Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Revisiting Filini

Abu Dhabi is filled with many wonderful restaurants, it seems every week there is a new place springing up to try. Unfortunately, this makes it harder to get back to some places we've enjoyed eating at in the past. Such was the case for Filini at The Radisson Blu on Yas Island.

First off let me say, the Radisson Blu on Yas holds a special place in my heart. It was the first place I stayed in Abu Dhabi when I came over for my first visit in 2009. It's a lovely hotel, and the staff is very attentive. I was of course very excited to have a chance to sample some of the new and improved menu at Filini prepared by Chef Emanuele who hails from Italy. In all of our travels, Italian food and wine is pretty high on our list.
Filini at the Raddison Blu Yas Island

Chef Emanuele is absolutely amazing! I keep telling my friends it was like a completely different Filini. We started with an anipasto misto and capaccio di polipo. The anipasto misto was devine and had all of my favorites; Italian cold cuts, Buffalo mozzarella, sun-dried tomato, artichokes, along with grilled eggplant and squash. The veggie lover in me could have feasted on nothing but this and been happy. 
Anipasto Misto

The capaccio di polipo was quite tasty. For the non Italian speakers, polipo is octopus. Before those without more adventurous palates turn their noses up, let me just say you really shouldn't knock it till you try it. Thinly sliced and accompanied by asparagus and tomatoes comfit, the capaccio di polipo was quite good.

An Italian meal would not be an Italian meal without pasta. I have to say this was my favorite part of the entire meal. I'm the type of person where I'll have a dish I really enjoy, and it will stick in my mind forever. We were able to sample the Paccheri alla Siciliana, a paccheri pasta with eggplant, smoked ricotta, and basil. Take note, THIS IS AN ABSOLUTELY AMAZING PASTA DISH. When I think of Italian food now, it is the first dish that comes to my mind. Needless to say, I will be going back to Filini more often from now on for this masterpiece.
Paccheri alla Siciliana and Ravioli Gamberi 

We also had the ravioli gamberi, prawn stuffed ravioli in a delicious cherry tomato sauce. In my book, you can never go wrong with a seafood stuffed ravioli. The dish was hearty but not too heavy, and the sauce was reminiscent of those I've had during our travels in Italy.

One can't live on pasta alone, so for our next course we were introduced to some of the meat and fish dishes Filini offers. My husband was quite happy when we were presented agnello con patate e carciofi, roasted lamb chops with roasted baby potatoes and tender artichokes. To say the chops were succulent would be an understatement, another example of Chef Emanuele out doing himself.

Spigola al forno, a pan roasted sea bass was our choice of dishes from the sea. It was complimented by zucchini and a lovey confit tomato. The fish was cooked to perfection, not too dry and perfectly flaky. This was quite a mouth watering dish. Coming from coastal Virginia where seafood is a part of life, I can be quite critical when it comes to fish. I was really pleased to see Chef Emanuele really knew how to prepare fish just to the point of perfection. 

Dessert was a sampling of Filini's finest including tiramisu, cannolis, and chocolate soufflé. Tiramisu is a favorite of mine, and Filini's tiramisu is absolutely scrumptious.

Chef Emanuele is an absolute gem, and his creations are beyond delicious. I highly recommend an evening at Filini, I promise you will not be disappointed. You may even see me there enjoying my new fav, Paccheri alla Siciliana.

For Reservations Call: Tel: +971 2 656 2000
Opening hours:
Lunch: Noon - 15:00 (Daily)
Dinner: 18:00 - 23:30 (Daily)

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