Sometimes cravings just happen, and when that craving is for authentic Italian cuisine, then there’s no room left for mistakes. When this craving hit, we headed over at Luigia Dubai, whose slogan is ‘The Best of Italy’.
Located along Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) inside Rixos Premium hotel, Luigia comes off as a casual and relaxed dining eatery that’s family friendly for both young and the young at heart. Our visit coincided with their newly-introduced ‘Pop and Pizza Night’, which takes place every Wednesday; where you get a choice of pizza with three glasses of pop (sparkling red wine), for only AED 150. So, our menu was already sorted, but we tried a few other things.
The décor is a mixture of rustic setting with a touch of modernity. The restaurant is quite expansive, with different sitting arrangements, high tables with high chairs and the low normal sitting, with an island in the middle surrounded by high chairs, which gives the restaurant a homely and social atmosphere. The layout and lighting is also excellent.
From the main entrance of the Rixos, Luigia is pretty easy to spot; it’s on the right side. When we walked through the doors, were ushered in with a big “Ciao” by a friendly hostess, who showed us where to sit. We chose the island in the middle with the high chairs. From where we were, we could see the pizza, amongst other dishes getting prepared.
They have a multinational staff, including Italians, who were very friendly and attentive. Before pouring a glass of red for us, one of the friendly Italian hostesses gave us a short lesson on the wine we were about to partake with our pizza. It was a Reggiano Lambrusco, which is a sparkling red.
Instead of going straight to the pizza, we dug into some starters first, which were a combination of bruschetta Mediterranea, and Frittura de calamari (fried calamari), and some crispy squid which was ok. Next was the pizza, which is what had taken us to Luigia. We had something they called Smeralda, whose toppings were made of Buffalo mozzarella, baby tomatoes, Ricotta and bottarga.
We don’t know if it’s ok to say this was one of the best pizzas we’ve had in Dubai, but we’ll just go ahead and whisper it. The feel and the taste of the flavors was simply unique, and the thick crust was also not your normal run-of-the-mill kind of the thing. Not to mention, our Reggiano Lambrusco lesson paid off, because that sparkling red went well with our pizza.
It would have been great if we had stayed for dessert and a digestif, but we are definitely heading back there soon. Just to note, Luigia has a bar with a nice selection of signature wines and cocktails, so if you don’t want to experience the entire #foodie scene, you will still fit in.
We definitely recommend Luigia as a MUST place to visit with family and friends for a real taste of Italian cuisine in Dubai.