Forget the size zero trend and dig into our Italian food special as Rhea Dhanbhoora & Gargi Bansod bring you the best Italian pizza, pasta and gelato stops in the city
Italian food, rich in cream, dough and olive oil, might seem like the ultimate sin for our anti-carb generation, but there’s no denying the level of comfort that tucking into a warm bowl of spaghetti brings. And, if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to make your carbs count and so we bring you some of the tried and tested places to head to for an Italian treat.
Wine & Dine
Visit them for their Napolitana wood-fire pizza and their white wine porcini cream sauce is excellent. The dishes are neatly presented and the ambience at the café is warm and cosy, perfect for a family meal or a romantic date. We also recommend their cheesecake filled with Italian cream cheese. They have branches in Andheri, Khar and Powai, so visit the one nearest to you.
Meal for two `1,400
Where Premises No. 28, Aram Nagar 1, Versova, Andheri (W)
36 Oak and Barley
The all day dining Kemps corner newbie isn’t a dedicated Italian joint, but don’t miss out on the Italian food here. Their pastas and spaghetti are worth a try and their Shrimp and Calamari Ajilo with Ciabatta is highly recommended by us. They also serve up an interesting range of coffee.
Meal for two `2,000
Where 76 Nidhi, August Kranti Marg, Kemps Corner
For a complete dining experience that will make you feel like you’re in Italy itself, Fratelli Fresh is the place to be. The warm, family atmosphere, ‘fresh’ ingredients and impressive collection of wines will make your visit here a real treat.
Meal for two `3,300 (vegetarian) and `4,000 (non-vegetarian) plus taxes
Where Rennaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel, Powai
This restaurant will give you a taste of Europe as a whole and while it’s not solely dedicated to Italy, they offer some truly sumptuous Italian fare. The seafood dishes and desserts are all great here.
Meal for two `1,500
Where Intercontinental Marine Drive, 1st Floor, 135, Marine Drive
Although Rainforest offers three cuisines, Italian is their specialty. Of the Italian delicacies make sure to try the Pasta E Fagioli, RainForest Restobar's famous Cheese Fondue and the Bruchetta Rustica. With great food and a theme based ambience, this is overall a great family restaurant.
Meal for two `2,000
Where Andheri (W); Ghatkpoar (W)
An authentic Italian flavour in a contemporary atmosphere, that’s what you will experience at Spaghetti Kitchen. It has brought Italy’s distinctive flavours into its menu from crispy flatbread starters, a range of pastas, pizzas and a huge vegetarian selection too. And, delicious desserts, such as the Tiramisu, make for the perfect Italian ending. Don’t forget to try the Cheese Gnocchi with their authentic rich Bolognese meat sauce.
Meal for two `1,700
Where Hiranandani Gardens, 103 Ventura Park, IT Building, Above Aromas Cafe, Powai
Out of the Blue
Out of the Blue is a place where something happens every day of the week. It is a chic meets fine-dining restaurant with an inviting ambience. Apart from the regular Italian spread of pasta and risotto, you must try their in-house inventions such as the Pizza Fondue and Masala Mafia Pasta.
Meal for two `1,200 to `1,400
Where 14 Union Park, Off Carter Road, Khar (W)
With summer just around the corner, a creamy Italian gelato is something we’re all craving. Head down to some of the best gelato joints in the city:
From Swiss Chocolate and Ferrero Rocher to Madagascar Chocolate and Wild Berry and the unique cheesecake options and sorbet varieties, there’s nothing like a gelato at well... Gelato! This gelato parlour is dotted around the city and offers up some really great, creamy options.
Where Lokhandwalla, Andheri (W)
This little healthy gelato parlour is a new entrant into the world of gelato in the city and it’s standing its ground with a heady mix of flavours and cheery service.
Where Pali Hill, Bandra (W)
One of the first gelato outlets to open up in the city, this shop specialises in low fat, sorbet options made with fresh, seasonal fruits. From melon and strawberry to the occasional peach and watermelon flavours, you can indulge without feeling guilty about piling on the pounds. Their Mint Chocolate flavour is a must-try.
Where Carter Road, Bandra (W)
Espresso or cappuccino — in Italy there is a coffee for every time and mood. Here’s where you can grab an Italian coffee.
The Bagel Shop
From iced coffee mixes to a range of hot ones, this café has a spread to suit any of your moods, just like the Italians. And the open air seating with the warm couches makes for the perfect setting. The variety of bagels they serve is another plus.
Where Off Carter Road, Bandra (W)
Brown’s The Café
This small café is known for its coffee and pizzas. Head here with your friends for a nice snack to go along with your evening coffee.
Where Thakur complex, Kandivali (E)
Stock Up On Italy
You don’t have to head out to get a little taste of Italy. Try cooking up a storm in your own kitchen. Stumped about where to get ingredients? Read on…
This gourmet store offers hand cut, raw and ready-to-eat pastas. And you don’t have to worry about making your own sauces; they’ve got a range of Sacla and Agnesi sauces as well as black and white truffles in oil. Also, the little café above the store serves some delicacies such as Lobster Linguini and Ricotta Rolls.
Where Ground Floor, Grand Galleria, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel
This Italian brand has spread its products over malls and markets across the city and is one of the leading brands for oils, sauces and pastas. They have dry pasta and pasta sauces such as tomato and basil sauce, Sicilian sauce, Bolognese sauce and Arrabbiata sauce so that all you have to do is simply scoop it into your pasta for a quick meal.
Where Hypercity and Inorbit Mall in Malad (W)
Can’t tell your penne from your fusilli? Read on to find out
Anelli This small ring shaped pasta is mostly used in soups.
Penne This common pasta is cylindrical in shape and is used in almost every type of pasta dish.
Cochiglie Also called shell pasta, these are really tiny and used in gravy dishes.
Eliche This pasta type is made with loose spirals and is used with tomato based sauces.
Linguineli This is similar to spaghetti and like fettuccine, flat rather than round.
Fettuccine Just like flat noodles, this flat ribbon pasta is used in spaghetti like dishes.
Farfalle This is nothing but your bow shaped pasta, used most commonly with Italian white sauce.
Lasagne Lasagna is not just a dish, it’s a type of pasta made with flat, rectangular sheets.
Vermicelli This is really, really fine pasta and is often used in sweet dishes.
Macaroni Macaroni and cheese is a popular dish made with these wide tubes of pasta, also called elbow pasta.
Cannelloni These are also tubular but larger and thicker.
Spaghetti How can we leave spaghetti off the list! The fine, rod like pasta is a favourite with meat and tomato sauces.
Fusilli Long, twisted pasta — this is also used in desserts and sweet dishes.
Pair it right
Wine and cheese are as important in Italy as other parts of Europe. Nikhil Agarwal, Sommelier & Director of All Things Nice, tells us how to pair Italian cheese and wine:
Prunotto Barolo with Castelmagno
Both come from the region of Piedmont in Italy, this pairing brings about harmony by way of bringing together a very fragrant cheese and the red berry, rose petal and chewy tannin characteristics of this Barolo.
Danzante Pinot Grigio with Quatrilolo Lombardo
The acidity in the wine works well on cutting through the fat in this soft cheese, opening it in your mouth and creating a fusion of flavours.
Piccinni Brunelo di Montalcino with Parmigiano Reggiano
The cheese will coat your tongue making the tannin structure less intense, bringing forth the wines fruit and other complex characteristics.
If food and coffee wasn’t enough to fulfill your Italian dream in the city, you can try learning the language of romance and love. Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce, the Italian consulate in Mumbai, provides you lessons and opportunities to perfect your Italian. They offer crash courses, academic courses and also a Diploma Certificate (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced). So, go live la dolce vita!
Where 502, Bengal Chemical Compound Veer Savakar Marg, Prabhadevi. Contact 24368186 / 90 Website: www.indiaitaly.com