Great views? Check. Interesting menu? Check. Elegant ambiance? Check. And warm service? Double check. I remember visiting celebrated chef Pierre Gagnaire’s restaurant Reflets a few years ago marvelling at the fancy, fine-dine French affair that had often ranked among the best French restaurants in the city. Well, that affair lasted around eight years before it bid goodbye for a refresh.
It is now back in a newer avatar – less formal, more relatable and definitely more fun. Everything is the same yet everything has changed – it’s still located in the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City, the ambience is chic and elegant and the menu is eclectic as ever. But the concept is altogether new; Pierre’s Bistro and Bar has been designed to create a joyful and delicious nightlight experience – not an intimidating one as one would assumed with haute French cuisine - with fantastic views of Festival City lights and laser show. And to that end, it delivers and how!
The menu has been carefully curated by head chef Mathieu Balbino – international favourites with French twists. I don’t know where the Madagascar Prawns fit in but the delicious grilled shrimps with preserved lemons served with quinoa and spinach earned a 10/10 from me. A perfect example of disparate elements coming together for a tasty whole.
The temptation to try the frog legs with garlic, black pepper, salt and coriander as well as the frog legs with creamy poulette sauce was quite high but maybe another time! Instead I stuck to the tried and tested – roasted scallops with leeks fondue and lobster fricassee with seaweed gnocchi and traditional bisque. Comforting and utterly delicious.
Perhaps it was the refinement with which it was presented or just the smooth and delicate flavours, paired with great grape, so essential to French food. Perhaps it was the vibe and the attentive yet non-intrusive service. Or maybe it was the interesting yet familiar flavors on the menu, each dish enhanced considerably by the superstar chef’s eye for detail, the entire dining experience seemed to have a touch of romance to it. On a winter evening, overlooking the fantastic sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps, one couldn’t ask for more.
INFO: Promenade level, Dubai Festival City, 04 701 1127