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Best Italian

india Updated: Oct 02, 2010 00:31 IST

Spaghetti Kitchen
This eatery does great business, and it’s not because of passing trade. Their pizzas are great, pastas tasty and service always attentive. The antipasti platter has a selection of cold cuts: salami, prosciutto, ham, chicken ham with green olives, etc. A particular treat is the Parmesan potato starter. Post-lunch, gorge on Venetian cicheti, the Italian equivalent to tapas.

Where: 2nd Floor, Select Citywalk Mall, District Centre, Saket; 42658430-33 Cuisine: Italian Timings: 12 pm to 11 pm Cost: R 2500

Diva
Famously touted as one of the few restaurants in the Capital where it’s hard to have a bad meal, this swank diner by chef Ritu Dalmia, took Italian food to new standards of excellence when it set up shop a decade ago. The ambience is cosy and intimate, service warm and the food excellent. The wine selection here is as good as at any top-notch hotel — if not better.

Where: M-8, M Block market, Greater Kailash-II, Delhi; 41637858/ 41637019 Cuisine: Italian Timings: 12.30 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R 3000

Zanotta
Zanotta oozes a relaxed classiness. What is immediately striking is the huge open kitchen, where everything barring the salads and desserts is prepared. The restaurant boasts an extensive wine cellar stocked with bottles of various provenances. We suggest you start with a medium platter selection of Italian cold cuts, which comes with luscious Sicilian olives, Pecorino Romano and sourdough bread. Move on to Rigatoni alla Carbonara, which makes subtle use of white onions, and carries a hint of cognac. For the mains, try the Tenderloin a la Rossini.

Where: The Leela Kempinski Hotel, NH 8, DLF Phase 3, Ambience Island, Gurgaon; 0124-4771234
Cuisine: Italian Timings: 7 pm to 11 pm Cost: R 3000

Cibo
Cibo means ‘food’ in Italian, and this is certainly a place that enthralls both with the food and décor. Trust designer Rohit Bal to do it all in his own signature style. The restaurant has two spaces — an open, outdoor area for casual meals with friends where you can have pizzas and salads during lunchtime, and a formal, dimly-lit indoor dining space. The menu is quite extensive and the service efficient.

Where: Hotel Janpath, Janpath Road, Connaught Place; 23340070
Cuisine: Italian Timings: 12 pm to 12 am Cost: R 2500

Baci
Famously touted as one of the few restaurants in the Capital where it’s hard to have a bad meal, this swank diner by chef Ritu Dalmia, took Italian food to new standards of excellence when it set up shop a decade ago. The ambience is cosy and intimate, service warm and the food excellent. The wine selection here is as good as at any top-notch hotel — if not better.

Where: M-8, M Block market, Greater Kailash-II, Delhi; 41637858/ 41637019
Cuisine: Italian Timings: 12.30 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R 3000

San Gimignano
Inspired from a medieval town by the same name in Tuscany, this plush restaurant oozes understated charm. The restaurant leads out to a terrace courtyard, called Paradiso DiVino, which serves an a la carte menu. The menu changes periodically but features innovative and non-clichéd dishes. The restaurant prides itself on its premium selection of Italian wines and grappa.

Where: The Imperial, 1, Janpath, Connaught Place; 23341234
Cuisine: Italian Timings: 12.30 pm-2.45 pm & 7 pm-11.45 pm Cost: R 3000

La Piazza
A whiff of Italy in Delhi, that’s what La Piazza offers. Among the best Italian fine dining restaurants in the city, it offers cordon bleu Italian cuisine amidst a warm, inviting ambience. The food is exquisite. Try Spaghetti Carbonara and the Braised Lamb Leg with Button Mushrooms. The dessert spread is ample with choices of cake and regulars like Tiramisu. A must-visit.

Where: Hyatt Regency, Ring Road , Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi; 66771308
Cuisine: Italian Timings: 12 pm-3 pm; 7 pm-11 pm Cost: R 4500

Italia
Italia has three moods— the formal one has a sophisticated feel and comes with gold accents and smoky mirrors; the casual all-day diner on the other hand is cheerful and informal, and there’s a terrace area that overlooks the ridge. The all-day diner has an attractive pizza and calzone menu, of which the most novel is the Parma Ham and Onion Pizza. The thin crust foccacia, served with creamed garlic dip, pesto and grana padano, is a must-try. End with the excellent Tiramisu.

