Some nights, I have the most sinful dreams. Seeking the Italian I want. Of walking the streets of Rome, gliding on romantic waters in gondolas in Venice, napping on verdant greens under the Tuscan sun…all the while seeking my perfect, sinful, comforting, wholesome, rustic, homey Italian. And then one fine day, my dream comes true! Right here in Delhi. I have found just the perfect Italian restaurant of my dreams! Yes, restaurant…what did you think I was talking about?
It’s La Piazza at Hyatt Regency. And for the uninitiated, no they are not the hot new restaurant on the block; they are quite literally on the way to being a legend. La Piazza had opened its doors to the Delhi gourmand in 1994…22 years of absolutely delightful food, exceptional service and still going unbeatably strong.
We were invited to sample their new menu, especially curated by Italian masterchefs Ivan Chieregatti and Alessandro Sandrolini a couple of days ago, and we savoured every minute of it. Their very warm reception and kind attention to our meal made the experience a truly exceptional one. Chef Sandrolini explained to us how the new menu was inspired by traditional Italian cuisine, earthy, simple, and based on the seasonality of the ingredients. This new summer menu features the freshest, most luscious vegetables and herbs from the hotel’s own farms. What is served up is wholesome, nutritive, natural, hearty and comforting as home food – with the bonus of being prepared with the most delightful flavouring by amazingly skilled and passionate chefs.
We selected a sparkling cool chardonnay from one of the most extensive and absolutely fabulous wine lists I have ever seen – you will get an interesting mix of vintage and new world wines here, including the Chateau Lafite Rothschild 94 vintage on the top offer.
Starting with salads, we had the Rocket Salad that was a strongly flavoursome combination of rocket leaves, broccoli, tomatoes and feta. A meal that starts this right, well, can only be divine. The Chicken Salad with Sesame and Yoghurt was gently flavoured with cumin, a taste that the Indian palate is already quite familiar with. The Tuna Carpaccio was light, refreshing and so beautifully plated, I suggest seafood lovers absolutely must try it. A dash of Balsamic suggested by my friend took it up a notch for me.
Our soup selections for the evening – minestrone, mushroom and seafood – were served up with a fine selection of bruschetta; an absolutely brilliant pairing. The wafer thin garlic bread served with the seafood soup will have you requesting more, it’s that addictive! Also alongside was a platter of cold cuts, sliced so fine as to be beautifully transparent; it was like looking at a piece of art.
Next up was a hearty gnocchi with pesto, rich, creamy – refreshing with the pesto – truly comfort food at its best. The mushroom risotto was rather good too, I only wish it were a little creamier than it was. I had never had a duck ragout before, so we ordered Fusilli with duck ragout. A surprisingly interesting flavor that some palates might find quite different from the usual. We sampled a truly delightful Pizza La Piazza, which is the signature pizza and a pepperoni pizza the likes of which you hardly get anywhere else. The fine, thin crust, delicious sauce and toppings coming together in the wood fired oven created magic. Interestingly, La Piazza was one of the first ones to create the open kitchen concept. So we could witness all the beautiful cooking in action, the oven, the pans, the herbs, the aromas of butter, garlic and olives. It makes you feel languid, at home, satiated and just downright happy!
The lamb chops were ordered medium rare, one of the finest I have tasted. The grilled sea bass with asparagus in a butter sauce stole my heart.
And now for dessert, I am speechless. I don’t think any words could do justice to how wonderful the desserts were! I cannot pick favourites, so I say just have them all. Tiramisu to die for, Pannacotta with berries that I could kill for, chocolate mousse that I would fight wars over, Melting chocolate with meringue that I would steal away all for myself! They were just that criminally good. And oh how I loved sinning with them!
That’s it; I am saying no more…this writing is making me hungry all over again. Five rounds out of five, La Piazza. We are in love with you forever more !
LA PIAZZA, HYATT REGENCY, BHIKAJI CAMA PLACE, NEW DELHI
Coverage by : Vickrham (vicky) & Sonalini Chaudhry for FOODMANIACS Compiled by : Sonalini Chaudhry Email: firstname.lastname@example.org