Last weekend as he was driving home from some errands Matt calls and says "I'd like to go out for lunch, somewhere in the neighborhood, what do you think?" I agree that lunch plans sound great and wonder what Matt has in mind. In Arlington this surely would mean a delicious Italian Store Napoli sub or a Faccia Luna pizza (missing these!) however in Dubai our 'neighborhood' is a little less traditional.
Little did I know that Matt's ambitious plans were to visit our friendly 'tallest building in the world' and eat lunch at the newly launched Armani hotel. Firstly, we haven't been to the Burj Khalifa yet, very few people have. In fact I think we are all a little afraid of it and the Armani hotel, to boot. I think we all assume that entering the building must be more complicated that just driving up to the front doors (it wasn't). I mean shouldn't you have to jump through some extra hoops to get into the world's tallest building? Then there was the Armani hotel factor. Do you have to wear Armani to get in? Do you need a reservation? Is there some secret code you need to tell the doorman? (psssstt....the eagle has landed...
Turns out that it's a normal hotel who is suffering under the guise of people thinking that they can't get into the Burj or the hotel. It's cool to be exclusive, but not so exclusive no one thinks they can get in!
Finally a view of our building from the Burj Khalifa instead of the other way around!
We need to get to the top of the Burj now, so we can finally look down on the Address hotel.
The Armani hotel is on the lower level of the Burj. The entire interior is done up in creams, tans, and soft golds. As my friend Fiona stated "I feel like I am in a serene cave". Hope that's what you were going for Mr. Armani? We enjoyed a fantastic meal at the Italian restaurant Ristorante (that's redundant isn't it?) and then were treated to a tour of the entire hotel thanks to the affable and highly trained staff. If fact, rumor has it that Ristorante is in the pennant race for Best Italian Restaurant in the Middle East with the Italian restaurant in the Intercontinental in Cairo. The entire staff is focused on out gunning them - you got to love competitively served food.
Tasty amuse bouche.
Burrata with marinated veggies to start.
The gnocchi was beautifully plated and delicious!
Braised beef and black truffle ravioli.
The closest thing we can get to mint chocolate chip!
In fact we liked it so much that we returned a few days later to try out the sushi restaurant Hashi, which didn't disappoint and Matt enjoyed meeting their sake sommelier.
Of course, if there is fire involved Matt is interested.
Next time we will try the hibachi!
So hats off to the Armani hotel!
The Prive club at the hotel.
PS. Please remember us when you are packed 3 months from now? We loved you when everybody else was scared to!