Moving on to Skeeter’s main course and dessert together, she could not decide which of these stole the show for her. The Vegetable Tagliatelle with carrot mash and basil oil was part of a very pleasant surprise, for it was no pasta, but farm fresh, seasonal, organic, vegetables like carrot, yellow and green zucchini, peeled into strips and plated wonderfully to mimic Tagliatelle, cooked/steamed very lightly to leave the texture crunchy enough for one to bite in. The sweet scented basil oil peeped from between the vegetables to reveal itself and lend flavour to the dish. Skeeter has never had a healthier dish at a restaurant. The portion size and the quality of this Vegetable Tagliatelle with carrot mash and basil justifies the price tag (Rs 500) absolutely. Skeeter will go back for only this one, on and on. That said, Chef Alexis Gielbaum at Le Bistro Du Parc told Skeeter that they change their menu frequently. So one is likely to go back at Le Bistro Du Parc for a fresh menu and more surprises. It is also commendable to note they have compensated vegetarians (for a limited number of dishes in the already small menu) beautifully by creating star dishes such as the one Skeets mentioned.
An invite to sample food by Artusi kept sitting in the inbox. There were heaps and heaps of praises in the social circles. Skeeter was growing restless and finally gave in to the temptation. Artusi is a quaint restaurant with limited covers and welcoming interiors. It features food from Emilia Romagna region in Italy and is named after Pellegrino Artusi, one of the founders of Italian cuisine, who penned the first Pan-Italian Cookbook. The owners are Gurpinder and Oscar Balcon, a well-travelled couple who globetrotted before settling in India. Oscar tells that a lot of the food featured on the Artusi menu is just like his mother would prepare.
One walks into the restaurant through a bar that has a deli corner too. The bar is designed such that one can overlook passers by on the street through a full sized glass wall while enjoying their drink. Very European. The lighting was a bit harsh but it could in no way dampen the experience.
The first thing that would strike one is the freshness of the ingredients used. The Rape e Noci salad came first. Roasted deep red beets, water cress, crunchy and juicy green apple slices and walnuts dressed in goat cheese, finished with croutons and balsamic made for a pretty plate and pleasing palate. Emilia Romagnia happens to be the place where the first Balsamic vinegar was aged. The region is also famous for its Parmesan cheese and Parma ham.
The Tomino came next. An Italian cheese roundel (a very generous portion that) melted over a bruschetta that was drizzled with fragrant truffle oil. There were sauteed mixed mushrooms (Skeeter’s favourite Enoki too!)for company. It was a dish that relied on the star ingredients than anything else and worked very well for Skeeter. By now Skeets was very full but she had to sample the pasta and so she called for a small portion of Paglia e Fieno Aurora. This handmade white and green angel hair pasta was a treat to the eyes and was set in a pink sauce with shallots, mushrooms, tomatoes and cream. Skeeter cannot even begin to write about the freshness of this one. The pasta was al dente and the sauce beautifully complemented its texture. A must try.
It wasn’t planned. But it happened. And it did good. It rejuvenated two tired souls.
We indulged, feasted, shopped, tattled and were transmuted to two new beings.
Tea, we did not drink, but shopped for. We shopped at Needs, the superb supermarket situated in DLF Phase-IV, Gurgaon. Needs has the most amazing variety a supermarket can house. No wonder it has become my favourite. Below is the picture of the array of teas and biscuits,cookies,shorbreads, they have on offer. I was stupfied by the variety. I still am. I have never ever seen so much variety under one roof in Delhi!!!
This cute little eatery (read Thai and Oriental Cafe) is tucked away in a warm little corner of the food court at The Mega City Mall, Gurgaon. We ordered Po-Pia Thod or Thai Spring Rolls for starters. Wrapped in rice sheets and deep fried till golden brown, they are the yummiest crunchies once can have. If I visit Gurgaon and don’t eat the Phad Thai noodles (which we ordered for the Main Course) here I feel like the trip lacked something. This was the reason, that in the midst of the then ongoing Gujjar clashes, when I reached Gurgaon with a plan to have a Greek Pizza, I ended up having Phad Thai noodles at Bangkok 9. Phad Thai noodles, that’s my best bet at Bangkok 9. They are tangy, soft, juicy, crunchy and have My Peanut!!!
AND AND AND more than anything else, Pritika (the one who accompanies me here and everywhere) and Bangkok 9 are the ones behind my resurrected interest in the delicious Thai cuisine. Pritika is the one who told me that Thai food is not all about Coconut (which I truly, deeply hate). So this post would have been meaningless without a mention, a salutation to the duo.
And then came the Dessert, ‘Chocolate Travoletta’, a titillating delight that can be sampled at Costa Coffee cafes around the town and beyond. I am not too sure if I spelt the name of the sinful delight right. It costs about 28 INR and is inarguably the best chocolate dessert any cafe can attract me to.