Fun, feisty Italian cuisine served in a lively setting 20 Reviews
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If you want to dine in a vibrant Italian atmosphere, then look no further. Frankie’s at The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr has a cosy set-up with lighting kept dim and atmospheric, and an effort has clearly been made to marry a distinctly Italian mood with characteristic Fairmont classiness. Frankie’s exudes a warm ambience and the service is exemplary. Waiters are friendly, clearly have a deep knowledge of the food they’re serving and are only too happy to impart their wisdom. We found them to be helpful and attentive. We were swiftly shown to our seats and on this particular evening the restaurant was full of buzzing, excited diners. Above the hubbub of chatter and clammer of plates we were also greeted by the soft, lilting music performed by a live piano player. Beautiful.
You’ll find all the usual Italian favourites on the menu, including a wide variety of pizza and pasta dishes, plus some heartier classics. For entrée we settled on the classic bruschetta and the pollo calzone. The calzone was super tasty – the crust was perfectly cooked and once we cut into it a rich tomato sauce with chicken and cheese oozed out. Although the serving was very generous, the bruschetta itself was only just about average. It came with fat cuts of mozzarella, fresh basil leaves and ripe slices of tomato but it lacked zip in the taste department.
Suitably teased we moved onto the mains. The osso bucco that we ordered was beautifully served – tender pieces of veal nestled in a rich sauce, served on a bed of gooey saffron risotto. The meat melted off the bone and the saffron risotto was the perfect accompaniment. The waiter had cheekily warned us that it’s enough for two and he was right, but you’ll just want to keep on eating no matter how full you feel. It was the pinnacle of the evening and a decent representation of hearty Italian fare.
Our second main, the prawn tagliolini, was delightful. Again, the serving was more than ample and laced with meaty prawns that were very delicately seasoned and the sauce was deliciously robust and creamy. Every detail of the meals here show a degree of love and care in the way they’re presented. The pasta was dished up twirled into a beautiful pyramid with fresh herbs and parmesan sprinkled all over the top.
Even though we felt like we had already eaten our way through Italy, we couldn’t resist dessert. There were plenty of old favourites, but we decided on the lemon cheesecake. Although a pretty standard affair it still packed a heap of flavour with a crumbly, buttery biscuit base and a rich yet light cream cheese filling that gave it a genuine homemade feel.
Frankie’s is certainly more expensive than most Italian eateries in the capital, but it’s perfect for a special occasion and is one of the best in the city.
The bill (for two)
Pollo calzone Dhs75
Prawn tagliolini Dhs130
Osso bucco Dhs150
Total (excluding service) Dhs455
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
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