Art on a Plate: Dishes inspired by Leonardo da Vinci and Vivaldi to be served up in Abu Dhabi

A number of artistic five-course menus will be on offer for a limited time as part of Abu Dhabi Culinary Season

Plating is an aesthetic weapon brandished by many a patron-pleasing restaurant. Food that's presented with a flourish is an acknowledgement of the fact that we eat with our eyes first. That, and the desire to be Instagram-worthy, of course.

So if edible flowers whet your appetite or bold brushstrokes of sauces succour your social media accounts, consider booking a spot at the eight restaurants offering limited-time Art of Plating menus.

The promotion is part of Abu Dhabi Culinary Season, a six-week celebration of the capital’s food offerings, ongoing until Tuesday, December 15.

Some of the dishes pay homage to actual works of art. Villa Toscana’s beef tenderloin, and its ravioli, for instance, are, respectively, fashioned after Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks and Lady with an Ermine. Signature 3, meanwhile, has a risotto and veal dish that resembles a Pablo Picasso painting.

Elsewhere, restaurants take inspiration from music (the Four Seasons violin concerto of Antonio Vivaldi at Italian restaurant Verso), culture (rangoli patterns at Indian restaurant Martabaan by Hemant Oberoi), philosophy (Taiji, the Chinese principle of balance and moderation at Cantonese restaurant Hakkasan) and fashion (a Dolce & Gabbana-esque burrata at Signature 3).

The Art of Plating five-course menus cost between Dh180 and Dh400, and tables can be booked by directly calling individual restaurants. To browse the menus, visit