A Night at the Opera | Circo Abu Dhabi

If music be the food of love.” William Shakespeare

Italian food and opera are a perfect combination. Circo Abu Dhabi has introduced a series of dining events to complement its five-star cuisine which began at the end of 2016 when they introduced Dine in the Dark. Last week the restaurant played host to an exclusive ‘Night at the Opera’ featuring a live performance of Italian Opera by the ladies from Vox Livens.

While combining Italian food with opera is not a new concept in itself, it was certainly the first time this fusion took place in the capital, the brainchild of passionate restaurant manager Gianluca Maglianella. Multi-award winning Circo has made quite the impact on the capital’s dining scene, consistently offering diners high-quality Italian cuisine along with a unique dining experience.


Vox Livens, meaning the ‘pearl voice’ in Latin are the UAE’s only Soprano Ensemble, a talented group of ladies with powerful voices and incredible ranges, how the glasses didn’t shatter I really don’t know. In the centre of the vibrant circus-themed venue, three members of the group sang a variety of pieces to the delight of the assembled guests. The ladies who hail from Venezuela, Canada and Korea gave a stunning performance showcasing their incredible vocal talents including the Duetto buffo di due gatti (otherwise known as the humorous duet for two cats) where the lyrics are just high-pitched repeated meows.

While the ladies entertained us with their repertoire we feasted on the menu prepared by Chef Matteo Fontana and his team, a modern interpretation of traditional Tuscan fare using the freshest sourced produce. While my dining companion enjoyed the evening’s set menu I dined on a selection of tasty vegetarian options from the regular a la carte menu. We started with some bubbles with amuse bouche of saffron risotto croquettes, before moving on to the antipasto progressing through the courses each paired with fine wines.

A winning mix of seafood and fresh fruit salad was followed by companion’s favourite course of fresh potato gnocchi with Italian cheese fondue while I enjoyed the fresh caprese. Mains of Surf and Turf (slow cooked wagyu beef ribs with grilled tiger prawns) and risotto with eggplant was followed by desserts of apple and walnut cake with dark chocolate ice cream and Circo’s signature tiramisu served in a chocolate bombe with mini meringues.


Circo, the Italian for Circus, was the first of its kind in the Middle East when it opened at the Intercontinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi back in 2014. It came with plenty of pedigree as part of the Maccioni family restaurant empire that includes acclaimed New York celebrity hangout, Le Cirque. Circo founder Sirio Maccioni and his wife Egidiana opened Le Cirque over forty years ago and now have a total of ten restaurants worldwide.

Delectable Tuscan food, an extensive wine list and good service make Circo Abu Dhabi simply the best Italian restaurant in the capital. I love that they are constantly evolving, pushing the boundaries and introducing conceptual dining events that complement the restaurant’s food and character. Thank you, Chef Matteo, Gianluca and all the team for another memorable dining experience, look out for the next Circo ‘Dine in the Dark’ event coming very soon.

Circo Abu Dhabi

Location: Lower Ground Floor, Intercontinental Hotel Abu Dhabi

Opening Hours: 12:00 – Midnight (Happy Hour – enjoy 50% off on selected beverages daily from 5 pm – 7 pm)

Telephone: 02 666 6888

Website: www.dining-intercontinental-ad.ae/restaurants/circo

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Read more about Circo Abu Dhabi in previous posts Review: Circo, Abu Dhabi’s Best Kept SecretEvent: Zonin Wine Dinner at Circo Abu DhabiHappy First Anniversary Circo Abu Dhabi and Review: Media Dinner Circo Abu Dhabiand Dine in the Dark | Circo Abu Dhabi

I was invited to attend this event. All views are all my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved. Final photo used with courtesy of Vox Livens

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