Table for Two – Dubai

Sophia reveals her gold list restaurants for romance in Dubai. You’ll find glamorous Armani/Ristorante and La Petite Maison as well as stylish al fresco dining at Sea Fu and BiCE Mare.

These venues have been hand-picked for their charm, intimacy or sensational setting; they are ideal for Date Night, Valentine’s Day and Anniversaries.


Serene Style $$$$

The Ristorante’s opulence lies in its proportions – a capacious room with generous circular dining booths. Armani’s singular colour scheme provides a curated backdrop for the decorative food. Each dish is photo-worthy, sophisticated and exquisitely crafted—like haute couture. And delicious too!

There’s soft lighting, low music and plenty of privacy, which makes dining here perfect for Date Night, or any other romantic rendezvous. Indeed, the secluded booths are likely to incite heartfelt exchange.

What’s more, The Armani/Ristorante makes everyone feel like a VIP – on our last visit we left with flowers and olive oil.

Dress: in a beautifully fitted dress.
Request: a booth table for two.

Lobby Level, Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Website link »
+971 (0) 4 888 3444

La Petite Maison

Elegant and Engaging $$$

La Petite Maison restaurant in Dubai

La Petite Maison is classically charming with its white-clothed tables and wood-panelled walls. However, there’s something sensually playful about this popular restaurant. It could be the cheerful atmosphere and the pop of colour that comes from the modern art and fruits. Rather than flowers, your table will be adorned with a lemon and tomato: to enjoy as you wish—preferably with the olive oil!

Vibrant dishes will be whisked to you as they are cooked and presented ready for sharing. As they say: “sharing is caring,” so this dining experience is ideal for an intimate occasion. I can also recommend the desserts; be seduced by their warm chocolate mousse.

La Petite Maison is elegant, romantic and fun, making it one of my favourite restaurants for Date Night.

Dress: with colour.
Request: a corner table.

8 Gate Village, DIFC, Dubai
Website link »
+ 971 (0) 4 439 0505

BiCE Mare

Classy Fountain Views $$$

BiCE Mare, romantic restaurant in Dubai. Recommended by relationship psychologist, Sophia Ledingham, for couples looking for a Date Night, Valentine’s Day or Anniversary restaurant. The Date Night Manifesto.

The Dubai fountains make a sensational backdrop for Date Night. Be sure to take in the show at BiCE Mare; it grants you front row views, and is classy and romantic. On their terrace, you’ll find white-clothed tables and a chic crowd—you could almost be on the Riviera. At BiCE Mare, like the Med, service is suitably assured.

As for the food, it is accomplished… and oh so good. It’s tricky to prepare seafood dishes where every crustacean is perfectly tender. There’s clearly talent and rigour in the kitchen.

For a Date Night with pizzazz, look no further than BiCE Mare.

Dress: elegant yet relaxed.
Request: terrace table by the rails.

Level 1, Souk Al Bahar, Downtown, Dubai
Website link »
+971 (0) 4 423 0982

Sea Fu

Uplifting Beach Vibe $$$

La Petite Maison restaurant in Dubai

On the beach at the new Four Seasons resort, you’ll find fusion dining at its unfussy finest. Sea Fu’s chef Pierre—with French/Vietnamese provenance—delivers creative and well considered food; order the waghu steak and it is served with a duo of sauces that includes miso béarnaise. Meanwhile, the black cod is exquisitely presented and the duck with mango is delightfully dramatic.

With complimentary touches, like your welcome amuse bouche and the delicate macaron served with your coffee, even a two course meal will feel like an occasion.

Be sure to enjoy a drink at Sea Fu’s glamorous al fresco bar. I can recommend the Old-Fashioned cocktail; it’s smoky, sweet and strong—and suited to romance!

Dress: like Blake Lively; with effortless style.
Request: inside corner table, or outdoor seating.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2, Dubai
Website link »
+ 971 (0) 4 270 7777

Al Mahara


The jewel of seven-star Burj Al Arab, Al Mahara is sensational. It is a place where memories are made.

I propose that you be extravagant—like the setting—and surrender yourself to the degustation menu. Where there is decadence in each and every dish, from the vodka cured tuna with Siberian caviar to the seared 9+ wagyu and foie gras. Let’s not forget the black truffle or lobster too. The gastronomic offering paired with the sumptuous scene, will have you savouring more than the food—the fire of romance will surely be alight.

And not surprisingly, service here is to die for.

Dress: like a Bond girl.
Request: a table next to the aquarium.

Ground Floor, Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Website link »
+971 (0) 4 301 7600

The Ivy


The Ivy has a romantic Edwardian feel; you’ll find stained glass windows and parquet floors along with traditional leather seating. The lamps on the rolled glass partitions produce a sympathetic light—perfect for Date Night or any other intimate occasion. If your eye strays from your mate, you’ll enjoy The Ivy’s display of modern art; it’s intriguing without being imposing. (The Ivy has a history of supporting the arts.)

The menu offers comforting franglais fare; there’s double cheese soufflé, shepherd’s pie, and a few surprises – like tuna loin served with spiced lentils.

All in all, the ambiance at The Ivy is warm and convivial, making it one or our regular Date Night haunts.

Dress: like Michelle Dockery – a modern classic.
Request: a corner table.

Ground Level, The Boulevard, Emirates Towers, Dubai
Website link »
+971 (0) 4 319 8767