A slice of Paris in Dubai
There’s a little dining spot on the Marina Walk Boulevard that feels so authentically French that it’s the next best thing to jetting off to Paris. I knew that Bistro des Arts would be the real deal after visiting their Taste of Dubai stand and being wowed by a very simple but completely yummy raclette. So when a girlfriend with an appetite and love of food as big as mine suggested a catch-up, we decided to go French.
The secret to Bistro des Arts? Its founders, Jonathan Vercoutere and Julien Pilard – 2 Frenchies with a passion for the authentic – whose mission to recreate a traditional Parisian Bistro dining experience including dishes and recipes from their grandmother’s kitchens, blended with a little Dubai sophistication makes for the perfect combo. Most restaurants don’t succeed in getting all elements of the dining experience – food, ambience, staff right but Bistro des Arts absolutely does. Located on the Marina Promenade with a waterfront terrace, the location is magical – with twinkly fairy lights and bistro style seating, it’s difficult to believe that this particular spot lay vacant for months before they saw its potential.
We sat outside to soak up the gorgeous mild weather – but the inside is equally charming with cosy nooks, mis-matching furniture, an open kitchen and warm glow.
The menu at Bistro des Arts is what foodie dreams are made of – panfried duck foie gras with homemade brioche (all bread is made on site – of course), lightly cured tenderloin of beef with capers and parmesan, calamaries and baby squid. I wanted it all (and more). Luckily so did my lovely dining companion and we opted to go for a selection of starters, each of which was completely delicious, particularly when washed down with the perfect glass of French rose.
For mains, I chose the seafood mixed grill served with marinated vegetables and vierge sauce (the most deliciously fragrant and very French sauce made with olive oil, lemon juice, chopped tomato and herbs including basil) and my friend had duck confit with braised puy lentils – both of which were amazing. We’ll have to return for roasted baby chicken with French fries and tarragon sauce, grilled lamp chops with gratin dauphinois and hand-cut steak tartar plus everything else on the menu that jumped out at us, making the final ordering decision so difficult!
With sauces mopped up by perfectly baked baguette, we shared a tarte-tatin with vanilla ice cream – the sweetest of endings to our evening.
Bistro des Arts is a gem of a dining spot and one of the best places I’ve eaten at in Dubai. And with so much on the menu that I’m dying to go back and try – plus a breakfast menu that includes homemade croissants and more – I can see this becoming a regular haunt.
Bistro des Arts, The Address Hotel, (+971) (0) 4 55 11 578, www.bistrodesarts.ae