Last weekend was quite busy with family get together and a bit heavy on food. I do tend to cook a few family favourites when we are together and this weekend was no exception. Monday and Tuesday saw me with light vegetable meals as there was a review visit to a posh Italian restaurant scheduled ahead.
So when we decided to go to La Piazza at Hyatt Regency Delhi for dinner on a weekday, we were looking for a light Italian meal. Of course we were looking forward to great flavours too as we both love Italian food and the way it plays with aromatic herbs and fresh ingredients.
Chef Luca Digiloramo has interpreted the simplicity and contemporary style of Rome and Milano in the new menu of La Piazza. Chef Marin Leuthard came to our table and explained the menu we were being served and I was still wondering what a mint ravioli will taste like when he talked about tuna smoked on a piece of charcoal. My interest was piqued rightly.
The wine list at La piaza is impressive but we decided for pineapple juice as we saw the preset menu for the day had a lot of seafood and meat. Pineapple juice is my drink when I am expecting a meat and seafood heavy meal. It does help digest heavy meals.
Antipasti was served quickly. First to come was Antipasto di affimicati.
It looked impressive with hot and cold smoked salmon and smoked mackerel served along with minced black olives, minced capers and minced red onions as relish. While both hot and cold smoked Salmon were great, the smoked mackerel felt a bit too leathery although the smoky taste was good. I like the almost creamy soft texture of hot smoked salmon and a bit firm texture of cold smoked salmon, the relishes worked really well with the fish.
The lime and mint sorbet as a palate cleanser was simply delicious.
Next to come was Cento sfoglie alle pere e caprino. It was dehydrated pear slices over goat cheese mille feuille with honey mustard dressing and some greens on top. I loved the goat cheese blended with honey mustard, it was such a pleasant creamy thing to dip the pear slices and the paper thin pastry. Perfectly balanced flavours.
Among the main course I was curious about the mint ravioli, Ravioli con taleggio, menta e salsa al pepe mero. While I could not detect any mint in the ravioli or the sauce, the hint of pepper was pleasant to find in a ravioli made with Taleggio cheese sauce. I loved it regardless of mint no-show.
Risotto al curry verde e gamberi, a green curry risotto with prawn came with a plump Prawn peppered generously. Black pepper was used quite a lot in the menu and it was actually a revelation regarding how much pepper I can like in Italian food. I did like it.
I found the green curry treating the risotto really well, it was cooked well too, both the rice and prawns right as I like it. Not too al dante but not melting into a sticky mass either.
The show stopper was Tagliata di tonno ai carboni, the much awaited charcoal flavoured black pepper tuna. Black pepper appears again and I don't mind it.
Generously encrusted with black pepper, the tuna fillet was cooked right, juicy and flavourful. Black pepper heat very cleverly balanced with caramelized onion slices, this tuna portion was quite big considering too many courses but both of us just loved it.
There was no more appetite left after the Tuna, but the meat course was still to come. Polpette di anatra con pepperoni e fagolini was spicy duck meatballs with bell peppers and green beans. I thought I will just take a bite to see how it is but the meatballs were made so perfectly I ended up having two of them. What surprised me in this dish was the slow caramelized bell peppers that tasted almost sweetish with just the right amount of sauce clinging to it. A bit sweet and tart with a slight chilli heat, I finished all the bell peppers in the saucepan dish. Beans were untouched by flavours, not that I mind.
Dessert was Sicilian Ice cream Cassata and Classic Tiramisu. We shared the dessert plate and took a bite of each. Both were nice but nothing to write home about.
With every dish on the antipasti and mains so flavourful and delicious I wouldn't waste my time on mediocre desserts. A great meal doesn't end with a dessert for me. You know well.
The meal was not light as we were expecting but it was not too heavy, flavours were great as I mentioned. Forget the desserts.