Serves: Italian Cuisine
Atmospherics: Zanotta is open only for dinner, except on the weekends when there is a famous buffet-at-the-table on Sunday lunch (Saturday has a truncated version). If you are planning to visit on Sunday afternoon, a booking is necessary: the cost to benefit ratio makes it very popular. The seats near the full-height windows are the ones to look out for, especially the fat, squashy sofas that you sink into and have yourself an exceedingly romantic evening. There is an open kitchen presided over by Chef Leidy Liz Levitan from the Spanish-speaking world. She has been in Gurugram for long enough to know local preferences and her menu reflects this. This is one place that nobody will judge you for wanting to eat a pizza for dinner, though Zanotta is not exactly a pizzeria! There is a good wine list and the service is friendly – expected, considering the amount of repeat guests they get.
Table talk: Coppa di testa or pork terrine (Rs 1300) is expertly made in-house, with the addition of red wine and caramelized onions. Served with toasted bread, it makes a delicious start to a meal here. Tuna and avocado salad (Rs 1250) is light on the palate and colourful on the plate. The risotto section has a risotto of the day. When I visited, I was lucky enough to be able to taste the beetroot and Barolo risotto (Rs ) which was studded with cubes of beetroot that appeared to have been cooked sous vide till it attained an almost jelly-like texture. The Barolo itself did not come through, but you could tell that a rich, mellow red wine had gone into the making of the risotto. If all you want is a single dish, do consider something – anything – from the pasta section. Various shapes, a plethora of exciting sauces to choose from and you can have a meal cooked to your specifications. Two examples include lobster tortellini in creamy zucchini seafood bisque (Rs 1100/1450 half/full) and potato dumplings with fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella (Rs 700/1050 half/full). My main course was a perfectly cooked snapper in white wine, cherry tomatoes, basil and caper broth with sautéed vegetables (Rs 2000).
Plus and minus: the high degree of customization that is possible here makes it a very attractive proposition.
Must try: grilled prawns with fennel relish; spinach and ricotta ravioli; pizza bites
Food: 3.50; Service: 3.75; Décor: 3.50
6th floor, The Leela Ambience, Ambience Island
Tel: 4771234; 4771255
Open from 6.30 pm to 11.30 pm (Saturdays and Sundays open for lunch and dinner)
Credit cards; alcohol
Meal for two: Rs 4,000