A fine dining speciality restaurant opens in the heart of the city
Hailing from Alba, a beautiful Italian city nestling cozily between the Alps and the Apennine mountain ranges known for excellent red wine, cheese and white truffles, is the erudite Italian chef Bruno Ferrari. Naturally, he presides over Alba, their speciality restaurant and in a typical Latin way says he would like to ‘convey his emotions and love through his cooking’. Alba comes with three-tier arena-style interiors and enough drama to match Ferarri’s flamboyance.
We began with a range of anti-pasti — superb in both texture and flavour. Melt in your mouth, fresh burrata (butter in Italian), cheese and heirloom tomato salad with red onions and olive oil and a ball of thin-layered mozzarella with a core of fresh cream arrived in all their buttery, creamy goodness. Next, we sampled the tatara di tonno, Japanese tuna tartare with poached quail egg and a fennel bursting with subtle flavours. My personal favourite though, was the vitello tonnato — paper thin slices of slow-cooked veal served with a brilliant tuna sauce and caramelised capers.
For the first course, we tried the ravioletti di alba, a simple yet superbly executed ravioli stuffed with tenderloin braised in the famed Barolo wine and served with veal jus. The deceitfully simple linguine al pesto genovese tossed with basil pesto potatoes and green beans and the porcini mushroom risotto (served al dente) beautifully presented with a shaving of black truffle were the stars of this course.
Then, Ferarri gently insisted we try his famed wild sea-bass served with green vegetables in a mildly tangy lemon sauce and New Zealand lamb chops served with a creamy polenta and rosemary jus. I was glad that I was so easily persuaded. Though we were veritably bursting at the seams, we couldn’t help but try what the Italians are famed for — pizzas. The capricciosca pizza, (thin-crusted and topped with anchovies, black olives, mushroom and ham) was as wonderful as the seafood pizza.
After quaffing some more Barolo wine, we were ready for the plethora of tantalizing desserts. Since Alba, the city, is famous for the Nutella chocolate factory, chef Ferrari grandly presented his version of a Nutella pizza — a beautiful mix of sweet and savory hazelnut goodness, holding its own with a serving of Tiramisu, that soft, creamy Italian classic, topped with more delicious Nutella.
A good spot to visit for a fine meal in the heart of town.
Rs 3,000++. At JW Marriott, Vittal Mallya Road. Details: 67189999