Restaurant Review: The Artisan

Enjoy a Florentine cuisine at Waldorf Astoria’s Italian eatery, which is an offshoot of three Michelin-star Enoteca Pinchiorri's outlet


Joydeep Sengupta

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Published: Thu 9 Jun 2022, 5:34 PM

The Artisan originates from the rolling fields of Tuscany, the sparkling Almafi Coast and the affection and history found within the enchanting land of Italy. The stunning eatery, which can seat up to 72 guests, is tucked away inside the luxurious Waldorf Astoria in DIFC since July 2020 and has revived a spark of passion and heartfelt service to the modern metropolis that is Dubai.

It is an offshoot of Florence’s three Michelin-star Enoteca Pinchiorri’s outlet and celebrates Florentine cuisine and house beverages in a refined-casual ambience.

The Artisan is known best for “holding a modern microscope to the most iconic and beloved dishes”. Fresh oysters, Apulian burrata, Patagonian calamari, yellowfin tuna tartare, gnochetti with Tuscan pecorino and black truffle, slow-cooked beef cheek, oven-baked scallops, among others, are the highlights of the menu.

Francesco Magro is the executive chef and has been a part of several food & beverage (F&B) operations such as Atmosphere in the Burf Khalifa, Rheinfelden in Germany, and The Address Boulevard Hotel in Dubai. His adoration for culinary art is what drove Francesco to the success and title he holds today.

Francesco recommends diners to have an immersive experience about Italian food. “For example, what region it comes from can say a lot of things about the dish. The reason being, every dish is the representation of the region: the history, tradition and the culture. In Trapani, Sicily, we can find cous cous. This shows the influence of Persians when they colonised Sicily years ago,” he says,

“The ingredients can only be found in certain regions in certain seasons. The “radicchio tardivo” from Veneto can be found only from December to February, or Piedmont’s most famous “Tartufo d'Alba” from November to late January. For most of my dishes, the key ingredients involve good quality addition of virgin olive oil and citrus, which are excellent to balance flavour. My last ingredient, I believe, you cannot find in the market, is my team. Without a strong, passionate team, you cannot make successful dishes.,” he adds.

Ech dish has been reimagined for a contemporary and cosmopolitan palate?

“It’s all about memories. However, I get inspiration from everything around me. The music I listen to, the ingredients around me that day, the people who surround me. The primary focus is the flavour of the traditional dish. The flavour should remind you of a taste you experienced before, like something you tried for the first time and made a lasting impression on your tastebuds. Then, the team and I, we elaborate different ways to present the dish.

The Artisan’s pizzas proved popular since the Covid-19-induced lockdown restrictions because they are fermented for 72 hours.

Taste (5)

Sous chef Leonardo Galati who has worked in fine dining restaurants in Spain, the United Kingdom (UK), Mexico, Cayman island and the UAE complements Francesco to add a dash of zing to each dish

Ambience (5)

The spacious DIFC dining room is decorated in calming shades of grey teamed up with delicate pendant lighting: crockery, cutlery and furnishings are all Italian-made

Service (5)

Stefano Recchia, who has earlier worked in Australia and Italy, ensures customer satisfaction. His passion for the F&B sector and dedication stands out during his interaction with diners

Presentation (4)

Florentine cuisine — one of Italy’s food capitals — comprises fresh ingredients from the Tuscany countryside and is characterised by its rich, yet simple flavours and rustic presentation

Value for money (5)

Enjoy antipasto of tender, slow-cooked octopus served with green beans, lemon-flavoured potato cream, Taggiasca olives, exquisite tiramisu and house beverages for Dh1,000 for two persons and Dh750 without house beverages

Address: The Artisan, Waldorf Astoria, DIFC, Dubai

Reservation: Call (0)4 338 8133, or email

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