What’s it like: Admittedly, this is one of my most preferred openings in Dubai recently. Unlike the usual glitz and glamour seen across much of the Emirate, you enter The Maine through the hotel’s loading dock. It’s a low-key, unpretentious affair, with a buzzing, social atmosphere – the perfect spot for catching up with friends or family over quality food, paired with a fabulous cocktail list that lives up to its reputation (don’t miss the Bloody Marys!). Being tucked away with very little sign posting on JBR, once you get inside the atmosphere is laidback and warm – transporting you to America’s East Coast. With specials painted on mirrored walls, by the time my dining partner and I looked at the menu, we were spoilt for choice. An obvious start to dinner, we shared freshly shucked oysters served with horseradish, lemon and Tabasco, and a gorgeous shell of scallop ceviche, shortly followed by crispy fish tacos and a mouthwatering lobster roll. Next came the winner of the evening; halibut and béarnaise served on a bed of mashed potatoes, beef bacon and green peas – a dish I’ll be returning for – plus razor clams cooked in a delicious white wine and garlic sauce. Although quite full at this point, we shared a key lime pie to finish, which was light and fluffy. All in all, expect wholesome, honest food, great service and a hip vibe. The Maine’s formula for a great dining experience is spot on – I see this fast becoming a city favourite.
If you want to go: Around Dhs350 per person for threecourses, excluding beverages. Call 04-4576719.