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    From orecchiette to tortellini and cappelletti, the pasta promotion at The Leela Palace offers a welcome change from the usual suspects

    n a restaurant like Spectra, where one gets to choose from close to 10 pasta-sauce combinations (besides gluten-free and whole wheat options), one wonders what more a pasta promotion can offer. “There’s so much more than the popular pastas like spaghetti or penne,” says Dharmen Makwana. The executive chef of The Leela Palace intends to promote a thoughtfully curated selection of handmade pastas like the ravioli, tortellini and cappelletti, with ingredients varying from smoked aubergine to lobster and wild mushrooms. But do make note that this is not one of those set dinners that allows you a complete Italian meal. The pasta selection, available for two weeks starting this Saturday, is to be called on only in time for mains, while what you begin and end your meal with is between you and the restaurant’s extensive a la carte menu
    What’s your shape?
    At our special preview however, it’s pasta from start to finish. As we await our line up, the bubbly Hitesh Pant lays out a board of herbed and spiced flat bread slices to keep us occupied. We learn that this junior sous chef is the one who’s labouring over the delicate (but precise) folds and creases of the pastas that begin to arrive. First up is the tortellini. Stuffed with chunks of lobster and morsels of carrot, these navel-like pouches are carefully planted around a runny poached egg that when broken, melds with the chive glaze into buttery brilliance. We scrape up every last smear! Then comes the de-constructed carbonara ravioli. A parmesan emulsion is hidden in pockets of the pasta that’s peppered with crispy bacon bits, for another creative contrast of flavour and texture.
    Wine over water
    If you’re looking for something to sip on with your pasta of preference, we suggest asking for their new batch of wines. While the Italian white complements the lobster and poached egg, the full-bodied French red clears your palate after the carbonara ravioli. And if you’re going for the wild mushroom and parmesan, feel free to sip from both glasses as both wines complement the pyramid-shaped folded pasta of earthy, diced mushrooms (think porcini, button and shiitake). Our dinner continues with more handmade delights like the lamb ragout-laced fettucini and the vegetarian (the dough for the veg pastas are made sans egg at Spectra) cappelletti in a tangy tomato basil sauce. But we’ll allow you to discover the rest for yourself, at this promotion, on till April 30.
    Between Rs 1,050 and Rs 1,300 plus tax each. Details: 33661234

    Ryan Peppin

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