West View Bar and Grill, ITC Sonar, Kolkata
Buon Cibo, Buon Vino, Buoni Amici
Good food, good wine and good friends…the quote above basically sums up all that life is about! Italy is known for its wine & food which forms a huge part of their culture where a meal is a time to get together and celebrate rather than just a daily mundane activity. Italians are known for their warmth and zest for life. Now you too can get a taste of the Italian way of life with Avanti Italy – an international week long celebration of Italian cuisine being held at 130 countries. I had the privilege of being invited by West View Bar and Grill at ITC Hotel to sample some dishes made by Chef Vittorio Greco. “His passion for culinary art is firmly rooted in Italian soil and nurtured across the diverse culinary regions of Piedmont, Parma, Versilia. While traditional flavors rule his heart and simplicity and authenticity are the cruxes of his culinary style it is his daredevil creativity and showman ship which give his cuisine the distinction of a veritable feast for the senses.”
Being a vegetarian I often have a very limited choice available to me whenever I attend events or menu tastings. More often than not the non vegetarian counterparts are better – whether it is presentation or portion size or even their popularity among the crowd. But it was very refreshing to see so many vegetarian options available and not only that but to see even the staunch non vegetarians enjoying the vegetarian dishes. “I don’t care whether something is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. It needs to taste good and that is all that matters.” the chef told us during our meal and the well balanced menu clearly represents his ideology.
The meal started with Parmigiana Rivisitata Con Olio Al Carbone – trio of aubergine, tomato and Parmigiana mousse with fresh aubergine salad, crispy parmesan and a drizzle of charcoal oil. I was quite intrigued by the charcoal oil when I read the description and it helped to add such an earthiness to the dish. My personal favorite item from the entire tasting. Just mix everything up on the plate, grab the parmesan crisps to munch along and enjoy a great start to the meal. The soup or zuppe course was Zuppa Di Carciofi Con Gorgonzola E Cioccolato Fondente – Creamy artichoke soup with gorgonzola and dark chocolate. What a beautiful explosion of flavors – while at times the gorgonzola would bring a sharpness to the mellow artichoke soup the sweetness of the chocolate would help to balance it out. One of the most unique dishes I have ever tried.
Next came the Ravioli Ricotta E Spinaci – Ricotta & spinach ravioli served with butter & cheese sauce, which provided the much needed calming effect to the taste buds after the soup. This dish was just wholesome at its best. The ravioli with the spinach cheese stuffing served on a bed of spinach drizzled with butter sauce was both filling and soothing. I had my moment of zen with this dish where I dug into it with a single minded determination while I zoned out the world around me. This was followed by with a lovely Risotto Tutto Pomodoro – Risotto with tomato water, sundried tomato and tomato powder. I tried to munch a bit of the sundried tomato piece with every spoonful of the risotto and for some odd reason it gave me the tangy feel of an aachar aka pickle which was strangely satisfying for the “desi” in me 😀 . The meal came to an end with a Tiramisu which has to be one of the most understated yet elegant versions I have tried till date. The Italian cuisine week comes to an end on the 27th of November. West View Bar & Grill is offering an Ala Carte dinner menu for the event. I would highly recommend that you book your seat and get your taste of Italy…make it a celebration with your close ones and enjoy the true spirit of the festival. Do let me know how your experience was…I will see you soon!
PS – The author was invited by the PR of the hotel to attend the event. Views expressed are genuine and the author’s own.