Citibank Restaurant Week 2014: My experiences dining at Alto Vino, Marriott Whitefield.
Citibank Restaurant week is a time to enjoy good food, to indulge and to experience the best of the eating joints (including a lot of 5-stars too) in a price which is very affordable. At a fabulous price point of Rs 900 + taxes to me Citibank Restaurant week is almost like a week long celebration of eating out. This year the week has already started on 19th Sep and is running till 28th Sep. I was invited for a preview and this time I was lucky to be early enough to pick what I wanted (child going to school early in the morning has some advantage after all) and I got Alto Vino which I was also eyeing last year.
What I love about Alto Vino is the open kitchen and the space. The minute you enter the restaurant, you get a happy vibe. It also helps that it opens up and has an outside alfresco dining area attached to it. We got ourselves a nice place with a tad better lighting than the rest of the place and I laughed when the server told me “I got you this seat because there was better lighting and the view of the kitchen”. I love places which understand that we silly bloggers need better light for the pictures.
Pleasantries exchanged we got down to business, the business of eating. Chef Alfonso Montefusco gave us company for the meal and we left the decision of what to order (from the restaurant week menu) to him and I was happy in my head that he exactly ordered what I had my eyes set on. We started with Polpettine which was Sautéed chicken dumplings in a lemon parsley sauce served with marinated olives. This dish was a star for me, the dumplings were brilliant, soft and moist. The sauce well balanced with the olives perfectly complimenting it and it was served in such a beautiful dish that I almost wanted to steal it.
In the antipasti section we also tried Crostoni Misti, Toasted crostini, fresh tomato, zucchini, mushrooms, scamorza cheese. The bread used for the crostoni I loved, the toppings were good too and I was happy to see something beyond the tomato and basil they usually serve as crostoni at most Italian places.
Chef also suggested that we try Fritto Misto, Batter fried shrimps, calamari, spicy tomato sauce and this was the dish that we didn’t enjoy at all. Actually the only dish of the evening which we found very very ordinary with nothing to speak home about. It almost tasted like golden fried prawns and unfortunately the calamari was overcooked and chewy but the spicy tomato sauce was good. A special mention for the inhouse sourdough bread though. Exceptional is the word, served with herbed butter and wine I could make a meal out of that itself.
Along with good food we also had a great time with the chef that evening. Talking about food both Italian and Indian food, where to eat in Bangalore and the rest of India with the chef telling us about various regions and foods of that in Italy and how both Italian and Indians use the same kind of stone pot to make pickles and we also discussed that many many years ago there sure was some connection between these two civilisations.
And amidst these conversations we moved to the Secondi (essentially the mains), we decided to try out the Ravioli, Risotto ai funghi and Spigola. First the – Risotto ai funghi , essentially mushroom risotto, the death dish in the masterchef, was really executed well here. We literally wanted to lick the bowl, the flavours, the creaminess of the risotto and the perfectly done rice.
While on masterchef, I have to tell you about the interesting conversation we had about Masterchef itself. Hold your breath when I tell you this, Chef Alfonso thinks Masterchef Australia is very boring and the contestants extra sweet to each other and this really can’t be the way in real life competition. He on the other hand seem to love Masterchef US, as a die hard MCA fan, I expressed my shock at this, sufficiently making him laugh 🙂 Ok coming to the Ravioli filled pasta, ricotta, spinach, home made sweet basil sauce. Not too thick shell with good and sufficient filling, slightly chewy but good nonetheless.
The Spigola, Sea Bass, sautéed greens, lemon butter sauce was also outstanding. The lemon sauce tangy enough and the perfectly fried skin of the fish was a delight.
And then came the turn of the last course, the DOLCI aka desserts. We tried the Pannacoatta and the Tiramisu. The Tiramisu looked so gorgeous and was really really delicious though not completely set. The coffee and the cheese filling as well as the Savoiardi perfect and each bite was transporting me to the secret dessert heaven.
The panna cotta was also brilliant, the texture smooth and silky though I would have loved to have it with a fruit compote instead of the melted chocolate but thats a personal opinion.
I think at Rs 900++ this meal was a steal and so worth it and there is also an option to upgrade the main course to their signature for an additional Rs 200/- You can book a table at Alto Vino and many other places showcasing their menu for a week at Restaurant week’s website http://restaurantweekindia.com/
Go have fun and tell me where all you went?