Where: 309-310, 2nd Floor, DLF Promenade Mall, Vasant Kunj; 43111778
Cuisine: Italian Timings: 12 pm to 12 am Cost: R 2000

Sartoria
Sartoria is a small, cosy establishment with three
levels — a patisserie of sorts at the ground level and seated dining on the other two, which feature a tasteful muted décor and a romantic atmosphere. The menu is extensive. Begin with the Parma Ham with Melon and go on to the Pepperoni Pizza and Ciopino of Seafood. The restaurant serves an awesome pesto sauce with its freshly baked breads — the flavours of pine nuts, basil and olive oil are not to be missed.

Where: 18 A/C, Basant Lok Market, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi; 41683306/41683305
Cuisine: Italian Timings: 11 am to 12 am Cost: R 1500

Tonino Ristorante Italiano
Sophisticated and urbane, this Italian joint belongs to the up-market fine dining league. With its elegant setup, professional service, deep-toned wooden furniture and soothing music, it recreates, with a fair degree of success, the relaxed and tranquil ambience of a Tuscan villa. The food served is, by and large, authentic and nuanced in its flavours, if a tad on the expensive side. The wine collection is quite exhaustive. An ideal spot for a romantic dinner.

Where: 10, Andheria More, MG Marg; 26801588, 26802633 Cuisine: Italian
Timings: 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm & 7.30 pm to 12 am Cost: R 4000

Azzurro, Gurgaon
This one’s a lovable melting pot of Italian and Mediterranean delights. The winner is Pizza Secco, which delights with its light, crisp base with grains of peperoncino and oven-dried garlic. The wide range of pizzas is supplemented by a diverse choice of toppings, from spicy chicken and pepperoni to rocket leaves. Also try Lamb Picatta — slices of lamb charcoal-grilled and flavoured with Moroccan spices. Leave space for desserts, which are among the most original in the city.

Where: D-147, Arjun Marg, DLF Phase I, Gurgaon; 0124 4289253-54; www.azzurro.in
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean Timings: 12 pm to 11 pm Cost: R 2000

Travertino
A fabulous fine-diner, this world-class Italian restaurant is the darling of epicureans. The exquisite fare includes droolworthy dishes such as Risotto with Red Cabbage and Potatoes, Home-made Tortelli filled with Provolone Cheese, Fresh Blue Crab Salad Meat, and the Braised Lamb. There’s an engaging wine list, too. Come here to see and be seen, too.

Where: The Oberoi, Dr Zakir Hussain Marg, Delhi; 24363030/24304361 Cuisine: Italian Timings: 11.30 am-2.30 pm; 7.30 pm-11.30 pm Cost: R 4500

56-Ristorante Italiano
56-Ristorante Italiano is on the right track, or so feel Italian diners who have checked out the place for its authenticity. Which means you don’t go expecting 100 per cent Italian ingredients, but the look and feel fit the bill. The pastas and pizzas score high on the list here. There’s a gentle grandeur to the place, making a meal here a charming experience.

Where: Vatika Atrium, Golf Course Road, Sector 53, Gurgaon; 0124-4311298
Cuisine: Italian Timings: 12.30 pm-3.30 pm, 7 pm-11 pm Cost: R 3500

FIO Country Kitchen & Bar
FIO, which derives its cute name from a wildflower, sits pretty in a cosy corner of The Garden of Five Senses. The al fresco ambience is a scene straight out of Madhatter’s Tea Party in Alice’s Wonderland, the only difference being you get to sip on beer instead of the tea. Try the crispy pollo sticks, followed by some Fettuccine Alfredo. The wood-fired pizzas are a treat too.

Where: The Garden of Five Senses, Mehrauli; 29536309 Cuisine: Italian, Indian Timings: 12.30 pm-3 pm; 7.30 pm-12.30 am Cost: R 2000