Suffused with a modern, stylish ambience and a touch of
sophistication with an unpretentious laid-back luxury vibe, the re-opening of
the très chic Pierre’s Bistro & Bar in Dubai InterContinental Festival City
is an absolute sensory French Bistro to “dine” for. mylifestylenews writes.
French fine dining is still one of the mainstays of any cities vibrant dining scene and Dubai is no exception. One of the more interesting offers has been Pierre’s Bistro & Bar at the Dubai InterContinental Festival City, as this is the namesake of one of the most famous chefs globally, Pierre Gagnaire.
As is the case with many food & beverage establishments of late, many had to close for long periods of time due to restrictions and Pierre’s Bistro & Bar has made a come back and re-opened on February 14th 2021 after a year’s closure, with a new enticing menu to please by the infamous French chef himself in appearance last week to kick off the new season’s French Bistronomique favorites.
Signature restaurants in many hotels can miss the mark by not offering that “WOW” experience from beginning to end, due to just being a part of a hotel landscape, but Pierre’s Bistro & Bar does things differently.
Upon arriving and before even being greeted by the hostess you get a big warm welcome by Chef Gagnaire ‘himself” of his gigantic brass framed banner portrait finessed with two mirrors well positioned around “him” to create an envisaged effect. A well positioned welcome gesture to “meet” the chef before even entering the restaurant. If you are a fan of Chef Gagnaire, this is the perfect photo opt.
The entrance is by a special lift from the lobby across the lofty backdrop which has a giant pink fan-back wicker chair in it, and yes, it is placed right in the middle of the lift that takes you one floor down to the promenade level. Fancy sitting on the queen’s throne and wave for the moment of fame, it is all yours for another photo opt.
When the lift door opens, another prominent visage of Gagnaire is on the left wall with a genteel smile that comes along with his quote “I love creating emotions. Emotions make life colourful; emotions make life beautiful or tragic.” Turning right is the only option via a long corridor that sets off the anticipation bells.
On the way down this corridor, a hollow wall on the right fully populated with plastic pink and white roses floral theme lay out and a halved textile “bird cage” aka proposal chair as told, decorated with mood candles to catch your attention before passing the glassed wine walls and have a quick glance at the window to the bright sleek kitchen and then you enter an expansive, stylish dining room which leads to the al fresco terrace looking out at Dubai creek and city skyline, and you know you are in for a fabulous evening.
Hallway leading to main dining room
The main dining room is composed of many different striking elements: high tables and stools set centre stage sitting on a pink and green fern leaf motifs flooring, contemporary white marble top tastefully set up with placemats, water tumblers and starched napkins accompanied by dim mood lamps scattered all over in company with a variety of designed modish chairs.
Four artistically banquette ‘cabins’ well decorated with arty-arty paintings as a few Fornasetti decorative plates for a rustic yet intimate dining ambience, along with architecturally stunning feature lights adorned with dozens of decorative standing pink flamingos to enhance the relaxed yet playful mood.
All of which creates that special ambience to equate with the expectation that anyone would have when choosing to dine in any of Pierre Gagnaire’s restaurants.
Male washroom interior
Moving to the well stocked bar area which is a completely different mood, dimmer lights setting bedizened with a tropical flora ceiling wall conjure up an image of an airy cozy ambience, decked out with large comfy lounge sofas and ottomans that bring out a more sophisticated corner.
With floor to ceiling high glass windows looking out the beautiful skyline through a covered roof outdoor balcony garden lounge, it is equally relaxingly well-designed with furniture and rugs to suit the contemporary tropical mood.
The outdoor terraces dining are equally stylish and mesmerizingly beautiful to enjoy Dubai’s spring breeze while watching the world go by in such indulgent spaces that entice you to kick back and relax in style!
Stylish tropical mood setting
On perusing the menu, it is so difficult to choose, as there are so many highlights of alluring French cuisine to tap on that are relating to the palate sensation, but you have to start somewhere and all of a sudden, a paper bag is delivered to our table with two of the most perfectly crunchy and fluffy daily baked French baguettes you have ever tasted, along with salted Normandy butter and a ‘pillow’ of arugula, parmesan, pine nuts and crème of olive oil mousse. Divine! So the taste buds were salivating over the bread while we settled on what to eat and the evening just got better and better.
<Black Truffle Pizza>
You see the word pizza and wonder why we would order pizza in a French restaurant, but on biting into the thin crispy crust you know why, as this is Gagnaire’s take on a pizza and what a flavour sensation with so few ingredients – fried garlic, arugula leaves and black truffle. This pizza base is cooked first and then the freshest topping is added afterwards, so you must eat it relatively quickly to enjoy the combination of everything. This signature light Melanosporum black truffle pizza is a perfect sharing dish to start for the evening!
