“Life is too short, and I’m Italian. I’d much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size 0.”
Sophia Bush

Summer Menu at ItaliaAnother Friday and we were back together, a busy, hungry, chatty bunch of food bloggers from Delhi, taking our ‘Bloggers Table‘  to a fine dining Italian restaurant, Italia, DLF Promenade, New Delhi. I’d been to the tasting table for a unique Lombardian promotion a couple of years ago. This time Italia was about to usher in the Olive Festival and we were invited for a sneak peek and nibble!
Summer Menu at ItaliaThe decor is pretty much the same as it was when we last visited. What changed this time was the noise and the cameras. Our group is expanding {not just by the waistline, but by the number too}Rituparna was new at the table at the Evernote event, and Tanya was the joined in this time. Tanya baked us some delicious chocolate chip cookies which she packed beautifully for each of us {picture at the bottom}!So there was loads of guffawing, loads of clicking and non stop banter! Did I forget musical chairs and table hopping? The hosts were very accommodating and didn’t bat an eyelid at all the cacophony we created despite it being fine dining and a Friday night!
They spoilt us and how.Olives, Italia, New DelhiWe were treated to olives from every region … my favourite the pimento queen olives!  Chef Somopriyo Basu, Vikas Sehrawat {the manager} along with the charming PR executive, Priya Sharma played the prefect hosts. We were joined for a while by the GM {Park} Abhijit Bose who was delightful company, a perfect gentleman! He is SO passionate about Park; I love it!Italia, New DelhiThe evening began with generous servings of crisp Italian cracker bread like focaccia served with an absolutely delicious roasted garlic in olive oil and some pesto. The pesto was passé but the sweetly roasted garlic and loads of olives in brine more than made up for it. With the Italia Olive Festival {24th Aug-2ndSep} on now, you will be amazed at the varieties on offer.Smoked Salmon Involtini & Four Cheese Pizza, Italia, New DelhiThe menu is VAST … it was almost impossible to sample everythingSmoked Salmon & Mascarpone Involtini with Kalamata Olives was the first course, and much enjoyed by the husband who loves salmon. Next, an assortment  – Milan Style Chicken with Colossal Olives, quite  delicious and cooked just right, Arabian Sea Calamari, Bay of Bengal Shrimp, River Sole & Taggiasche Olive, Panzanella, and Shiitake Button Mushroom & Cepes Skewers … all enjoyable with a light summery feel. The palette was happy, kept even happier with some nice Albizzia Chardonnay Toscana 2011 white!Italia, New DelhiI loved the wood oven Four Cheese & Four Olive Pizza! It had an addictive saltiness that came through with the different olives used in the topping. Wish I could have had more, but then again, the main course was on it’s way. And before that Spaghetti with Trapanese Pesto. The spaghetti wasn’t outstanding, though the Parmesan crisp {turned soft} on top was full of flavour!Pan seared polenta with asparagus spears and mixed mushroom sauceOnward we marched to the main course, most of us now quite full. I opted for the vegetarian main course of Pan Seared Polenta with Asparagus Spears and Mix Mushroom Sauce … and loved it! Well done polenta and beautiful sauce made for a great main course. The folk that picked the Tenderloins Medallions, Garden Vegetables & Rosemary Foam said it was really very good! The third option was John Dory with Israeli Couscous & Salsa Verde, relished by those that chose it. There was something for everyone!John Dory with Israeli Couscous & Salsa Verde, Italia, New DelhiIt was finally time for dessert {something eagerly anticipated} but left both Mr PAB and me rather disappointed. It was Chocolate Truffle Cake served with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gelato with Olive Dust. There was actually nothing that stood out in either. The truffle cake didn’t beg to be eaten, if you get what I mean, and the gelato was nothing to write home about. I would have loved a panna cotta like we had the last time, or maybe a tiramisu.Chocolate Truffle Cake served with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gelato with Olive Dust

That said, it was a memorable meal that we enjoyed. Good food, good company and a great place! Thank you Italia for hosting our table!

The rest of us at the table …
Sid Khullar, http://chefatlarge.in
Rekha Kakkar http://mytastycurry.com/
Parul Shirazi http://www.theshirazine.com/
Tanya Khanna http://communicooking.blogspot.in/
Deeba Rajpal, https://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/
Apeksha Jain http://www.veggiewiz.in
Rituparna Mukerji http://chocolatesanddreams.in
Sangeeta Khanna http://www.banaraskakhana.com/
Nachiketa Chandra http://www.crazyoverdesserts.com/
Ruchira Hoon http://thegreatcookaroo.blogspot.in/
Charis Bhagianathan http://culinarystorm.com/
Sushmita Sarkar http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.com/

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