How authentic can an Italian food joint situated in the heart of Ghatkopar be? Pretty close to the mark, as it turns out. Casa Mia, at R-City Mall, hardsells their version of la dolce vita (the good life). The décor is smartly minimal. There is an unsuspecting bar/waiting area that we only notice half-way through the meal. The paper tablemats are printed with smart-aleck sayings like: ‘A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine.’ The place is absolutely empty. But the vegetarian restaurant next door which serves ‘divine food’ has a near-riot situation in their waiting area. We’re happy to play guinea pigs and slowly, the crowd trickles in.
The menu is all the reading material you’ll need. It packs tiny icons depicting veg dishes and chef specials, and also carries data on ingredients. Didn’t know what Arborio rice was? This Italian-food-for-dummies guide will fill you in. One page lists Italian table etiquette, but you won’t get discounts for being a good student. The waiter fills your glass of water before you can drain it — full points for being attentive. Their open kitchen is a sign of a confident hygiene policy. Our Pesto Chicken appetiser, selected from the sexed-up Indo-Italian section (Rs 185) arrives before we notice that one of the chefs is kinda cute.
Sadly, it isn’t well marinated and the drizzle of diced onions doesn’t fool us. But we won’t give up on our cute chef just yet.The Capricciosa pizza clinches the deal. Hand-tossed with luscious slices of prosciutto ham balanced by avocado and cheese, our sighs of pleasure attract stares from surrounding tables. The menu uses icons to recommend different pastas for each dish. Maybe the chef rewards you for listening because the Spaghetti Carbonara has so much bacon; it’s a steal at Rs 290.
The Prawn Gamberetti Risotto deserves a special section of its own, ‘nuff said. At this point, one more bite could lead to a food coma, but how can you say ‘No’ to a Chocolate Tortino served with whipped cream and raspberry gel. To say that it melts in your mouth would be like saying some folk admire Sachin Tendulkar. You feel silly for even mentioning it. Ghatkopar isn’t the first place that pops into your mind when you say fine dining. But Casa Mia might just help it catch up.