<Cured Sea Bream>
From the crudo section, this salt cured half cut fish is served with passion fruit vinaigrette and puntanella (an Italian light green stem and dandelion shaped leaves with a pleasantly bitter and acidity taste) garnished with fresh pomegranate, well mixed with all ingredients to enjoy this Gagnaire’s creation for incredibly fresh flavours on the tongue with a perfectly filleted fish that melts in your mouth and the citrusy element counterbalances the seafood beautifully.
<Pan Fried Squid with Black Garlic Butter Sauce, Spinach & Celeriac>
Pan-fried squid served with black garlic beurre blanc sauce on a bed of spinach and aromatic crunchy celeriac. To our little dismay, the rubbery squid rings weren’t as tender as we expected them to be, but delicious nonetheless with a rich, creamy and enjoyable mélange of flavours.
<Duck Foie Gras Terrine>
It is hard to resist such a menu item and this was no exception when it comes to French cuisine. With the foie gras block marinated in sauterne and served on a bed of crunchy fennel and onion marmalade, this was dense and rich, creamy, piquant and such a seriously decadent dish. The onion marmalade is the perfect acidic foil for the richness of the foie gras. Stunning!
<Free-range Farm Chicken〉
The presentation was most unexpected. One large plate was presented with a bed of basmati rice, with deep fried garlic on top and another mini cast iron pot with chunks of tender French poulet covered with a bed of huge slices of blacked truffles in a rich aromatic creamy sauce. This blanquette of truffled farm poultry quickly gets you swooning over the flavours and best accompanied by the fluffy basmati rice or even their homemade mini baguette. Despite the deep fried garlic flakes being less fragrant and a little soggy, yet the richness of flavour and the tenderness texture of the chicken cannot be beaten. C’est magnifique!
<Pan-Seared Lamb Cutlets>
This chunky and meaty “lollipop” lamb cutlets have been marinated for 12 hours in lamb juice, cognac and pepper by delivering such exquisite taste to your table. It was served with Macaire potatoes (mashed potato with green chives and crème fraiche) and a bed of mixed zucchini salad, macar apple and mint sauce. This is the most perfect lamb cutlet we have tasted in a long time with a juicy tenderness that was beyond expectations. A total sensorial stimulation!
<Grilled Wagyu Beef Ribeye (grade 5) 250g>
A beautifully marbled piece of meat that was very well seasoned and cooked to perfection – so tender and juicy and melts in your mouth right away! Béarnaise or Champs-Élysées sauce are recommended with matchstick potatoes, spinach and parsley. Pink medium rare is perfectly recommended to enjoy such a premium cut of meat. If you have a bigger appetite, go for the 450g, you won’t regret by doing so.
<Piero’s TT Baba>
Who can pass up a Rum Baba? We couldn’t and just had to try the combination of citrus marmalade, orange mousseline along with a bed of blood orange and grapefruit and some Chantilly cream. The citrus segments produced a lot of juice which led to a watery sauce, but the almond based sponge cake was perfect in execution. The light Chantilly collapsed too quickly and became quite unpleasant for such combination from its vision and taste. A heavier or a more dense cream might have had a bigger impact on the palate, with Piero’s modification of Baba not our best option for the evening – but this is a matter of taste.
<Apple Tart PG>
When it comes to dessert, the signature Pierre Gagnaire’s apple tart is a must-order. This is a dessert for two and needs to be ordered at the beginning, as this a la minute apple tart needs at least 30 minutes to prepare. It is served with whipped cream flavoured with light and airy Chantilly Calvados and vanilla ice cream. Quintessentially cooked and beautifully presented with a firm yet crispy pastry paste. Viva la Pomme!
We ate more than we should but took our time not to rush, as there was so much to enjoy and marvel from Gagnaire’s creation. The menu touches on so many classic French dishes, but many with a twist that elevates them even further and makes you realize that Gagnaire (and his culinary brigade) doesn’t just rest on his laurels in creating a new menu, but gently pushes the boundaries with some ingredients that are to die for and make you fall in love again all over again with all that is French! The front of house team hit the mark at every step – Denzel was our server with a passion and excellent product knowledge and Unni the sommelier was able to talk passionately about the wines and gently steer us into a direction that suited our desires. A bottled of 2017 Languedoc-Roussillon M. Chapoutier was well recommended for the evening.
It is clear that overall it is a team on all fronts that share Gagnaire’s vision for French culinary excellence and we were thrilled with all that we experienced. Food is a very personal thing and we had a few thoughts that some ingredients and combinations could have been done differently, but we still lapped up every morsel with anticipation and departed with many memorable tastes and experiences for a true innovative and dazzling gourmet French Bistro dining.
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 4.5/5
Pierre's Bistro & Bar Dubai InterContinental Festival City
Dubai Festival City
United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 701 1199
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.