Another big hitter in the restaurant world has announced its arrival in Dubai. Don Alfonso 1890, a two Michelin-starred restaurant from Italy, will open at the Shangri-La Hotel on March 19.

The restaurant will draw on its impressive pedigree to serve traditional and authentic Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, but with a nod to the contemporary. An open kitchen will be the centerpiece of the restaurant, which will be run by Head Chef Christian de Nadai.

Who is Don Alfonso?
Opera fans may recognise the name. He’s an important character in Mozart’s classic opera, Cosi Fan Tutte, which was first performed in 1790.


After enjoying successful launches in Macau in China, Marrakesh in Morocco and Rome, Don Alfonso 1890 in Dubai joins a strong stable of restaurants at the Shangri-La Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road. The hotel has Dunes Café, Hoi An, Marrakech and Shang Palace, which was named Favourite Chinese Restaurant at the 2013 What’s On awards.

As you might guess from the number in its name, Don Alfonso 1890 goes back a long way. The original restaurant near Sorrento on the picturesque Amalfi Coast was opened in 1890 by Alfonso Costanzo Iaccarino. In 1973 his grandson, also named Alfonso, relaunched it with his wife Livia. Their sons, Ernesto and Mario, now work there and have expanded it to a boutique hotel and cooking school within the 19th century building. The Head Chef of the Dubai outlet trained under the grandson Don Alfonso, ensuring that the traditions of the restaurant live on.

The restaurant’s philosophy is to serve local produce that reflects the season. Don Alfonso 1890 has won awards for its organic ‘living off the land’ approach to fine dining. As well as placing great importance on tradition, they’re not afraid to welcome the new. “Being innovative and staying in step with the times, is essential, but we want to maintain our identity, which is tied to our history and our land,” they say. “If we use tradition as a springboard, we shall jump higher.”

Shangri-La Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 4438215. Metro: Financial Centre.