As many of you have requested that I post reviews of restaurants I have been to, I thought: I do not like to review, however I do like to share with you an outstanding experience. Actually, I can hardly hold back when I do find an outstanding experience! I mean I am not a review blogger (not for food, restaurants, gadgets, brands…nothing), and do not wish to be one. I do however recommend outstanding experiences I have, simply because they were truly outstanding and I want people to know about them.
Why not Review?
Because reviews are tricky, as people’s palates are different, and what they are looking for in terms of overall experience can vary substantially. Also because I know very well that the kitchen is the one place where you could count on a mishap to take place. So while I form my own opinions about some experiences am not too keen to review and criticise. Instead, I prefer to focus on the positives and recommend a fabulous experience when I find one.
With that said, do bear in mind that things change, and these recommendations are based on experiences I had valid at the time I shared them.
Believe it or not, this whole post came about because of
CASA MIA – Dubai
because I had a great time, great food and enjoyed every bit of the chef’s authentic Italian Food creations. (I dislike nothing more than concepts that call it Italian, when in fact it is a whip up of pasta and whatever else that has nothing to do with Italy, its cuisine or authentic ingredients).
Why do I recommend it? Because as soon as you get to Le MERIDIEN Village, you are instantly put in a social mood. The many outdoor venues with different offerings, and the sounds of people chatting, laughing, the clink clanking of plates, the dimmed lighting, music… all give you the impression that it will be a fun social night. And Casa Mia, did not fail to deliver on that note. The whole atmosphere was relaxed, it was a fun night with lots of laughs, chats and welcoming smiles from staff throughout.
The first thing that grabbed my attention were the Tuscan Olive Oil bottles, placed on the table. I was delighted to find a bottle of Poggio ai Santi Olive oil, authenticated by the unmistakable label design by Monique Maday. That set the expectations for the whole food experience for me. Before I go further, let me tell you a bit about this outstanding olive oil. This oil comes from the Poggio ai Santi organic farm on the picturesque spurs of the Tuscan hills overlooking the sea. This farm, and until just a few years back, was producing only 1500 olive oil bottles a year! Therefore it wasn’t surprising that this oil was to be found at exclusive restaurants and hotels, only in: Switzerland, France and, of course, Italy. It is in the past few years that the 1997 planted olive trees have started producing more olives, therefore slightly increasing the number of bottles produced. Bear in mind that the number is still very low, and hence still hard to find! But there it was, at Casa Mia Dubai, demanding to be opened and devoured! The restaurant even has an olive oil list to choose from as you desire, which includes other brands and flavoured oils too.
Presented with the menu: I have to say I was very impressed. The menu was authentic Italian, not by any measure a fusion or the otherwise bastardised Italian dishes. Many of the offerings caught my eye, and appealed to my taste buds. It included the all time favourites and popular Antipasti. But best of all, it also included options for the fancier palates. I was undetermined by 2 of the options:
Tonno marinato alle erbe, crostini, trito di olive Kalamata,
cipollotto fresco e salsa al limone
Marinated sako tuna fillet with herbs, bread croûtons,
Kalamata olives mousse, spring onions and lemon sauce
Carpaccio di salmone e capesante servito con agretto di olive nere
Salmon carpaccio and sea-scallops served with tapenade sauce
What eventually closed the deal for me is the Kalamata Olives Mousse in the tuna platter, and went for that option to start with.
For the main course I decided to stay on the same note and order a fish plate. The Saffron sauce sealed the deal, intriguing my Sicilian expectations, so I went for
Filetto di orate al forno con asparagi cozze e salsa allo zafferano
Roasted sea-bream fillet with asparagus, mussels and saffron sauce
With Raineri Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Liguria)
Casa Mia, also had an expansive wine list to choose from, we went for the Sauvignon Blanc, it was a warm night, and the cool of the white wine, lightened up the atmosphere. When the starter was presented, I loved the laid back yet fine presentation. From the looks of my Tuna plate, you could tell it was made with care, yet without stress. It was very inviting, and you can smell a hint of citrusy aroma. It was simply a joy to eat. It was light, refreshing and delicious. Since I was out with a group of friends, who ordered other options, I got the chance to try out other starters. The Carpaccio, bruschetta, trio di pasta were all very good. The green fusilli pasta was a little bit too rich for my taste.
Come main course, I loved it. The fish was cooked to perfection, flaky, with a crisp exterior, that mingles harmoniously with the saffron sauce. Combined with an ever so slight bite to the asparagus, it was Heavenly. One thing though, the menu did say mussels included, and my plate had non! I was, full after all that, and couldn’t try more, but everyone was enjoying their selections, and expressing admiration. From fillets, pastas, pizzas… there was a look of indulgence on all faces.
After that meal, the lemon Sorbet was to die for! For a frozen dessert that contains no cream, it was exceptionally creamy, and a delight for the taste buds. That closed the evening with a fresh and sweet note.
After all, the night was smooth, fun and definitely delicious. so
This is one restaurant that has a lot to offer, and I will definitely have seconds there. I can say, when dining out, I would without a doubt recommend Casa Mia to Italian cuisine lovers, and would choose to take my friends there anytime.
Thank you Chef Maurizio Lazzarin & Kitchen Staff for the excellent hospitality, taste, and very impressive menu 🙂