta brand - Barilla - has opened several restaurants in New York, and now, it has arrived in Dubai!
Ed and I had the pleasure of dining in Barilla's first outlet in the Middle East last weekend. Here's how our lunch went.
Barilla is the newest addition to DFC's plethora of restaurants. It is located in the first level, alongside the mainstream food outlets. For a weekend morning, it was a little quiet. Probably only a few people have known that the restaurant is related to the world-renowned pasta brand.
Anyhow, Barilla has a relaxed ambiance. It has wooden tables and chairs, and shelves lined with Barilla products. The staff gave us the warmest welcome and ushered us to a table with a good lighting just as we requested.
|Barilla restaurant in DFC|
The menu includes a great variety of Italian dishes. But what impressed me the most is Barilla's healthy Mediterranean Diet concept. This restaurant serves the type of food that is "good for you and good for the planet."
|turning into a Mediterranean Lifestyler at Barilla|
Our lunch started with a serving of complimentary bread with olive oil and balsamic. It was then quickly followed by our drinks. As recommended by our server, Ed and I opted to have mocktails. I had the Apple Lemongrass Mojito, while the husband had Passion and Grapefruit Fizz. Both were fruity and refreshing, but latter wins in terms of presentation.
For antipasti, I was torn between Burrata, Bresaola and Bruschetta. I love cheese, so this should be an easy choice, but Ed said it would be quite filling. I can never say never to a creamy ball of burrata though, so you know what happened next. :)
I feasted on a fresh and silky Burrata! It is served with arugula, Roma tomatoes, olives and slices of Focaccia bread. This is a must-have at Barilla. Aside from the fact that it is super tasty, it is also more affordable compared to other Italian restaurants we have been to.
As we are taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle, we ordered an Insalate. Barilla has plenty of salad choices, one is Nizzarda. It is a mixed green salad topped with tuna, boiled egg, black olives, fresh tomatoes and onion, tossed in lemon dressing. Ed and I both think it is a complete meal on its own!
For main course, we decided to go for pizza and pasta. Pizzas in Barilla are available in two sizes; solo (good for one) or metro (sharing size). We only ordered a solo of Capricciosa and the serving was more than enough for the two of us!
Barilla serves true blue Italian-style pizza. The crust is thin and chewy. The toppings are fresh and bursting with flavors!
|Solo Capricciosa pizza|
|Capriocciosa: beef ham, olives, mushrooms, artichoke, mozzarella, tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil|
Of course, dining in Barilla restaurant wouldn't be complete without the pasta. For the love of seafood, we had Linguine Vesuvio. Sauteed calamari and shrimps, with capers, fresh basil, olives, chili flakes and tomato sauce were tossed over al dente Barilla linguine. It is amazingly tasty, punctuated with a good zing.
Gluten free and whole grain pasta are also available upon request at Barilla restaurant.
|a pasta dish for seafood lovers|
For dessert, we shared a serving of Tiramisu - a classic Italian dolci made of ladyfinger cookies, espresso, mascarpone and cocoa. Barilla's version is far from the classic look, but it is as spongy, creamy and coffeelicious!
Overall, I can say that if you love Barilla (the pasta), you'd definitely love Barilla (the restaurant). The service is efficient and attentive. Thanks to our server Abbie. The ambiance is nice and casual. The prices are reasonable, and as I have said, affordable. And when it comes to food, you can expect the same excellent quality from the pasta brand you have trusted for years!
Prices of what we had as of January 2017:
Burrata: 46 AED
Nizzarda: 48 AED
Capricciosa (solo): 32 AED
Linguine Vesuvio: 54 AED
Tiramisu: 25 AED
Mockail: 18 AED
1st Floor, Dubai Festival City
We were invited to dine at Barilla Restaurant. Opinions in this blog post are my own.