The Burj Daman building in DIFC has long been recognised as the home of post-modern Indian specialty restaurant Carnival by Tresind and to some extent London-import Burger & Lobster, but there’s now a new spot fast gaining traction with Dubai Diners in the form of Ravioli & Co.
Modeled as a typically Italian trattoria Ravioli & Co’s restaurant space is notably smaller than it’s neighbour’s and offers an instantly likeable charm via a recreation of the traditional trattoria. Wooden furniture, tiled floors, a small bar and bare walls help recreate the feel of a rustic village eatery anchored around a central show kitchen.
So what sets Ravioli & Co apart from the countless Italian restaurants in Dubai? First and foremost all of the sauces and pastas are made daily in house – by hand! Thus ensuring a depth of flavour and strict authenticity to the cuisine on show. The specialism in fresh pasta is certainly a unique selling point and this home-grown concept boasts their very own sfoglina (pasta chef) with the option of pasta workshops coming soon (sign us up)!
As we peruse a menu that understandably revolves around pasta, we’re treated to a basket of freshly baked breads alongside a selection of appealing dips (we’d recommend the pesto) and a complimentary pre-appetiser of prawns and black rice. Though the prawns are unlikely to leave much of a lasting impression, yet their inclusion is appreciated all the same.
Never ones able to resist burrata, the la burrata (AED 85) is easily up there with the best in the city and is generously portioned upon a tomato carpaccio, bed of rocket leaves and scattered with taggiasche olives. The creamy nature of this particular burrata is undeniable and works as a showcase as to how the simple cheese plated should be executed.
With the beef tartare and arancini catching our eye, we’re eventually swayed into ordering the carpaccio di bresaola but our dining companion. It’s a sensible choice with cured beef accentuated by the chunky parmesan flakes that complement the meat well. Again, there’s an abundance of rocket and cherry tomatoes but these actually help to break up the meat and bring an inspired freshness to the plate. A little too salad heavy perhaps, but as a combination it works.
For the main courses we decided to skip the ‘carne’ and ‘pesce’ choices in favor of the pasta (it’s the restaurants signature after all) and we’re glad that we did. With the menu broken into ravioli, gnocchi and risotto we’re immediately drawn to the gnocchi carbonara (AED 84) and tortelli al profumo di timo (AED 82). Both pastas impress for both the reasonable price point and the bold flavours. The ravioli stuffed with lamb, thyme and parmesan is presented within a deep tomato sauce that’s an absolute treat, Making it easy to see why the Ravioli is the star of this particular show. The carbonara sauce adorning the gnocchi is wonderfully creamy with the potato gnocchi itself not too soft. Add in crispy beef bacon for additional texture and the dish is another sensible choice.
Other pasta options include pumpkin and ricotta and spinach and walnut – two flavours we’ve earmarked for a future visit.
Desserts keep things brisk with just a handful of choices including grandma cake, profiteroles, and millefoglie. After such generous portions of pasta we opt to share tiramisu (AED 49). Presenting a traditional version of the coffee, mascarpone and chocolate layered dessert but with a twist. The incorporation of Nutella into the recipe brings additional sweetness and while this may not appeal to tiramisu purists, we certainly appreciated this take on a dessert which roughly translates as “pick me up” in Italian.
With so many Italian restaurants vying for attention in the city, we truly appreciated the causal nature of Ravioli & Co and the focus on simple dishes cooked well. The price point is also extremely reasonable considering the DIFC location (especially with the likes of Zuma and Gaucho is such close proximity).
Service throughout our lunchtime visit remained prompt and efficient, but could’ve been a little more engaging to truly reflect the homely Italian hospitality the restaurant is striving to achieve.
Out & About UAE were guests of Ravioli & Co. All views are our own and photographs are © Out & About UAE.