Monday, March 26, 2012

Goodbye to the Don

So bad it was good...
Things that are old don’t stick around for long in Dubai. I woke up last week to discover that the old road in front of my apartment had been replaced with a new shiny road, roundabout and street lights. Great! But not so great was the news that gripped the city this month: The Metropolitan, one of Dubai’s oldest hotels (30 years old, imagine) was to be demolished in favour of a new shiny ‘Vegas-style’ hotel complex. Because Dubai doesn’t have enough of THOSE. Hmmm.

Resident s became very upset about the closure of The Red Lion (scruffy pub) and The Rattlesnake (even scruffier bar).  Whilst I’ve enjoyed many a glass of over-priced boxed wine in the Red Lion and some great pub grub, my major upset was over the loss of what I firmly believed to be Dubai’s best Italian restaurant: Don Corleone.

With red and white checked tablecloths, breadsticks and staple 80’s Italian classics, it was an old favourite and much loved by Western and Arab ex-pats, and a good helping of Italians – always a good sign.  I’ve enjoyed many a meal there with friends and family and we always had the time of our lives. The staff were lovely, service was great and the very fact that it wasn’t super-swish made it all the more appealing.

We managed a last supper on the hotel's penultimate night. Some of the staff will be transferring over to the Habtoor at the Marina, but many didn’t know their fate. All very sad. Don Corleone’s, we shall miss you.

PS Any tips on equally unpretentious Italian restaurants gratefully received….I've heard good things about Il Rustico in Rydges Plaza…?


Mrs Dubai said...

I had my first birthday in Dubai at Don Corleone's! It will be missed.
You could try Casa Mia at Airport Meridien. That was always top notch when I worked up that way.

As for Rattlesnake, well..... !!

nmaha said...

Omg! this is so sad. The Metropolitan has the only cineplex when we were growing-up. We've had so many bday treats during our teen years at Don Corleones.

For old fashioned Italian you can try Da Vinci at the Airport Hotel or Capri behind the trade center.