Restaurant Review

Review: A confluence of modern and traditional Italian cuisine at SOLE

A charming Italian restaurant with plenty of personality takes centre stage at Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers.

There is no shortage of high-end Italian restaurants in Abu Dhabi, but the newest opening in the city has made quite the impression since opening late last year.

Situated on the lower level of the majestic Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers, SOLE is a restaurant brimming with Italian charm. The homely dining area with its back-lit monochromatic prints of Milan offers a touch of brilliance to the spacious room. Plump gold couches lean invitingly against the restaurant walls while decadent beading drapes effortlessly from overhead chandeliers. 

Sole Conrad Abu

The restaurant is appealing and comfortable, offering views out through the large glass windows and across the infinity-style swimming pool to the ocean. A pleasant alfresco terrace is ideal for those brave enough to endure the soaring summer temperatures we currently find ourselves combating. 

SOLE is an innovative Italian restaurant that combines modern and traditional cuisine to complement the stylish location. The menu offers comforting Italian classics that have been reworked by SOLE’s culinary maestros. Injecting signature dishes with a contemporary edge, befitting of their playful names and striking presentation. The Classy Caprese (AED 80) epitomises the SOLE ethos, taking Campania Buffalo Mozzarella and basil, and instead of plating them in a tricolour design, the ingredients are stuffed with aged balsamic into a beautifully bulbous vine tomato. 

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers

Similarly, the Beeting Salmon (AED 80) presents delicate slithers of salmon and artistically plates them with slices of heirloom beets, a fragrant Sorrento lemon marmellata and sweet apple jelly. Perfectly showcasing the premium ingredients and their nuanced flavours. 

Plate after plate of sharing dishes appear on the table, each upping the ante and building to an unmistakable crescendo of flavours. From the crispy shrimps and thinly sliced zucchini in His Mamma’s Fried Calamari (AED 125) to the robust and beautifully layered wood-fired eggplant parmigiana of A Naples Staple (AED 75).

Sole Conrad Abu

It wouldn’t be an Italian meal without pasta and we’re immediately enamoured with the Low And Slow (AED 115), topping tagliatelle with a luscious six-hour cooked beef cheek that melts in the mouth We’ve Twisted A Classic (AED 125), presents a colourful double dough ravioli stuffed with spinach and homemade ricotta that’s served alongside a butter-poached Sicilian red Mazzara prawn. Yet, it’s the simplicity of the Straight From Sorrento (AED 110) that is revered by our table. Piling light and fluffy gnocchi with Pizzutello Tomato and creamy Stracciatella.

Fritto

SOLE also features a pizza menu, but we were too stuffed to venture into that doughy territory. We instead utilise our “dessert stomachs” to enjoy the Quick! Pick Me Up (AED 45), a twist on the classic tiramisu that layers light vanilla mascarpone with Savoiardi Biscotti and a generous punch of espresso. However, the highlight of our meal at SOLE transpired to be the Trust Me, I’m From Napoli (AED 80), a rum baba cake adorned with berries, silky Italian cream and a touch of gold leaf in a dish that is easily enough for two (hungry) diners. 

Sole Conrad Abu

SOLE Ristorante represents destination dining inside a hotel known for innovative culinary adventures such as the popular Nahaam Friday Brunch and the immersive dining experience of Le Petit Chef. Combining the authenticity of Italian cuisine with comfortable, family-friendly dining, SOLE is a restaurant to be enjoyed and cherished.

GO: Visit www.hilton.com or call (0)2 811 5666 for reservations and more information.

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David Tapley - Editor
Dubai-based editor for one of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publications across Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai and Qatar. Specialised in food, hospitality, arts, culture, and travel-related content.

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