Frankie's

Simply one of the best Italian restaurants in the capital 20 Reviews

Meal Deal
Frankie’s

Two or three course business lunch, featuring a broad selection of classic Italian dishes. Dhs95 for two courses, Dhs125 for three, available Saturday-Thursday Timings: Noon-3pm (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday)

Frankie’s

The L' Apri Cena offer includes all you can eat from the antipasti buffet, with two beverages from a choice of house white and red, hoppy draught or soft drinks. Dhs95 per person Timings: 7pm-10pm (Tuesday)

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It’s hard to walk into a certain breed of Italian restaurant, particularly one that looks a little brash or moneyed, and not say something about Goodfellas. If there’s a blood-red colour scheme and wide, high-backed booths ideal for gangster family sit-downs, well it’s practically impossible.

Fortunately for Frankie’s, despite ticking all the above boxes, the far more immediate pop culture association is with the restaurant’s namesake. Frankie Dettori, the miniature man who’s better known for his jockey work, owns the spot in partnership with renowned chef Marco Pierre White. We’ll own up to a little snobbishness here – scepticism over the dubious benefits a sportsman could bring to a restaurant and a really naff sign at the door saying something cringe-worthy about Italian mamas and their sons almost had us turning on our heels.

But we shouldn’t have judged so hastily. From the moment we sat down, the service was impeccable, the food classy and the atmosphere warm and sophisticated.

We sat near the open kitchen, where a chef peacefully peeled tomatoes for the full duration of our meal. The expression on his face was one of such Zen concentration – the perfect harmony of man, knife and tomato – that it almost seemed staged. To produce food as good as this, though, there must be real kitchen chaos going on behind closed doors.

A basket of sundried tomato bread arrived immediately with whole green olives nestled in the slices, accompanied by a tray of tapenades and pesto that the waiter replaced not once, but twice, so our greedy table wasn’t left for a split second without something to scoop up.

Although our expectations had rocketed by this point, the crab cakes took us a notch higher. The crab meat was fresh and softly stringy, just as it should be, with a crunchy breadcrumb coating, served with a lemon sour cream. Our main courses were sea bass and tenderloin steak, and it’s hard to say which of the two was better. The fish was a truly hearty meal of family dinner proportions, rather than the usual meagre posh restaurant serving. New potatoes, firm green beans and tomatoes were all present and correct, as well as a topping of finely diced cucumber and apple. Along with the lime butter, this gave the dish a fresh, zingy edge.

We’ve heard the steak here called the best in the city, and ours was certainly a perfect medium rare, seared outside with shades of pink on the inside. It may be hard to believe that a great steak could be upstaged by a side order of humble mashed potato, but it was. When a savoury dish tastes that good, of course, the magic ingredient is usually a vat of butter, and the texture of this serving suggested it could almost have been a half-and-half recipe.

Just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, a trio of tiramisu arrived; one classic, one with a hefty kick and the third with maraschino cherries, each with gloopy mascarpone and cream. We usually like our mascarpone thick enough to stand a spoon in, but these were delightfully sloppy, and resulted in a spoon fight at the table to get at the last mouthfuls.

We’d bet that Marco Pierre White had more to do with this exemplary dining experience than little Frankie, but it’s all the same to us. We’ve tried few better Italian restaurants in this city. For a great meal, put your money on Frankie’s.

The bill (for two)
Crab cakes
Dhs75
Tenderloin steak Dhs185
Sea bass Dhs150
Tiramisu trio Dhs45
Large bottle of sparkling water Dhs28
Total (excluding service) Dhs483

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Bain Al Jessrain, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 654 3333
  • Travel: Between The Bridges
  • Website | Send mail

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User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Eric on 01 May ' 13 at 20:07
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Frankie’s is to my taste the best Italian restaurant in town. This does not mean that Frankie’s is the best ever Italian (by far!). I’ve been there several times, the quality and service seems to be a bit inconsistent which should not be the case for the price paid. I never had a real bad experience though.
The décor, the ambiance especially when you have live music is really nice. On the food side there are a few very good hints such as the raviolis (my preferred), the veal & tuna salad, the risotto with wild mushrooms. The pizzas are average only.

Posted by: Jessica on 13 Nov ' 12 at 08:13
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

My husband and I chose Frankie's to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. The decor was gorgeous and sophisticated...but not overdone! We were impressed with the food and the service. Our waiter was Rey and he was wonderful! It was an A+ experience all the way around. Truly excellent!

Jessica

Posted by: 007 on 10 Nov ' 12 at 09:55
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  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Had dinner at Frankie's with a group of colleagues. I really liked that design of the restaurant but the quality of the food was not matched with what you pay. I ordered a starter of fresh buffalo Mozzarella and Cream with Greens and Balsamic and was the highlight of my meal. The pizza was very bad. Extremely dry and no flavor at all. The issue is that I heard all people around the table complaining about the food being either tasteless or not good quality Italian, which gives you an idea. A friend got lasagna and he mentioned that it did not taste fresh. There was a piano player and singer when we went which made the place lively, but was a bet loud if you were looking for a quite romantic evening out. Dessert was mediocre and the prices...very expensive for what you get.

Posted by: brent on 14 Oct ' 12 at 14:04
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Silvia on 25 Jul ' 12 at 07:47
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I quite enjoyed going to this restaurant, my pizza was awsome and all the antipasti weve tried was also nice, some better then others, but good, and the service is also very nice.
Im surprised that some italian people wrote here that they dont like this restaurant when so many loved it..funny enough the worst past and pizza i had in my life was in italy..anyway Frankies is definetly a great place to eat italian food, its not cheap, but i had a such a great time with friends that in the end , is worth it..
Thanks

Posted by: carla on 31 Oct ' 11 at 09:55
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Terrible Italian.

