When you want light, appetizing food coupled with happy conversations, this is where you should head.
Romeo and Juliet, Rome and Venice, such is the romantic world of Italy. And then there’s Sorrento, a town overlooking the Bay of Naples in Southern Italy. Its natural beauty, weather and luxury hotels have attracted celebrities including operatic tenors Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti. And giving a flavour of this Sorrento is Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel New Delhi. Sorrento, the fine dining restaurant here, offers delectable flavours, fresh ingredients and finger-licking dishes. The casual yet luxurious ambience adds to the experience.
Greeted by the blue-green scooter, the two wheeler ride for which Italy is well known, we first checked out the alfresco space, part of the new Grappa bar.
This can be a romantic heaven with the lush gardens giving it a zing. Digging into some small platters with cocktails from Grappa, it turned into an afternoon of fun and frolic as drinks went in and food flowed on the table between Anjori Kumar, Jiggi Verma, Aparna Gulati and me.
The orange-flavoured bitter Grappa Negroni went well with bruchettas, salads, and more, all this comes under the Cicchetti (small platters) umbrella. This Negroni has flavours
of Campari, Martini Rosso, and orange and lemon bitters. What I would recommend is Baked artichoke romana with hazelnut chili crumble and fontina glaze; Lightly fried wild mushrooms, olives, pickled chili, blue cheese dip; Roasted chicken, wild mushrooms, parmesan snow. There’s a wide choice and its pretty reasonably priced too.
And then a slight drizzle made us turn indoors. This is an interesting area with an open kitchen. The restaurant has been designed by the Dubai-based Stickman Design. It makes you feel comfortable in a second—there’s enough privacy between tables. Here, aromas of Neapolitan cuisine waft through the entire space.
And Chef Luigi Ferraro brings authenticity from the region. Yet to explore India, Chef Luigi adds just the right touch to this place. Since we were on a tasting spree, we went through many things. But what we ended with was simply WOW which I shall share later for the restaurant had kept that as a surprise.
Wine is a must with the meal. And in Italian cuisine, there’s greens aplenty, lemons, tomatoes, cheese. And as the region is near water, seafood dishes are very popular. And topped with olive oil, they become very digestible. The choice ranges from Italian cheese, dry-cured meats, breads, zuppe or soup, pasta, pizza. So some dishes which I liked: Fragrant seafood broth from the coastline of Sorrento, Baked polenta, forest mushroom, pine nuts and gorgonzola cream, Risotto with chorizo, red onions and green peas, Wood oven roasted whole sea bass, squash with parmesan chili butter, olive oil whipped potatoes and Sicilian tomato sauce, Jumbo Prawns: Grilled with eggplant caponata, orange, pine nut, pesto. The list can go on.
And we ended with the chef’s signature Tiramisu with flavours of coffee and amaretto and Volcano, a decadent chocolate and hazelnut dessert served with a sour raspberry sauce inspired by Mount Vesuvius located in the Gulf of Naples, Italy.
All I can say, just when I though this perfect meal and the right combination of people who were having some great conversations, was about end, there had to be something unforgettable. Something with which a meal normally begins in Sorrento and which is unique to Sorrento—Limoncello. This amazing shot is a digestif made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water and sugar produced in Sorrento. And it’s so good that you could gulp the entire bottle in as many shots you want. Luckily, we were not driving, but half a bottle is where we stopped! Until the next time…
And this time it will be Grappa because I have yet to experience more drinks made by mixologist Mario Gonzalez Cabildo along with award winning Gaurav Dhyani.
Address: Lobby Level, Shangri -La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi, 19 Ashoka Road, Connaught Place, New Delhi.
E-mail address: email@example.com
Operating Hours: Lunch – 12:30 pm – 2:45 pm
Dinner – 7:30 pm – midnight