The traditional format of dining in Dubai has seen a shift in the last year, adding value through entertainment while maintaining quality when it comes to the menu. A menu which, of course, must be camera-friendly and designed to share, as per Dubai restaurant’s unofficial code of service.
Lucia’s, however, takes it one step further, taking entertainment off the stage and around the tables through live music and staff involvement. Waiters wave giant Italian flags while waitresses slam tambourines and pull off impressive high kicks to the beat of Bella Ciao.
The lively Italian concept recently opened on the ground floor of Address Sky View, featuring an alfresco terrace adorned in trails of lemons and leaves transporting guests to the streets of Capri. Lucia’s indoor space is equally picturesque, but we’ll wait until the warmer months to make full use of that.
The menu offers a twist on classic Italian dishes, such as the burrata (Dhs95) which foregoes raw tomatoes for marinated roasted vegetables and olives. An interesting choice which was perhaps not necessary but satisfied our hunger pangs all the same before we moved onto the trio di crudo platter (Dhs240). A large tray billowing with dry-ice appears, sporting immaculately sliced raw fish from red snapper to tuna, to salmon and oysters. Miniature bottles offer an olive oil and lemon mix, for flavour that still ticks the aesthetic box.
The real star of the culinary show is Lucia’s pasta options, of which there are several but the stand-out winner was parpadelle al ragù D’Agnello e carciofi (Dhs80). The fresh homemade pasta strips provided a comforting base for 12-hour slow cooked lamb ragu, doused in pecorino cheese.
Another highlight was the fiorentina (Dhs990), a perfectly cooked 1.5kg steak which offered both tender fillet on one side and succulent sirloin on the other. Finished with only salt and pepper from a small side bowl, and we had no complaints from our carnivorous table.
Part-way through the meal, the sound and lighting crank up a notch, transforming the terrace into more of an outdoor club than a restaurant. Flashing red and green lights elevate the atmosphere and several diners are up on their feet, gleefully clapping to the tunes.
For dessert we’re promised a ‘truly traditional’ tiramisù classico (Dhs85). The portion is definitely generous, and enough to share around the table. We would’ve preferred a stronger coffee flavour but the consistency was spot on.
Lucia’s might be new to the dining scene but certainly hasn’t come in quietly. The lively spot isn’t for the faint-hearted but definitely is for the hedonistic diners among us. If that sounds like you, then add Lucia’s to your list ASAP.