“New stylish dining destination will feature eclectic mix of restaurants in a vibrant waterside setting.” Venetian Village
I really like Abu Dhabi’s newest dining destination, the Venetian Village located in the grounds of The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal. It’s great to be able to wander along the Khor Al Maqta waterfront grab a drink, choose your eatery of choice and dine outside on the various terraces before we are forced inside by the summer weather. I actually feel like I’m on holiday when dining here and it’s a welcome change to walk around rather around rather than the door-to-door taxi scenario. Others may say that the concept inspired by the historical Italian City of Venice is lacking due to the absence of canals and gondola rides that Venice is most famous for, that the Renaissance Venetian architecture alone is not enough to qualify its connection with its namesake.
Although the village has been open for a while in its soft-opening phase its official launch was last weekend with a village-wide festival to celebrate the ceremonial opening of the six restaurants attended by the Italian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, HE Mr. Liborio Stellino. Gourmet food samples were provided by each venue at pop-up stalls giving the public a taste of what the village has to offer in terms of international cuisine, alongside an assortment of entertainment for all the family including traditional music, traditional Venetian costumed performers and an impressive fireworks display.
You really are spoilt for choice as far as dining options go, we have sampled the cocktails at the very trendy Barfly by Buddha Bar with friends and had a fabulous meal at Punjab Grill a couple of weeks ago (read about that here) but are yet to try the authentic Emirati cuisine served Al Fanar restaurant, Brasserie Flo’s French delights or the Japanese traditional robata-yaki dishes served at Inakaya. I attended the media cocktail party to celebrate the village opening held Todd English Olives, sampling lots of lovely Italian and Mediterranean inspired treats.
If you haven’t visited already I would suggest you go while it’s still bearable to enjoy dining outdoors, if you have visitors coming over the Easter break it’s a great spot to wow them. Enjoy an authentic Japanese experience at Inakaya’s modern and theatrical izakaya setting, appreciate traditional French food at the water’s edge at Brasserie Flo. Sample celebrity chef James Beard’s fusion of Italian and Mediterranean menu with an American twist (I was quite confused by this concept but can confirm that the food was very nice and leaned more towards the Italian aspect with its fresh pasta room and yummy pizzas) at Todd English’s Olives.
If Indian fine dining sounds intriguing Punjab Grill will take you on a culinary journey of Northern India or go back in time at Al Fanar’s recreation of a 1960s traditional Emirati village with a majlis, the courtyard, private dining rooms, souk and terrace setting, merging culture and cuisine in one unique experience. Grab an early pre-dinner cocktail at Barfly, works of mixology art in themselves or visit post-dinner to party the night away.
Location: Within the grounds of The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal
Telephone: 02 408 7201
I was an invited guest at the Venetian Village Festival. All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. Photos 1, 2, 4 and 5 used courtesy of www.venetianvillage.ae