Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Dinner at Ottimo Cucina Italiana, ITC Grand Chola

Obviously (going by the title), we decided to go Italian for dinner for Christmas. It had been ages since we last met, so my friend and I decided to catch up over dinner. We decided to go the much talked about ITC Grand, a luxury hotel with an array of restaurants to choose from. Since we both were vegetarians, I thought maybe the Italian place would have a decent selection. I was worried the Pan Asian may have an overpowering menu of sea food and the Madras Pavilion, was an assortment of different cuisines, which I felt may be a tad boring. Ottimo Cucina Italiana, it was!

The drive from my house was under 30 minutes, which was fabulous given the heavy traffic this particular route is accustomed to and the entry to the hotel was quite nice. The only downer was the drive around the hotel to get to the restaurant, which if could be avoided could make it appetizing.

The hotel is certainly huge and quaint. The dim lights and open spaces leading up to the flight of stairs added to the effect. We found our Italian place and had to wait for a good couple of minutes to be ushered to our table. When you enter the restaurant, you have lovely light and seating arrangements facing a little away from the open kitchen on your right. That was the only arrangement that I liked. We were seated further away on the left, into a crowded area, which I immediately disliked. To make it worse, the vegetarian menu was terribly thin. 

To kick-start the dinner, we had a breadbasket with two varieties of dips. For starters, we had grilled vegetables with balsamic and a plate of grilled cheese. The grilled platter was nicely done, while the cheese platter could have used some presentation skills to reflect its fine dining standard. There was only choice of soup, the cream of mushroom-truffle soup. The aroma was pungent and almost bordered on a seafood smell. We just got through it looking ashen. For the mains, we split a mushroom risotto, which my friend said came highly recommended. It was a saving grace. Finally for the dessert, we had the classic panacotta with berry compote. Light and nice, we could have done with a little more compote though.

Overall, the dinner was average and certainly dipped on their value for money. A meal for two sans alcohol costs INR 4000/-. I certainly would not recommend the Italian hangout for the veg club, but maybe the Madras Pavilion will offer more for your palate and your pocket. A small tip - mushrooms may not always agree with everyone, so go easy on it.

I lost all the food photographs along with my mobile phone. So I leave this particular post to your imagination. Bon Appetite!

No comments: