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    Le Chateau and Dis Dis get new additions, as Pondy’s residents return from their summer break

    July is when Pondicherry stretches out its limbs, preens itself and shakes off any lingering signs of its summer stupor.  Old haunts and popular watering holes in the French Quarter don new paint, reinvent menus and revive the weekend partying scene—signaling that they’re all set for a new season.
    But it is two hangouts on Romain Rolland Street—Le Chateau and Dis Dis—that have made some significant changes worth checking out this weekend. Rooftop restaurants have always been popular in the city and Le Chateau, which already had one on the third floor, has just transformed its fourth floor terrace into a cosy spot just perfect for drinks and dinner. Though the lounge barely seats 20,  the palette made up of bright green floor, white cane chairs and a bright yellow wall with a tongue-in-cheek display of framed posters listing health benefits of various liquors, instantly liven up the space. Yet it is the spectacular view that is the olive in the martini here! Glimpses pink dome of the Notre Dame des Anges (Our Lady of Angels) church against a grey sky, and the strains of Abba’s Voulez Vousall give an impression of time slowing down.
    “We want to serve a different menu, mostly barbeque,” says Kevin Pope, proprietor. For now, the standard menu with their much sought after tandoor platters is the best bet here. Meal for two at `1,000. Details: 0413 2229500
    A few feet down the road, designer Disa Gudmundsdottir’s Dis Dis has reinvented its entire space to appease its diverse range of patrons. The warm orange settees, low tables and lanterns all exude genial warmth in the principal restobar. But if a more formal or family-friendly setting appeals to you, the high-backed chairs, long tables, cloth napkins and mixed media art by Manoj Dixit  in the air-conditioned room a few feet away do the trick. Sandwiched between— both choices is the al fresco space where couples can dine by candlelight and where sundown music sessions or salsa dancing are held on Sunday nights. If you want to keep it easy, simply lounge on the patio under trees draped with fairy lights. The menu has amped up the seafood choices with stuffed squid, crab masala, grilled prawns and a Pondicherry fish curry. Meal for two at Rs 1,200. Details: 0413 2225616

    —Olympia Shilpa Gerald

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