The Italian food festival from a dummy’s point of view- The ITC Sonar chapter

So, it was Italian week of Italian cuisine is on in Kolkata now. But let us first find out why this festival is different from any other food festivals and if at all it is different. In the month of August, a city called Amatrice (probably where Pasta All’Amatriciana was born and gained its fame) was destroyed (well almost) after an earthquake. Now,  For each dish of Amatricianna sold in restaurants throughout the Italian week, 2 euros will be contributed towards the cause of rebuilding the town. Hence this Italian Food Week is being celebrated across 130 countries and numerous cities globally and out love, Kolkata is not left behind. During the event, in Kolkata, we will be having five Italian chefs: Mauro Ferrari (Hyatt Regency), Francesco Francavilla (Oberoi Grand), Vittorio Greco (ITC Sonar), Alessio Lorenzo (Taj Bengal), Michelangelo Sparapano (The Park). They will present during the entire week their menus in the supporting hotels, offering to Kolkattans the original flavors and tastes of the Italian gastronomic tradition.

We were invited to ITC Sonar for an interactive session with the chef and menu tasting event in their West View Bar and grill. Frankly, I was impressed with Chef Greco. neither because his profile is extremely interesting, nor because, he is he had headed the michelin stared restaurants- but for the very simple reason that he made us feel at home- instantly. Just like our senior family member, he asked for our preference and seemed very happy to learn that we all are non-veg and non-allergic to any thing. And the surprising journey started,

After the bread basket, the first course was FILLETO DI POLLO O ALLE ERBE E LIMONE CON SALSA TONNATA E PANE AL SESAMO. Again, I am not firing and this is the name of the dish. Basically, it’s diced chicken breast with tuna sauce and sesame seeds flavored crispy bread. More than the 3-D presentation, the taste was a combination of tangy yet non-spicy (maybe I am unable to express it). A definitely recommended dish from my side.

I was thinking this to be the surprise element, but when the soup came, WTF was my first comment….. ZUPPA DI CARCIOFI CON GORGONZOLA E CIOCCOLATO FONDENTE. Basically, Creamy artichoke soup with gorgonzola and dark chocolate. Chocolate in a hot soup ????? And it was not that bad. Definitely not the showstopper (or my palate is not adventurous enough yet), but great.

The ravioli with lamb stuffing with citrus sauce was great and subtle.

Being a bong, the next dish was the showstopper. I had tasted this is the Italian consulate dinner as well, but it’s made to be served as an pre-plated a la carte dish. The poached fish braised with celery, capers and olives in a thyme in the white wine scented broth. Unlike me, those who love to taste the original taste of fish, this is pure orgasm. Definitely recommended.

As they say in Hindi, “UP mein aaye aur dhol nahi bajaye ???”, likewise, No dessert in an Italian meal ? Bahut na insafi hain. And, we were served the Tiramisu. Light and subtle- just the way it was supposed to be.

And, at least apart from having some terrific meals, I now know few Italian dishes and how they should taste, thanks to the event.

For particulars:-

Its on from 21st- 27th November in all the hotels mentioned above and the dishes are served on a-la-carte basis. So, halla bol !!!

Comments and critics welcome.

I can be reached at 9903528225 / indrajit.lahiri@ymail.com

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