I spy with my little eye... a 1920's Bistrot in Dubai.

When I heard that there was a 1920's bistrot in Dubai, I couldn't wait to visit it! Since it was the Gentleman's birthday, we had the perfect excuse so we booked a table for 10 people on Thursday at Cafe Belge at the Ritz Carlton in DIFC.
The place is gorgeous, I loved the style. Very Art Deco, the art is very classical but it works, the lighting does most of the work , the space is quite big and you can tell they are struggling a little bit to fill it in. I was surprised not to see a packed place since Dubai terribly lacks this sort of relaxed bistrots. I guess since it took me 2 years to hear about it, a lot of people don't even know that it exists.

Now the menu is very succinct, not a lot of choice (which is usually a good sign), and it is mostly shellfish. We mostly had oysters and moules marinieres, and that was very good. The food was very nice but the service was a little bit slow, and that was a bit disappointing: how do you ask someone to taste the wine, pour it for the whole table, not realize that the bottle is empty and leave the person who tasted the wine with an empty glass. For 20min. Until they were able to inform us that they didn't have a second bottle from the same wine. I understand that their cellar was a bit far but still, forgetting the birthday boy was unfortunate. They did their best to make it up to us when we explained the situation and we appreciated but this sort of thing could have easily been avoided.

After dinner we headed to the outdoors bar for a drink. Unfortunately the place was very very quiet and the music didn't match the retro look of the place (I don't really understand lounge music in a 1920's décor, but that's just me. I would have rather had a swinging flapper soundtrack). You know I'm always happy when I don't have to fight to get a drink but a little bit of ambiance would have been nice.  We obviously joyfully compensated with loud laughter!

All in all, I loved the place, I think it has a great potential, and I am torn between encouraging them to improve their service and work on their marketing and keeping it as it is: an imperfect yet rare gem in Dubai. I will probably be back on a weekday for casual moules and oysters.

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