Posted by: chiara on 24 Aug ' 11 at 10:32
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I have been to this restaurant because it has been defined the best italian restaurant in Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately I found this definition completely wrong.
Being italian I think I have the right to say that the food was very far from the italian standard (in Abu Dhabi).
We have eaten seafood pasta (not satisfactory at all), fish grill (simply acceptable).We were expecting much more.
The only excellent point is the service.

Posted by: Tony on 16 Jul ' 11 at 20:07
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I have been many times and recently I am going there for lunch.
Food is excellente.
The GM Vinicio is always around and his staff is absolutely attentive.
I felt in Italy here.

Bravo Frankie's I hope you will keep this quality and you will get always recogniction of Best in town!!!

Grazie!

Posted by: NIc on 30 Mar ' 11 at 21:02
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutAbuDhabi.com

I have been to Frankie's 20 times. Always loving it. Food, service Vinicio is a great place where you can eat traditional italian and enjoy a nice live music. I really love it and nothing to compare with all the other italian restaurant in town Frankie's is simply the best Italian in town!!!! Nic

Posted by: Marco on 01 Dec ' 10 at 19:00
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I had a very nice meal
Great atmosphere and really the best and only truly Italian
I love going to Frankie's

M.

Posted by: Samer on 30 Nov ' 10 at 18:51
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Simply, a true and genuine Italian restaurant. Great food topped with warm and colorful music, makes dinner at Frankie's an experience that you would gladly repeat. I have been a regular guest at the Fairmont Hotel for about four months now and I must say I've been lucky to find the best Italian restaurant in Abu Dhabi by just taking the elevator. I've tried most of Italian restaurants available in the city and no one offers what Frankie's do. The staff is amazing, very welcoming and will instantly make you feel at home. Not to be missed.

Posted by: JW on 29 Nov ' 10 at 12:10
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Didn´t like it, waiters are very nice and vinizio is funy, but food is just like the one yiu can get in Certo or the pizza you may get from Pizza Hut... nothing 5* from this restaurant... if it was in a food court, then I could think is good... but for being in a Fairmont... sorry but I do not reccomind Franki to anyone... instead got to Prego´s !!

Posted by: Rod on 18 Nov ' 10 at 17:42
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Didn´t like the hotel, and didn´t like any restaurant there (apart from the Steack House). Frankie is best as best place to loose money for nothing... everything is overcharged for nothing... not going back to Fairmont Abu Dhabi and neither to Frankis Dubai

Posted by: Martina on 08 Nov ' 10 at 19:13
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I'm glad to see that Frankie's got awarded the best Italian in town. I have eaten in all the other Italian restaurants and none of them comes even close to what you experience in Frankie's. Not only the food is one of the most authentic I have ever experienced outside of Italy (I was born in Milano), but in particular the service is truly 5*. If you are looking for attention to detail, Frankie's lives up to your expectation including a genuine and friendly staff that makes an effort to remember your name and suggests signaure dishes such as the home made lasagne or the panfried seabass. If you are looking for upscale wines, there is always a sommelier around who is great in pairing wines with your dishes, I believe he recently won an award for the U.A.E. but I might be mistaken.
Bottom line, Time Out is right - go to Frankie's if you are looking for the best Italian experience in town! Tina

Posted by: paul on 07 Nov ' 10 at 19:55
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

so far the traditional italian i had ever tried out of italy.... splendid food, awesome combinations, truly class finesse in every single dish.. i swear i would be surprised if some other restaurant would have got it. i had been there so many times and i can tell you most of my favourites.. be it the veal & tuna salad, classic pizzas, gnocchi with gorgonzola cheese sauce, the risotto with wild mushrooms, fresh home made pastas like the white and black tagliolinis, the ravioli and the succulent meats every single dish makes you feel at home. this fentasitic food is paired with one great service team which makes it my home away from home..a truly class team of impeccable service and culinary pros makes FRANKIE'S the best.. My best. if someone else has negetive comments on this place then they are jeleous.. no offence please.. thank you..ciao

Posted by: Gala Marseiile on 05 Nov ' 10 at 17:31
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

dissapointing

Posted by: G.Williams on 05 Nov ' 10 at 17:22
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Terrible Italian... i disagree tottaly with you... I love the decor (is very nice, not mafia at all) and the ambience is great, but food is less than average and service is poor. Not coming back (I went twice to give an opportunity and always fail), I rather spend my nights in the beautifull open space you have in front Frankies, with views over the mosque and very nice small bites and quite good wine ;) (that is my preffer space in Abu... but NO frankies...

Posted by: Moira on 05 Nov ' 10 at 16:05
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Very avaradge place. I do not belive how this restaurant get awarded as Best Italian. I tryed couple of times but was nothing special. I do not trust anymore Time Out. And by the way where is Mezzaluna this is by far the best restaurant in Abu Dhabi.
Moira

Posted by: shayma on 25 Oct ' 10 at 17:27
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Beautiful resturant and good food.....Must visit .....You will be served Italian Cusine with complimentry smile with it !

Posted by: cinzia on 18 Sep ' 10 at 19:12
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I had a fantastic dinner
Truly Italian food and Athosphera
The General Manager Vinicio covers you of attentions.

Fantastic restaurant and for me the best Italian in Abu Dhabi

Thanks

Cinzia

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