One of Dubai’s favorite restaurants since its arrival just a year ago, La Petite Maison transports the culinary delights and charming ambiance of Southern France to Dubai. It has become the home for Cusine Nicoise, whose origins trace back to traditional Genoese cooking from the Northern Italian seaport town of Genoa. Seemingly unprobably for Dubai’s desert climate, La Petite Maison boasts local produce, especially artichokes, courgettes, tomatoes, peppers and olives served with seafood, meat and fresh pasta in a culinary style which is highly Mediterranean in substance yet reflects upon the exquisite presentation of French cuisine.
The restaurant first opened its doors in Nice in 1988 and then a second branch in London’s Mayfair district quickly becoming one of the city’s most popular restaurants. Brought to Dubai by the Waney Family, the same people who brought Zuma to the UAE, the Dubai branch is almost identical to its London sister in menu and decor. Lining the walls are vibrant modern artworks which nicely juxtapose against the typical white-clothed brasserie style tables. A long well-stocked bar extends all the way to the entrance providing for a convenient place to gather for a brief aperitif or a more lengthy drink.
My guest and I were impressed by the knowledge and friendly expertise exhibited by native Italian and French staff. For starters, we were brought the Buratta servie Tiede avec des Tomatoes Camone, the fresh Italian cheese made with mozzarella and cream and served with fresh camone tomato relish; a dish which has become an instant favorite, the burrata is rich, silky and incredibly creamy. We were also treated to a beautifully prepared sea bass carpaccio made with pink peppercorns and boasting a velvety slightly creamy texture albeit sharp taste – a dish which instantly achieved a fresh and savoury balance.
Mains were followed by Rigatoni aux Champignons, a delicious al dente preparation with a market selection of mushrooms featuring a smooth creamy texture juxtaposed with subtly crisp shallots. We were also served Côte de Veau Grillée of grilled veal chop and Loup de Mer en Croûte de Sel, a salt-baked fillet of line caught sea bass with artichokes and tomatoes which was an instant pleasure for its intense organic flavor.
We were convinced. The surrounding ambiance of La Petite Maison seems to evoke a spell on guests. As the much-referred-to Latin saying goes in vino veritas, in wine [there is] truth, and so it may be. We watched guests enter a congenial and relaxed state as they happily retreated into conversation and experienced La Petite Maison’s so exquisitely prepared dishes.
Sweets are left for the end. We split a mouth-watering Crème Brulée à la Vanille with insides which were moist and creamy and an exterior which was perfectly-done crisp, and a rich Mousse au Chocolat Chaud et Glace à l’Orge of warm chocolate mousse with malt ice cream.
La Petite Maison is a refined dream-like culinary experience which fully merits many returns.
La Petite Maison, DIFC, 04 439 0505