Cafe Milano

Serious service and excellent food at this A-list Italian Discuss this article

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The big brain behind Café Milano, Franco Nuschese, opened its first and only other outpost in Washington. The day was November 3, 1992 – a prestigious one not just because Nuschese was about to set a new standard for the DC dining scene but because it was also the day President Bill Clinton was elected for his first term.

Now, as Nuschese expands his booming business from that capital to this, the US political landscape may have, well, changed, but we can thankfully report that the quality of the food, at least, has stayed consistent. Little wonder this place’s American cousin finds itself routinely packed out with Hollywood stars and presidents alike (though maybe they don’t sit next to each other any more.)

That’s not to say it’s faultless. But boy does it come close.

We start with a haddock macaron amuse-bouche, a headscratcher of texture and taste that’s easy to admire but difficult to like. And, in a twist that in its native Italy might result in someone sleeping with the fishes, our foccacia is undercooked.

Things get considerably more interesting with our starter, and then to an entirely new plain with the main. The former is a carpaccio, a deep red blossom of beef petals arranged lovingly on the plate. On top perch the standard greens, but there’s a secret weapon among them – slivers of pickled white asparagus delivering a neat acid kick.

The seafood risotto – from the daily specials – is, frankly, good enough for a president. Folds of fresh squid, prawns and mullet peek out from immaculately cooked, tomato-red rice. It’s an exquisite explosion of ocean – perfect as we gaze over the Al Maryah waters, and so good that we find ourselves eating it deliberately slowly, like a book we love and never want to finish.

The bill (for two)
1x roast octopus salad Dhs85
1x beef carpaccio Dhs75
1x seafood risotto (specials) Dhs150
1x grilled veal paillard Dhs190
1x large water Dhs30
1x double espresso Dhs25
Total (excluding taxes) Dhs555

The bottom line
Top quality Italian with gorgeous views.

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.


  • Location: Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 333 2222
  • Travel: Zayed The First Street
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Times: Open Sun-Thu noon-11.30pm; Fr-Sat noon-12.30am

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