Shakespeare and Co. is a stunning example of 16th century opulence. If I could give points for ambience and decor, this place would be up there in a league of its own. The deep red upholstery on top of plush cushion seating and the Elizabeth-esque chandeliers could easily have been from a scene of Juliet’s bedroom. Sadly though, Shakespeare would never have been able to own a place like this. Between you and me, I seriously doubt he could ever afford to eat there either.
Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet and Othello are all set in Italy. Just like Italian literature, culture and politics influenced the plots and atmosphere of all these plays, Italian cuisine seemed to be the predominant force in the Shakespeare and Co. menu.
In keeping up with the spirit of things, we decided to kick off our modern day Shakespeare experience with some Minestrone soup. I hate to talk of one restaurant when reviewing another but somehow I kept thinking of the Minestrone Soup they serve at Olive Garden (which I must review soon). The soup they served here was a bit less rich and perhaps a little less flavourful but the warm rolls and herbed butter compensated for that. I should point out though that a serving of Minestrone soup here cost 40 AED while it is served free by the bucket load in Olive Garden but enough of that.
We were done with Shakespeare’s Italian escapade and decided to order something closer to home (his home not ours). The most English thing on the menu was the fish and chips so we went ahead and ordered one of those. In keeping up with the seafood theme we also ordered a salmon fillet (not very easy to go wrong with one of those).
Both the dishes came piping hot from the kitchen and like I said, I do not know of many restaurants which can go wrong with either of them. Notable mentions here are the chips (fries) which had a light crispy coating on them and the vegetable tartar which accompanied the salmon fillet. The salmon itself was pan seared, so the crust was dark and crispy (just the way I like it).
Another thing I must mention here is that the plating of the salmon filet was among the best I have seen and I have seen a lot of salmon filets 😉 . The vegetable tartar was assembled into a little tower on which rested a thinly cut slice of grilled eggplant. The salmon itself rested on an eggplant puree.
I had noticed lots of macaroons while entering the restaurant and had thought that taking a bite out of Shakespeare’s French connection would be vital to this experience. Unfortunately, we were quiet full by the time we were done with the main course (I blamed it on the rolls) and decided to come back just for macaroons and tea.