Carna’s loyalty to sustainability is firmly entrenched in its zero-waste philosophy, from its “use everything” approach to meat preparation to the extensive locally sourced vegetarian dishes.
With high ceilings and panoramic Downtown views, the spacious venue features a beautifully designed bar, private dining room, expert butchers’ room, and expansive glass display cases displaying the finest cuts of meat available. Not forgetting the private tasting room that houses one of Dubai’s most extensive whisky collections.
Carna SLS General Manager Florian Strassguertl knows all too well the demands of working in the world’s finest establishments. Earning his qualifications as a sommelier in Austria, Strassguertl secured a WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits.
With an industry career spanning nearly a decade, Strassguertl has nurtured and established his skills in renowned venues worldwide, including Petrus by Gordon Ramsay and London’s historic The Arts Club. With duties that included curating and executing a sales and quality-driven wine list, maintaining quality control, and creating cocktail and spirit selections for guests, Strassguertl’s attention to detail and quality ultimately led him to oversee the entire wine operations of the SLS, including three restaurants, two bars, and one nightclub.
Strassguertl joins Carna as General Manager, focusing on individual wine programmes and training the staff on the intricacies of wine curation and pairing.
HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR WAY INTO HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT?
My love for hospitality began at an early age in the restaurant of my father. I started as a Sommelier at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland. I worked my way up to Head Sommelier, working in venues such as the Michelin-starred Petrus by Gordon Ramsay in London and Sommelier at The Arts Club.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE RESTAURANT’S HISTORY AND WHAT INSPIRED ITS OPENING?
Carna opened nearly 2 years ago following in the footsteps of its sister property in the Bahamas. Both venues follow the tradition of the original family-run butcher-backed restaurant in Panzano, Italy, run by Dario Cecchini. Dario being a massive fan of the concept in Dubai, brings to life his concept with the excitement and flair of the Dubai hospitality scene.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE RESTAURANT’S DESIGN CONCEPT AND THE INFLUENCE BEHIND ITS AESTHETIC?
Carna by Dario Cecchini focuses on quality meat products and a huge focus on local produce and sustainability. Utilizing not just the full animal (Dario’s famous nose-to-tail philosophy) but also capturing the same philosophy when it comes to zero waste with fish and veggie dishes. We also make items such as menus, candles, and, soon, soaps as well. The ingredients are by-products of Carna’s meat or fresh vegetables, all sourced from local farms in the UAE.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE RESTAURANT, AND WHAT MAKES IT STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?
Firstly, working with a creative and fun team who embodies Dario’s philosophy perfectly. Secondly, supporting the local community with fresh produce and a sustainable approach is new territory in the Dubai dining scene which I feel is coming to light soon. To be a relatively new venue and already with a keen eye on this important movement is exciting.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR RESTAURANT GUESTS, AND HOW DO YOU FACTOR THIS INTO THE EXPERIENCE?
The main feeling we want guests to have is pleasure, that they enjoy their experience with us and leave wanting to come back again and again. We use this driving force to showcase our sustainable approach and respect for local produce. For those interested, it is our duty and privilege to talk about our products and how we artfully curate all of these experiences – after all, who doesn’t love a good story?
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DISHES?
I have to say it would be the Steak Tartare which we prepare for guests in the Butcher’s Room; however, I fell in love with one of our new dishes, the Red Prawn Carpaccio, as well as the fall off the bone ribs.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DRINKS?
I’m a wine guy so a glass of Champagne has to be number one shortly followed by Barolo Massolino. The Muscolosa, our iconic table side twist of an Old Fashioned, can’t be missed, same as the refreshing counterpart Kimberly named after Dario’s wife. Something special for me is Dario’s Chianti.
WHAT UPCOMING DEVELOPMENTS CAN GUESTS LOOK FORWARD TO?
We just launched the new a la carte menu with a focus on a variety of menu options. Our goal is to make Carna more accessible for people who perhaps don’t fancy a steak or to cater to those lovely people who visit us a couple of times a week. However, watch out for Saturdays in Carna soon!
WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING, WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO HANG OUT?
I like to go out to try restaurants and bars. Food and wine is my passion. There is no single answer to this question. The most important elements are good company, good food, and good wine – everything else is adjustable.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CARNA:
Phone: 04 607 0737 | +971 50 738 2280