Chennai’s Growing Appetite For Italian Food


The inviting posh interiors of the recently opened Italian restaurant, ItAlia at The Park Pod Hotel promise a gastronomic feast.

A feast for the eyes

When ‘ItAlia’ first opened in Bangalore, in 2002, the restaurant was testing the waters, and gauging how well Italian goes down with the Indian taste buds. This blue-blooded Italian restaurant offers you the finest in terms of gourmet cuisine, ambience and service.

The restaurant echoes the luxurious and sophisticated masterstrokes of the designer, Vikram Phadke. Done up in stark black and white with flourishes of blood red, the restaurant boasts of high-back Louis Ghost chairs and single red carnations on each table.

The crisp linen is especially designed by Abraham & Thakore and the polished cutlery is custom designed. The stage is set for a truly Italian experience.

The menu

The menu is the brainchild of Chef Antonio Carluccio, who, with a swish of his magic wand has transformed the humble notion of restaurant dining to a level of art and gastronomic seduction.

These works of art are executed with aplomb, by none other than Chef Rajesh, of The Park Hotel, renowned for his magical personal touch. The menu reflects dishes from Northern and central Italy, listing about 100 mouth watering dishes.

You really can’t call the menu extensive, but it certainly has been well thought through.

At ItAlia they call their food MoF: minimum of fuss and maximum on flavour! The staff has undergone rigorous training to pronounce the dishes right, serve them correctly, and to guide the uninitiated in making the right choices.

Before ItAlia opened its doors to Chennai, it was determined to get everything perfectly right!

Buono appetite

A delicate whiff of olive oil greets your nostrils as you enter the restaurant, whetting the appetite and sharpening the senses. The show starters are the vibrantly coloured crostini, roasted veggies with slivered almonds, pesto and succulent shrimps.

The broccoli and zucchini soup is an explosion of flavours, dusted with bacon bits. Take your pick from the slender tagliatelle, penne, pasta, ravioli, cannelloni and spaghetti and smother it with the sauce of your choice.

Creamy cheese sauce, shredded lamb or piquant tomato add colour and flavour to the pastas. The main course choices include filet of fish, shrimps in a butter sauce, stuffed breast of chicken in a balsamic reduction and lamb shanks.

The not-to-be-missed Tiramisu is on top of the dessert list. Choicest wines for accompaniment, toasted bread with truffle butter and crunchy salads add to the experience of fine dining.

The signature cappuccino or espresso with a cinnamon flavour and brandy snaps add the perfect finishing touch to a true gastronomic ‘experience’.

Source by Suchi Goyal