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Restaurant Week India (Bangalore) - Preview at Alto Vino

Monday, September 16, 2013Me! In words

Reservations for Citibank Restaurant Week (India) {RWI}open today for Citibank customers and in two days time for everyone else. Its that time of the year when you get to play fastest finger first to secure a table at one of the 22 restaurants that are participating in it here in Bangalore. If you are new to the concept, it is basically when, for 10 days high-end restaurants in the city serve up prix fixe menus showcasing the best their restaurant has on offer to all those who love their food. This happens twice a year, with all bookings for tables being done online. In Bangalore, these are uniformly priced at Rs 750 ++ lunch or dinner.

When I received the opportunity to attend a preview of the RWI menu at the Alto Vino, Marriott, Bangalore, I jumped at the chance. For one, I love the Marriott, though its situated really far from us - the Sunday Brunch is a brilliant affair. Also, Alto Vino is making its debut on the RWI roster of restaurants for Bangalore and it would be a great chance to see what we could savor here. My friends spoke highly of Chef Alfonso Montefusco and I was so looking forward to meeting him as well. 

We were ushered to our seats at 8PM and the ambiance at this dinner-only restaurant is relaxed and soothing. The open kitchen on one side and glass doors leading to the open air seating make for equally pleasant views. Chef Alfonso is definitely a pleasure to talk to and talk we did of how the local produce lends itself to Italian cooking brilliantly, of the varieties of tomatoes, the quality of meat, the texture of oils and more. We left it to chef to showcase the RWI menu for us. 

We started with some freshly baked bread with olives and a dip - still warm from the oven, the bread had a lovely crisp crust and warm soft inside. A perfect accompaniment while we waited for our first course to arrive. 

A view of the open kitchen

Batter fried calamari and prawn skewered for the benefit of the little one. And though she turned on the shy button that evening, she thoroughly enjoyed her calamari and prawns. The coating was crisp and light, allowing the seafood to shine right through. The chunky and spicy tomato sauce balanced it out perfectly

Panzanella - a fresh salad of grilled veggies, greens, cheese and Sicilian vinaigrette. Light and a melange of tastes and textures, making it a lovely salad to indulge in at any time. 

Minestrone de Verdure - slow cooked vegetable broth with a sweet basil pesto. Again a delicious creamy soup with chunks of vegetables and the sweetness of the basil pesto stirred in. This with some bread makes for a really homely Italian meal. 

Crostini Misti - a set of three crostini breads topped with mushrooms / bell peppers and zucchini / Scamorza cheese and zucchini. Very filling, with each of the three variants giving you a whole new set of tastes. A delicious trio

The Insalata Caprese - Simple tomato slices and buffalo mozarella - proof that simplicity is all that is needed to make food taste good

Insalata Verde al'Italiana - an all-organic greens salad - crispy, crunchy and delicious. That's saying a lot for someone like me who thinks a hundred times before downing a dish of something that's all green like
this one is. 

Risotto al-funghi - Am a sucker for a good risotto and its as if the good chef read my mind - out came this brilliant risotto - creamy, with a good bite and despite being a simple mushroom one, did not get boring, as most dishes of this nature tend to get after a first few bites. It was brilliant, right down to the last grain. Something I would definitely be willing to drive all the way to Whitefield for. 

Gnocchi di pecorino el pomodoro - And just when I thought the risotto was the crowning glory, out came the gnocchi - smooth globules of potato gnocchi doused in a tangy tomato sauce with sprinkles of pecorino - Life definitely could not have been better. 

Chef was kind enough to make Anoushka a Margarita pizza, which is not part of the RWI menu, which of course we snuck a bite of - come on! there was no way she was going to finish it all! There is a reason you are spoilt for life once you have a hand made pizza and you have to taste one like this to know.

Back to our mains - the Pesci del Giorno was next - the catch of the day was snapper and this was served with braised vegetables. Chef squeezed over a roasted lemon over the fish which gave it a slightly bitter taste - but if you don't do that, the fish is fresh, light and a great main course

For dessert we had an absolutely decadent Tiramisu (but of course), scooped right of out of the dish and into the bowl. From Sudhakar's love for the dessert, he would have been happy to take over the serving bowl itself. But, a brilliant Tiramisu it was!

The menu has a good pick of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options and definitely has more than what you see here. What I love about the Italian way of cooking is the light hand on seasoning and spices. All work done is to ensure that the core ingredient stands out to attention. Flavors are teased out of them to ensure you enjoy every morsel you are eating without unnecessarily filling up. The RWI meal at Alto Vino this year is definitely worth driving from the city for like we did. Pair it with a good wine, like the Cabernet Sauvignon, Col Di Sasso 2011 like we were offered and you will go home with the word "favoloso" ringing through your mind. To make your bookings at RWI this year, please visit

Address: Bengaluru Marriott Hotel, 75, 8th Road, EPIP Road, Whitefield. 
Cuisine: Italian
Accepts Cards: Yes
Parking: Valet Parking

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