Every time I come to Sole, I find myself humming the old Dean Martin tune, ‘That’s Amore’, which I’m aware is ridiculously clichéd, but I blame that ‘old Napoli’ reference … anyway, it puts me in the mood for great Italian.

And great this is: Sole is one of the most overlooked Italian restaurants in town, and the food, based on the Neapolitan traditions of Chef Simone de Vivo, is excellent.


Start with the good focaccia, the good olive oil and the good Modena balsamic, then wend your way through the starters beginning with the tuna tartare which was excellent, with a little tomato bruschetta on the side. 

We absolutely love the pizza. Come in the evening, perhaps with kids in tow, and watch the pizzaiola shoving them into the gorgeous pizza oven, having had a good, long rise. This pizza is the real deal and we’re here for all the traditional and the gourmet toppings on the menu.

For the pasta course, try something new: the caramelle looks for all the world like wrapped sweets, the delicate pasta is stuffed with what was the most glorious octopus filling. It comes with a smooth butternut puree and splashes of squid ink aioli. This surely counts as one of the best pasta dishes in Abu Dhabi - it's our go-back-for dish.

The sea bass is a good choice for main if you fancy something light: this is beautifully cooked, with a piquant, light salsa.

We also love the slow-cooked costine de manzo, beef short rib with broad beans and tomatoes on the side and a beautiful, tender potato terrine. The meat falls off the bone, is well-seasoned and tasty - it's a meal all on its own and something to please anyone who's either a meat aficionado or loves a filling meal.

I seem to be on a permanent tiramisu comparison trail and this is one of my favourites, looking cute in a little jar, with a fairly solid mascarpone cream which is the yardstick for me.

The ‘Trust Me I’m From Napoli’ baba arrives split in half, and sandwiched with cream and berries - delicious - but the star of the show is the sweet ravioli. These little parcels come stuffed with a chocolate orange cream, hazelnut mousse and a truffle ice-cream on the side. This is a ‘no sorry not sharing’ kind of dish that you’d make it a mission to finish solo.

Sarah and I went for lunch, it was her first time and she left completely impressed and possibly a little puzzled as to why she hadn’t discovered this gem sooner. It really is a gem: we’ve taken family friends because there’s something for everyone, it’s good for date night and great for a ladies lunch or dinner catch-up. Add it to your list of great places to go in Abu Dhabi!

Open: 12PM - 3PM, 7PM - 11PM

25% off a la carte with BB+

Booking: 02 811 5666

Rachael Partington