Elegant surroundings dressed in understated luxurious décor make BICE Mare a place for special occasions. Black-and-white photographs of Italy align the walls and provide a classic ambiance for the white tablecloths, stunning fountain views and decadent seafood arrangements of this popular Italian restaurant in Dubai’s Souk al Bahar.
Upon being seated, Chef Francesco approached the table with a warm and bubbly Italian greeting explaining the menu’s specialties and the various cooking techniques he employs. Two glasses of proseco, an extra dry Italian sparkling white wine drunk as an aperitif much like France’s Champagne were served along with a Zupetta di Frutti di Mare Leggermente Piccante Servita con Crostini, a Mediterranean seafood soup served slightly spicy and with deliciously warm garlic focaccia bread.
Our palettes pleasantly wetted by the light appetizer, my guest and I then watched a stream of daintily prepared appetizers brought to the table including tuna tartare with caviar, warmed octopus, picked vegetables, crostini and mozzarella and tomato. For the third course, a variety of colorful pastas topped with all sorts of sauces arrived at the table. These included Ravioli alla Massaia, a rich and creamy ravioli stuffed with veal and porcini mushroom; Penne alla Puttanesca, literally “whore’s pasta” in Italian, the dish comprises of pasta stuffed with anchioves, capers, olives and chilly flakes making it spicy and incredibly tangy and Linguine al Granchio, a zesty linguine with crabs.
And for the fourth course, we watched in amazement as a decadent mixed seafood platter was served in a four-tier arrangement boasting of sea bass, salmon, lobster, prawns and mussels. Beautifully positioned as if meant to be viewed as an artistic still-life, we devoured each seafood specialty with a particular preference for the mussels.
While indulging in our meal we would see Chef Francesco dotting around the restaurant making sure each customer was pleasantly served and at times preparing specialty dishes in front of the table using cooking pans on wheels – a delightful and charming sight exuding the warm ambiance one finds in restaurants in Italy. We were told that the Chef is keen on cooking bespoke dishes and will often prepare something on the spot in order to cater to diners requests.
Our dessert arrived featuring small servings of a variety of Italian desserts such as tiramisu and panacotta and a mouth-watering chocolate mousse.
BICE Mare, Souk al Bahar, +971 4 423 0982