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    Serafina arrives in town, raising the bar for pizza and pasta buffs

    Another Italian restaurant  arrives in Bangalore — Serafina, of the  NYC-based chain, helmed by the somewhat legendary restaurateurs, Fabio Granato and Vittorio Assaf. Granato came to town for the launch and brought along his long-time buddy, Domenico Bianco – a master pizza specialist.

    foodlead9lThe Serafina brand has over 20 outlets worldwide and is known to equally attract both neighbourhood families and Hollywood celebs. It is also built on stories about how the  brand itself was conceived when the Granato-Assaf duo went on an ill-advised boating trip, almost got lost at sea and vowed to start a specialty pizza and pasta place once they returned to terra-firma. They are also known  for their food experiments with tobacco (to placate the smoking clientele when the ban was first introduced), their adults-only tequila menus, their thin-crust pizzas and their dedication to ‘authentic ingredients’ (imported especially from Italy).

    “It’s all about simplicity that is not so easy to recreate, and flavours that must be perfectly balanced to succeed. We use only the best mushrooms, tomatoes, flour, asparagus, truffles and cheeses, and we pamper both veggie and meat-loving palates with salads with fresh springy mozzarella, homemade pastas made with robust sauces and wood-fired pizzas with Bianco’s phenomenal touch,” begins Granato, who feels that Serafina should be an ‘extension of your home’ with its cheery yellow awnings, simple interiors and Italian artist Michela Martello’s charming wall frescoes.

    Tucking in
    The citrus salad we tried was fork-friendly and deliciously loaded with sun-dried tomatoes, feta, raisins, pinenuts and orange segments. Home made tagliatelle pasta came with a touch of earthy truffles to add  that decadent note of flavour. And a simple margerita with Bianco’s expertise with dough, turned out in a perfectly thin crust, charred ever so slightly with a tangy, tomato base of San Marzanos and splotches of soft white mozzarella. “Getting thin crust down to delicate crispness on the outside and tender elasticity on the inside is a tough challenge,” says Bianco.

    They have a selection of desserts as well — from classic tiramisu with a nice coffee kick to a subtle pomegranate panacotta.

    An average meal for two Rs. 2,000.  At 80 Feet Road, Koramangala. Details: 25523350

    —Jackie Pinto

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