Experience life through rose-tinted glasses…

The Galleria, Al Maryah Island is well-worth a visit in itself: contemporary, lined with just about every brand you can think of, and in their eleventh year of business. Stroll over to the structure’s new building, and on its lower level lies LPM Restaurant and Bar, one of the capital’s must-visit ultra-fine dining destinations.

It also happens to be…the winner of the Restaurant of the Year award, at last night’s What’s On Abu Dhabi Awards 2024.

Images: supplied

The Riviera lifestyle has more than landed in Abu Dhabi, and LPM Restaurant and Bar’s Sunday brunch, the La Vie en Rosé isn’t just a tasty spread that you tuck in to, it’s a carefully-crafted journey from start to finish. And they do it beautifully.

The curtains open with their ‘A Mocktail Life’ package (Dhs390), ‘A Life with Cocktails and Wines’ (Dhs465), or the ‘A Champagne Life’ (Dhs640) for you to pick from, while your little ones dine for Dhs187.5.

Stepping indoors on a bright Sunday afternoon, we take in the ambiance for a second, or five. We’re greeted by sunshine, the bustling masses, a splash of colour, a dash of grandeur. Reds and whites dominate the decor, and there’s that eye-catching font style we’ve been looking for.

Once we take it all in and are seated, we begin to cool off with a glass of the riviera rosé, a gently carbonated welcome drink infused with verjuice in a lighter version of your traditional rosé.  The tiramisu martini follows, strong notes of espresso invigorating us in a variant of one of the world’s most loved desserts. Topped off with a sprinkle of cocoa and vanilla, you’re tempted to expect a full dessert underneath, but what ensues is a refreshing beverage with a signature caffeine-powered jolt of energy.

We opt for a healthful starter in the salade de chou-fleur, a crisp, cool cauliflower salad with almonds and caraway dressing. We’re often guilty of turning our starters into mains-of-sorts, and this is one of those times, before we’re gently reminded there’s way more to come. The crevettes tiedes a l’huile d’olive, warm prawns in olive oil and lemon juice, are exactly what we expect, and want, in a Mediterranean seafood starter. We’re teleported to the seaside instantly despite being seated only steps away, and the lemon keeps things fresh, flavourful and summer-like. Great start.

For our main, we order the risotto aux champignons – creamy, flavourful mushroom risotto that you simply can’t get a big enough spoon of. Several bites later, while we’re not stuffed, the might of this meal, often enjoyed as a comfort food, is evident. We could eat a plate every day of the week and not be bored, such is the flavour fest it packs. Paired with a side of the gratin de chou fleur (cauliflower gratin, because we’re still revelling in memories of our starter), we’re enjoying what we imagine is the best the kitchens at LPM Restaurant & Bar pack, except our eyes skim over a menu that promises there’s much more in store for future visits.

Amid an unmistakeable French influence and classic Mediterranean effervescence, we pause to chat with the service staff, gaze around at tables that are packed to the gills and decide we’re far from ready to say our goodbyes. The clafoutis a la figure aids our cause, with ice cream and a novel hint of olive oil making for an innovative flavour mash-up.

We’d heard a fair bit about LPM Restaurant and Bar before we’d arrived. Classy, fine dining, upscale, fancy, arty. “Dress to the nines”, they said. “Don’t show up late”.

Yet, we’re at home here. From start to finish.

La Vie en Rosé brunch, LPM Restaurant and Bar, The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Sundays, 12:00pm to 4:30pm. Tel: (0)2 692 9600, @lpmabudhabi