The venue Named after the French wife of restaurateur Izu Ani, carine is romantically inspired by the bakery where the couple first met in her hometown of Normandy, as well as chic design traditions native to French eateries. Since it opened last March, the elegant bistro has become a popular venue at Dubai’s 32-year-old Emirates Golf Club for lunches and dinners, with a menu full of delicious French-Mediterranean flavours.
The design Izu’s creative consulting and management agency YSeventy7 (behind venues such as The Lighthouse in d3) worked closely with internationally-renowned interior design practice LW Design to bring to life four traditional aspects of dining establishments typical to France: the bustling vibes of a bistro, the unpretentious feel of a brasserie, the heritage of the boulangerie, and the social, community feel of a café. ‘LW Design, YSeventy7 and Emirates Golf Club worked together to blend design elements’ says Izu. ‘The bread and viennoiseries display recreate the feel of a boulangerie and the banquet seating is typical in any Parisian bistro and brasserie. The terrace also has the friendly feel of a French Riviera café.’
By the entrance, an open salad bar creates an inviting scene with sous chefs bustling behind a thick Carrara marble counter atop a dark wood-panelled front with up-lit mouldings. A low, frosted glass panel runs around the top of the counter and adds unmistakable French flair. The large dining room creates a warm, elegant atmosphere with white-painted wood panelled walls and wooden floorboards, Art Deco-style sconces and discreet up-lighting, warm wood tones plus touches of pale green and brass. The dining furniture is an eclectic mismatch of tables and chairs in various café styles, with chairs that wouldn’t be out of place on a Parisian sidewalk. Parties can sit at long wooden dining tables in contemporary wicker chairs patterned in distinct black and white geometric diamonds, or around marble- and brass-topped tables on black bentwood and leather chairs. A scalloped banquet sofa in a soft sage (which picks up the colour of the delicate drapes around the multiple bi-fold doors that lead to the lounge outside) is set against a low white wall topped with a larger version of the salad bar’s frosted glass panel, adding a hint of vintage Art Deco. Despite their different arrangements, the similar heights and rounded shapes of the chairs and the largely monochrome and wood palette ties it all together seamlessly. Situated both inside and outside, artisanal custom-made tables with a striking black and marble mosaic top are a highlight, with small pieces of Carrara inlaid against black grouting as part of the design feature.
The experience As carine has maintained a ‘must-visit’ reputation, you’ll need to book a table even on weekdays. While Izu claims that the restaurant evokes a homey, laidback feeling, you’ll soon sense a more refined atmosphere that goes hand-in-hand with golf club etiquette, thanks to the discerning design, luxurious materials, stunning views, and the well-heeled clientele.