NR 27, Nathupur, DLF – 3 and
SF-5, 2nd floor, Omaxe Gurgaon Mall, Gurgaon
Phone: 0124 4061895
Timing: 12 Noon to 11 PM
Italiano is the oldest Italian restaurant in Gurgaon. It set up base at Nathupur in 2004, and recently opened another branch at Omaxe Mall on Sohna Road. The prep for their new branch is done from the base kitchen at Nathupur, to maintain consistency in quality. “We focus on authentic food and fresh ingredients,” says Chef Animesh Khare. Italiano’s clientele is primarily corporate, keeping the restaurant pretty busy. The décor inside has a Mediterranean feel to it, with ample natural lighting.
I look at their detailed menu, and am excited to find saltimbocca (Rs. 245) – a popular starter in southern Europe. This dish is made of veal, lined with prosciutto and sage, and then marinated in wine. The re-engineered version in this restaurant has chicken sausage wrapped with bacon, and marinated in a honey and mustard dressing. There is something addictive about this combination. Saltimbocca literally means ‘hop-in-the-mouth’.
On the chef’s recommendation, I try the pizza verdue (Rs. 320) next. Incidentally, pizza used to be a dish of the poor; it was sold on the street, and was not considered a kitchen recipe for a long time. Originally, the idea for pizza came from a pita, or flatbread, which was placed with various toppings. Eventually they placed tomato sauce on the pitas, and created the Italian pizza. The traditional pizza had oregano, virgin olive oil, tomato sauce and basil. My pizza verdue is topped with cheese, bell peppers, mushrooms and zucchini – along with the traditional ingredients. With a crisp, thin crust, and all the veggies on top, it makes for a light bite – albeit a bit dry on the palate.
It is time for my main course. I order the pete do pollo al venezia (Rs. 375), which translates to roasted chicken breasts served in a red wine sauce. Though the sauce does not taste of red wine, it does taste good. The chicken breast is very tender and succulent, and pairs well with the piquant sauce.
For any Italian, very much like us Indians, the meal is incomplete without the dolci. So, I order the classic tiramisu (Rs. 185). It arrives looking pretty on the plate. The taste is competent, like that of a good creamy pastry, but not ‘authentic’.
Italiano’s business has grown in sync with Gurgaon. I look forward to their becoming the made-in-Gurgaon local food chain soon.