Posted On Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 02:41:58 AM
Italian is actually one of the most beautifully simple cuisines of them all. But cooking this simple cuisine isn’t exactly a cakewalk, especially when the right kind of ingredients are not procured or stored carefully.
Basically, Italian cuisine depends on some basics — right from the flour, meat and veggies (most importantly tomatoes), all ingredients need to be sourced, segregated and stored perfectly as well as cooked wisely.
|Pics: Rajesh Nirgude
These days, it has become next to impossible to find good quality, ripe, bright red tomatoes, which is making it increasingly tricky for chefs to incorporate these into an authentic dish.
The reason I am rambling on about tomatoes and Italian food is because this week I visited Pesto Pesto and deliberately sampled their Chicken Cacciatore (Rs 395), because this dish very effectively reflects the simplicity of Italian cuisine and the usage of basic cooking techniques to enhance natural flavour.
I found this classic preparation had a bit of an average taste, just a little sour — maybe because the natural sourness of the tomatoes (that I was stressing on earlier) almost eclipsed the flavorful medley of wine, bell peppers, herbs and chillies.
But before that I started with their antipasti, another Italian favourite. I ordered their Veg Antipasti platter (Rs 275) which mentioned four-five preparations. Surprisingly, I received only three side bowls full of antipasti as part of the platter.
The server gracefully declared that they have ‘options from which three items are served’, which to me dismisses the genuine meaning of the word platter. When I mentioned that I would love to jot down my opinion, I was promptly handed a suggestion card!
Their Veg Lasagna (Rs 310) and Fritto Misto Di Mare (Rs 325) were both decent but not outstanding. The lasagna could have had more layers (at least four) and finely diced veggies between the delicate sheets.
But if you are into gooey and cheesy fare, you will definitely like this. While the fried fish looked like one big portion, a little further digging revealed that much of it was camouflaged with iceberg lettuce chunks as well.
The overall theme is very well-depicted, in terms of the menu and graffiti on the wall. The menu’s magazine-like look gives one a glimpse into Italian creations and their origin. It is also promising that all-day piadina and ciabatta sandwiches are served. Their gnocchi, soups, risotto and dessert mentions seem to be unique. The only flaw is in terms of the execution of some recipes.
Pesto Pesto should definitely dig deeper into sub-regional Italian cuisines as the menu seems to offer just one-third of what it could, in the future. Thoug expensive, there are few places in Koregaon Park one can find a lovely view from the 12th storey, whilst sipping on Italian wine or enjoying an espresso shot!
12th Floor, Onyx Mall, Nxt to The Westin Hotel, North Main Road, Koregaon Park Annexe 02066886688