New restaurant Bistrot90 brings a taste of Puglia to Dubai

Now open at Fairmont Dubai, Bistrot90 is the city’s newest Italian restaurant, lounge and nightlife destination, brought to the region by restauranteur and wine producer, Ivan Conte and his business partner, Nicola Stridi Bringing a taste of Puglia to Dubai, Italian import Bistrot90 has opened its doors to diners on the ninth floor of Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road. Representing the brand’s first opening outside of Italy, Bistrot90 was born in Puglia where the original restaurant is located. Brought to Dubai by Italian restauranteur and wine producer, Ivan Conte and his business partner Nicola Stridi, Bistrot90 is a restaurant, lounge, terrace and nightlife destination centered around soul-warming, authentic Italian flavours with modern flair, paired with sustainable wines from vineyards across Italy and other wine countries, and an energy-inducing nightlife element that will see a resident DJ take to the decks each night, paired with varied interactive performances. Leading the kitchen, Italian Head Chef Umberto Esposto has crafted a menu comprising handmade pastas, risottos and pinsas, as well as specialities from land and sea. To start, dishes like polpette Pugliesi – Puglia-style meatballs, vitello tonnato – thinly sliced cooked veal in tonnato sauce, parmigiana 2.1 – baked aubergine with tomato, pecorino cheese and anchovies, polpo e patate – marinated octopus with potato salad, and carpaccio di manzo – beef carpaccio with porcini cream, truffle and Parmiggiano Regiano sauce are sure to whet the appetites of diners. Highlight mains include, cotoletta di vitello alla Milanese – Milanese-style veal entrecote, tagliata di manzo – black angus striploin, polpo in tre cotture – octopus in three ways with red pepper sauce and creamy potato, bavetta al nero di sepia – squid ink linguine with Sardinian fish roe and gold leaf, filetto di branzino – seabass fillet with vegetables and coconut cream, and the indulgent, signature pinsa gold – a Roman-style pizza topped with smoked scamorza, gold leaf and truffle. With stunning Downtown Dubai city skyline vistas visible through floor-to-ceiling windows inside, Bistrot90 also offers uninterrupted views of Burj Khalifa and the Museum of the Future from its expansive al fresco terrace that features a pool for daytime occasions. Comprising a main dining area, lounge, bar and terrace, Bistrot90 that invites guests to enjoy sunset aperitivo, followed by dinner and an evening full of liveliness. The venue also serves shisha on the terrace. Commenting on the opening, co-founder of Bistro90, Ivan Conte said: “We are incredibly excited to open our doors in Dubai and intend to fill the gap in the market for venues offering high-quality food at an approachable price point, while maintaining the highest levels of service and ambiance. Bistro90 is a place to relax and enjoy a fun night out without any ostentatious vibes. In the kitchen, Chef Umberto remains true and respectful to our Italian roots – using only the best ingredients to create dishes with creativity and elegance. We look forward to welcoming guests to enjoy the Bistrot90 experience.” Bistrot90 is located on the 9th floor of Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road and is open daily from 6pm till 3am. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 058 532 1447, visit or follow @bistro90dubai on social media.

Journey to Sardinia with The Hidden Hog

A special Sardinian Dinner - The Restaurant Co. Stories - Restaurants

Guests can expect an authentic Sardinian-curated tasting menu using a host of ingredients from the sought-after Italian seaside destination on April 10 Inviting guests to journey to the ultra-luxe island destination of Sardinia for one-night only, The Hidden Hog will host a special Sardinian Dinner in partnership with Is Mellus –  importers of specialty ingredients from Sardinia to Dubai – on April 10 from 7pm; a diary date for any avid Italian cuisine lover. For AED 237 per person, diners will enjoy a four-course menu and a welcome cocktail of 16-hours infused single origin coffee Negroni, all paired with sounds from the idyllic isle. Curated and prepared by The Hidden Hog’s Italian chef Enrico Paiola, the Sardinian evening will begin with mixed charcuterie, cheese and grilled vegetables with carasau bread. Traditional malloreddus alla campidanese with sausages and pecorino cheese is served next, followed by mains of tender suckling pig with crispy roasted potatoes and mixed salad. The evening is brought to a close with a classic Sardinian dessert of Seadas – sweet pastries filled with pecorino and lemon zest that are deep-fried and drizzled with eucalyptus honey. Tucked away in the heart of DIFC, The Hidden Hog presents an inviting, laid-back atmosphere paired with unmistakable European hospitality and charm by its predominantly Italian native team. As seating is limited, reservations are required for this event. The Hidden Hog is located on Floor 3 of Building 3 in DIFC’s Gate Village 3, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is open daily from 10am – 3am. For more information or reservations, call +971 (0) 4364 0126, e-mail [email protected], visit, or follow @thehiddenhog on Instagram.

Giorgio Locatelli: buying, storing and using truffles

Giorgio Locatelli: buying, storing and using truffles - The Restaurant Co. Stories - Chefs - Culinary tales

The ‘king of truffles’ chef Giorgio Locatelli of Ronda Locatelli at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai gives us the lowdown on buying, storing and using the much-loved ingredient, truffles. Considered one of the finest Italian chefs in the world, Giorgio Locatelli was born into a family of restauranteurs in Northern Italy. He has since worked at some of the UK’s most sought-after restaurants including the Savoy and opened Zafferano, where he earnt his first Michelin star, followed by a second star at his restaurant, Locanda Locatelli. In Dubai regularly to touch base with his team at Ronda Locatelli, here’s what chef Giorgio shared with us about truffles. Talk us through the difference between white and black truffles… I’ve been sourcing my truffles for several years from truffle hunter San Pietro a Pettine, based in Trevi. Although the truffles are from the same family they are totally different and have completely different characteristics. For example, my grandfather wouldn’t eat black truffle, only white. He barely acknowledged that black truffle existed! At the beginning of the year we created a delicious one off menu at Ronda Locatelli with black truffle signature dishes. Although the white truffle aroma is intense, it tends to fade quickly, as opposed to the black truffle, which has a subtle taste, but lasts much longer. When buying black truffles, what should you look for? When I’m buying black truffles for my restaurants I always make sure they are hard but not too heavy. This is because if they are heavy it can be a sign that they are spoiled. As a rule I only choose fresh black truffle, as this tastes the best, and recommend that you avoid jarred or pickled products. I like to speak directly to my supplier to ensure I know exactly where the truffle has been sourced from as this can also affect flavour and taste. How should black truffles be stored and prepared for use? The best way to store black truffle is in a cloth within an airtight container in the fridge. I’d also recommend taking the truffle out of the fridge and leaving in room temperature for one hour before you start cooking. Make sure you then give them a good clean using a small brush, being extra careful to get in the crevices and never to put the truffle under running water, as this will spoil it. What’s your take on truffle oil? So many restaurants are using it these days, but we hear mixed reviews… For me this is an ingredient I never use. Truffle is best served fresh, and grated directly onto the dish. Taking it back to the beginning, what got you started in the kitchen? Since as long as I can remember I have always loved food. I actually spent most of my childhood at my family restaurant; it is all I have ever known and a life-long passion of mine. For more information about Ronda Locatelli at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, visit