Quite a statement.
You’ve probably heard of BiCE Mare and if you haven’t, then you should have done.
One of Dubai’s more established eateries, this Downtown institution ticks every box on a restaurant wish list: Location? check. Views? check. Choice? check. Service? check? Food quality? double-check.You may be forgiven for thinking that this fine dining Italian restaurant is reserved for special occasions but in reality, an evening at BiCE Mare is the occasion.It’s a place that celebrates everything that is good about Dubai with a sprinkle of homegrown Italian spirit for good measure.
Consistently voted ‘Dubai’s Best Seafood Restaurant’ it’s easy to have extremely high expectations when visiting BiCE Mare. For one it boasts quite possibly the best location in the emirate, perched on the edge of Souk al Bahr, overlooking the majestic Dubai Fountains and at the foot of the imposing Burj Khalifa. I always say the mark of a good restaurant is to imagine it without its location; strip away the other-worldly views and to see if the excellence still exists. At BiCE Mare, the view is just the cherry on top.
Offering a contemporary fine dining experience, this impossibly romantic Italian restaurant has passion for gastronomy at its core. With a team of Italian staff, expect every dish aspect from the service to the presentation of the dishes to be from the heart. The kitchen is run by well-known Chef Leonardo Maltese and between him and his Italian kitchen team you’re presented with a carefully curated menu of traditional Italian cuisine based around Assaggi – an eating experience typical of Italian families.
From Truffle and black pepper marinated beef Carpaccio or succulent scallops wrapped in Avocado to start to the finest of pasta dishes as your main course – Linguine con Aragosta di Scoglio, translating to handmade linguine Pasta topped with rock Lobster and Cherry Tomatoes – BiCE Mare offers a vast and delectable menu far beyond what is in print. Even the menu itself has been crafted with love.
” We don’t want our menus to be the same leather-bound books as every other restaurant” – says BiCE Mare’s manager, and instead the simple printed white menu is backed by an eclectic collection of photographs that sum up the Italian lifestyle – or La Dolce Vita, if you will.
Fish is clearly the focus at BiCE Mare, sourced in Italy and flown to the plates of hungry Dubai diners who flock here year after year to ensure ultimate freshness. Feast on Chargrilled Marinated Amberjack with wild broccoli and a red capsicum sauce or the favored Sea Bass fillet served with taggiasche olives and a flavorsome caper salad or if you’re more of meat eater the Costoletta alla Milanese, a breaded pounded veal chop served with rocket, is a fantastic, authentic dish.
Upon speaking to Chef Maltese, the emphasis at BiCE Mare is very much on the quality and value for money. Value for money I hear you ask? Albeit, not the cheapest of dining experiences but the sizable portions, unrivalled quality and those all-important views make BiCE Mare one of the best all-rounded restaurants in the entire city and each bite is worth every single penny. Sizable tip included.
Let’s not forget the deserts. We all know that Italian’s do deserts just as well as they do pasta and BiCE Mare is no different. The triple chocolate mousse with minute pieces of chocolate brownie is a stand-out dish. Brought to the table is a small goldfish bowl, complete with oyster shell on top. Inside the oyster is an edible pearl – an explosion of citrus that hits the tastebuds as a rather cleverly designed palette cleanser before you tuck into the final course. It’s more a nod to the precision of the restaurant rather than a gimmick.
BiCE Mare has also introduced an executive business lunch and what better place to seal the deal than in the heart of the city with a mesmerizing view out towards the future. For just AED 195 per person you can enjoy a 4-course lunch consisting of Antipasti, Pasta, Secondi Piatti and Dolci.
In a place where new eateries open every week, each promising a bigger and better gimmick than the last, it’s refreshing to see a restaurant keeping both its heritage and dedication to excellent, gourmet cuisine at its core.
So to answer my title question, my response would have to be along the lines of – I think it might just be.