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New restaurants in the metros

The hottest new restaurants in the metros.

Print Edition: May 3, 2009

Mumbai
The Pool View

Fratelli Fresh in Powai is a calm and cosy respite at the end of a cacophonous day.

The convention centre at the Renaissance Hotel has a new Italian restaurant, Fratelli Fresh, a calm, private location which overlooks the pool and the Powai Lake beyond. Spread over 3,000 square feet, the restaurant is divided into several sections—an open kitchen for tailor-made dishes, a community table for wine tasting and pairing sessions, and several dining areas from casual to private to deck seating. The deck seating is an exclusive arrangement for the more quiet, romantic evenings.

Most impressive of all, though, is the 58-seater bar. Casual yet chic, it houses Old World Italian wines as well as a range of wines from Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Spain and California. Expect the full range of Grappas, Limoncellos and Espressos. For Chef Enrico Luise, who comes from Verona, Italy, it’s all about fresh flavours. Herbs are handpicked from the hotel’s garden, along with lettuce, tomatoes, aubergines and cabbage.

The five-course a la carte menu offers Gnocchi al Gorgonzola—potato dumplings with a rich blue cheese sauce—for vegetarians and for meat eaters, the Braised Lamb Shank, Ossobuco di Agnello, which falls off the bone and melts in the mouth. Piccante is the best of the hand-tossed pizzas, with toppings like tomato, mozzarella, spicy salami, onion, etc. For seafood fans, there’s the Fritto Misto, a mix of calamari, baby prawns and white bait with marinara sauce.

There’s plenty of cheese to finish off with, from sheep, cows and goats, and classic Italian desserts like the Fondente di Cioccolata, served with a hot chocolate cake and passion fruit coulis.

But food aside, it’s the variety of seating arrangements that clinch it for Fratelli Fresh—you can come here with your partner, your family or host private dinners for important corporate clients.

Address: Renaissance Mumbai Hotel & Convention Centre, Powai
Contact: 022-6692 7777
Open: 7 p.m.-midnight
Meal for two: Rs 3,200 (excluding wine)
Must try: Gnocchi al Gorgonzola, Piccante, Fritto Misto, Fondente di Cioccolata

— Anamika Butalia

Delhi
Mall Italia

Bangalore’s much-loved ItALIA now opens in Delhi.

After seven years in Bangalore, ItALIA, the award-winning restaurant from the Park hotel chain, comes to Delhi, to the spiffy new DLF Place in Vasant Kunj. Located on the second floor, ItALIA is easy to spot, thanks to its huge hoarding and the open air terrace. But the mall was not fully functional when I went visiting and the place is near empty.

That said, the interiors were breathtaking and the Italian food is excellent. Park properties are known for their fine design and this is no different. Beautifully lit with lone glass installations, the restaurant is spread across four different spaces—the fine dining section, the private room, café, and the breezy al fresco section. While the fine dining section and the private room lend the place a formal, if flamboyant air, the café and the open air section are a stark contrast—cosy, cheery and completely casual.

Executive Chef Mandar Sukhtankar and Celebrity Chef Antonio Carluccio have created an exhaustive menu that promises the best of Italian flavours. From wafer-thin pizzas baked in wood fired ovens to pastas, Panini, Risotto and Calzoncini (baked pocket-sized pizzas), there’s plenty to choose from. The Minestrone Genovese soup made of potatoes, tomatoes, basil pesto and penne is quite good, but go easy on the servings. The Oreccheti pasta (earshaped pasta tossed in broccoli, chilli and garlic), Bucatini Carbonara, green pea and Asparagus Risotto tastes great, too. The bar stocks an invigorating selection of Italian house wines and Grappa. Don’t let the lack of crowds put you off—now’s your chance to book those tables before they’re hard to come by.

Address:
Second Floor, DLF Place, Vasant Kunj
Contact: 011-4311 1777
Open: 12 p.m.-midnight
Meal for two: Rs 2,400+taxes (excluding alcohol)
Must try: Bucatini Carbonara, Pizza with Artichoke, Asparagus, Pecorino and Cherry Tomato Piadine, Green Pea and Asparagus Risotto with Sundried Tomato Pesto

Anumeha Chaturvedi

Bangalore
Spanish Surprise

With Caperberry, Bangalore can finally boast of a great Spanish restaurant. Well, sort of...

In a city overrun by restaurants serving imitation Chinese and North Indian cuisine, Caperberry, a restaurant serving mainly Spanish cuisine, comes as a surprise. Started by veteran Chef Abhijit Saha, who was pivotal in starting ItALIA at the Park hotel, Caperberry also has its own connection to Bangalore’s nowstruggling IT industry—his partner in the new venture is Shruti Shibulal, whose father S.D. Shibulal is Co-founder & COO, Infosys.

Saha calls the cuisine at Caperberry “avant garde European”, but with a tilt towards Spanish fare. He knows whereof he speaks, having trained with Master Chef Antonio Carluccio Zafferano of the Neal Street Restaurant in London, and the Michelin-starred Giorgio Locatelli at the The French Horn in Reading.

Here, he offers two distinct menus for the two sections of the restaurant—a 70-cover a la carte restaurant and an adjoining 46-seater tapas lounge. The a la carte menu at Caperberry offers its share of classics, like Seafood Paella, alongside some original dishes such as Sous Vide-style Canadian Pork Belly with Turnip Puree, Chorizo Chips and Cranberry-sage Infusion. There’s also a tasting menu where you can sample an assortment of dishes. And even before that, you’re encouraged to stop by the tapas lounge for appetisers— marinated olives and Citrus Frost Crostini for the veggies or char-grilled garlic and pepper chicken with sherry along with Sangrias, sherry cocktails, single malts and a growing wine list.

Whichever way you go, you must try the signature dessert, the moan-inducing Chocolate Monte Carlo Gold with Cyro Espuma, a chocolate mousse cooked in liquid nitrogen. Its surface is hard and chilled, but when you pop it into your mouth, it melts.

Address: 48/1 Ground Floor, The Estate, 121, Dickenson Road
Contact: 080-2559 4567
Open: Lunch from 12.30-3 p.m.; dinner from 7-11.30 p.m.; and tapas from 5.30-11.30 p.m.
Meal for two: Rs 2,500
Must try: Deconstruction of Salad Caprese, Jamon Serrano with Pears and Caperberrry, Seafood Paella, Escalivada Catalana with warm Parmesan-brie Flan, Truffle Oil and Chilli Garlic Mojo

Rahul Sachitanand

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