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    Serafina’s new aperitivo hour makes for a great evening out

    The homely Italian spot, although fairly new already feels like it has been around for ages with its warm wood interiors, cosy seating and welcoming waitstaff. We stepped in to sample their version of cocktail hour — aperitivo.

    28page9lead8Dhanu, their bartender, really knows his way around spirits and mixes so we left our drink order in his capable hands. A Negroni – a classic (campari, gin and an orange twist) I haven’t had in a long while arrived along with the mixologist’s signature drink, Cucumber 600. The latter was a lovely, refreshing English cucumber, and orange affair, perfectly made, reminiscent of the time he used to turn out those eclectic cocktails at Olive. While the chef was rustling up the appetisers for us, we asked for another classic, a deceptively simple bone dry martini — the ultimate test in my book. Of course, Danu passed with flying colours.

    28page9lead3By this time, chef Tanmoy Savardekar was putting a line-up of nibbles together. Calamari fritti, tender, crisp calamari with marinara sauce and caprese sticks with fresh buffalo mozzarella and cherry tomatoes marinated in extra virgin olive oil. The sweetness of the tomatoes picked up the bland cheese and complemented the calamari nicely. A rather sinful wedge of mozzarella between two slices of deep fried ciabatta bread was also a hit, along with paper thin grilled aubergine slices stuffed with mozzarella, tomato sauce and parmesan, then breaded and fried. The fresh mozzarella came through melted and stringy, just the way it should. We switched over to an interesting thyme sangria bianco, loaded with brandy-infused fruit, white wine, with hints of citrus and muddled thyme—perfect for the lightweight drinker.

    28page9lead4The snack menu is spot on here and you can pretty much work your way though gamberi fritti, prawns marinated in lemon juice, and fried to simulate popcorn kernels, beef meatballs, that could have done without the tempura batter— just kept grilled, and rather heavenly pork pizza rolls with broccoli and mozzarella. One of my favorites was the chicken winglets. Marinated in peppers, garlic and apple cider vinegar then baked, they were lighter than the usual chicken wings in overpowering barbecue sauce with a delicate citrus flavour. We also sampled pork belly ribs, braised in a tomato reduction and served with creamy polenta and apple salad. If you are sticking to just a main dish, this one is a good choice.

    Desserts naturally feature tiramisu rich with mascarpone and coffee and the citrus pannacotta with a pomegranate coulis. Mulled wine was a good way to finish our meal before heading back out into the nippy Bangalore chill. Serafina despite its casual vibe scores with varied ingredients and complex flavours. Everything here is well-thought out and planned, with attention to detail. Weekdays from 4pm-7pm. At Koramangala. Details: 25523350.

    Frances Rao

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