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Antonio Carluccio back in UAE

The Italian chef with a chain of restaurants to his name is returning to meet his fans next month. Carluccio will give two cooking demonstrations: At The Dubai Mall, December 2, 10-11am; and The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi on December 3, 11am-noon. The demos are free. Also on December 2, he’ll be doing a book signing at Carluccio’s Diera City Centre, noon-1pm. Finally, fans can have dinner with Carluccio at the Eastern Mangroves Carluccio’s branch in Abu Dhabi with a cocktail reception, three-course menu and beverage pairing, on December 3 at 7pm. It’s Dh295 per person; call 02-6412231 to book a spot.

Brunch at Toko

Kim Kardashian is trying out Australian-origin Japanese restaurant Toko on Monday night (see here of how you can have dinner with her) but there’s other news from the Downtown spot: A new brunch is launching. The Kasa brunch, at Vida Downtown Hotel, allows diners to interact with the teams of the three kitchens, with sushi, a salad bar and robata grill on offer. Dishes include grilled avocado, sweet soy, lime; wagyu beef selection; and the out-of-this-world spicy baby chicken. Fridays noon-4pm, Dh365-535, depending on packages. Call 04-4428383.

Just Salad opens in Jumeirah Lake Towers

New York-based chain Just Salad has launched its first outlet in the UAE, serving salads made to order — with plans to open nine more by the end of 2016. While there are salad ideas already created by the restaurant, diners can come up with their own plate by combining their favourites from the 75 vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, proteins and cheeses — over 75 to choose from, plus 30 dressings. Then have it tossed or chopped, or in a wrap. For an extra Dh10, get a reusable bowl, which gives you two free toppings each time you bring it back. They are in Indigo Tower; call 04-3652222.

Circo coming to Abu Dhabi

We have another New York restaurant to announce — this time, it’s Circo, which is opening its second outlet outside the US today at InterContinental Abu Dhabi. Calling itself the world’s only circus-themed Italian restaurant, the original restaurant has been serving classic Tuscan fare since 1996; there’s also one at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Think high-end pastas, veal Milanese and scaloppine, or a Fiorentina (T-bone) steak. Call 02-6935126.

Beirut’s Em Sherif now in Downtown

If you’ve been wondering what’s going on at the lower level of The Address Downtown since the renovations on the fountain lake finished, here are the details. A Beirut-based restaurant has opened its doors with views of the fountains and Burj Khalifa. Em Sherif serves fine dining Arabic food in a gorgeous blue interior, meant to resemble a classy Lebanese mansion — hence the homely yet lavish looks. It’s run by restaurateur Mireille Hayek, and is open daily for lunch and dinner; call 04-4243000.

A Lazy Lunch at Pier 7

British chef Simon Rimmer’s new Dubai restaurant, Scene, this month launched its brunch serving a four-course menu of stick-to-your-ribs grub. Located in the licensed tower next to Dubai Marina Mall, dishes include a “posh picnic plank” to share, a la carte main courses (steak and chips, day-long braised beef, poached chicken or the “Herd burger”, cooked up by executive head chef Amy Tomkinson. Puddings include apple crumble, milk chocolate mousse and cherry bakewell cheese cake. Dh250-450; call 04-4222328.