5 gorgeous date night restaurants you've probably not tried yet
From Japanese speakeasies to a stunning Italian restaurant in DIFC…
Are you looking for a new date night spot? Spoil your significant other with a trip to one of these gorgeous restaurants – brownie points guaranteed.
Beautiful Basko is a glamorous addition to the culinary scene at The Opus. Its bright colour palette is a welcome change from the typical muted hues most modern restaurants tend to go for, with an amalgam of bright prints and jewel tones that give the space a retro, 1950s feel. The restaurant space is small, which makes a date night here feel intimate, although there’s more tables on the pretty alfresco terrace for dining outdoors. On the menu, a tasty array of flavours from across the Mediterranean includes bites for grazing like grilled calamari and rolled langoustines, as well as fresh salads, pastas, and meats cooked to order from the grill. If you book on a weekend, sneak upstairs afterwards for a nightcap at their speakeasy bar, Suave.
Basko, ME Dubai, The Opus, Business Bay, 12pm to 4pm and 6pm to 2am daily. Tel: (0)4 582 42 42, baskorestaurant.com
The long-awaited Chic Nonna is the newest addition to DIFC’s dining scene. For a detailed fine dining experience, book a table at the elegant Osteria restaurant on the ground floor, where diners can pair fine Italian cuisine with vintages from the largest wine cellar in the city. The best seats in the house are right by the open kitchen, where you can catch up with your date while watching the culinary artists at work. After an evening of tucking into decadent dishes like red mullet alla livornese and Cavatelli cacio e pepe, you’ll likely want to conclude the evening upstairs in the vibrant lounge bar, where a DJ spins lively sets and a sleek terrace comes with gorgeous Burj Khalifa views.
Chic Nonna, Gate Avenue, South Market, Zone D, DIFC, 12pm to 3pm and 7pm to 3am daily. chicnonna.com
Bringing an alluring buzz to Bluewaters is Clay, a Nikkei restaurant that’s as much about style as it is about substance. With its dim lighting, dark colours and leafy botanicals, inside there’s a cosy feeling that makes this a perfect date night spot. For impressive views with your sharing plates of sushi, ceviche and skewers, book a seat on the terrace, where you’ll enjoy a backdrop of Ain Dubai and the beautiful JBR skyline. For a livelier vibe, you’ll want a table in the lounge where a DJ and live acts will have the whole dining room dancing as the evening turns to night.
Clay Dubai, Bluewaters Island, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 12pm to 12am, Fri and Sat 12pm to 2am. @clay_dubai
Sneak behind the wine fridges in La Cantine and slip into Gohan, an intimate speakeasy restaurant where Japanese cuisine is executed with sleek finesse. Dimly-lit cube lanterns, red hues, low ceilings and occasional intimate DJ shows create a slick Tokyo meets Flat Iron New York speakeasy aesthetic. The menu draws inspiration from Japanese street food, but there’s a refined feel to all the skewers, sushi and gyoza, that use top quality ingredients, throwing the likes of foie gras and caviar into the mix to up the dishes to a Dubai ‘high life’ level.
Gohan, La Cantine Du Fauboug, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sun to Thur noon to 4pm, daily 7pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 352 7105. @gohandubai
One of DIFC’s most underrated restaurants, Sucre oozes Buenos Aires cool with its exposed brick, mis-matched carpets and soft furnishings and latticed wooden ceiling. Inside, the restaurant is split into a bar that spills onto a neat terrace at the front, and a dining room towards the back, lined by a show kitchen filled with expert chefs at work. Here you’ll find the enormous La Parilla – the staple grill found in many Argentinian homes. Two dishes we’d recommend to everyone: the squid ink paella and the dulce de leche fondant.
Sucre Dubai, Podium Level, Gate Village 05, daily 12pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 340 0829. @sucredubai