Thursday, 31 January 2013

Darios - Cook with Love!

A vegetarian's delight - and when I say that, I mean a vegetarian who wouldn't even touch egg! To start with, none of their dishes have egg - not the pasta, not the desserts. And, they can customize your dishes to not include garlic.

This 130-seater restaurant located in one of the poshest localities of Chennai, boasts of a Sicilian cuisine and already has 2 outlets in Pune.







We were seated outside and surprisingly there were no mosquitoes.

The menu that Suresh, CEO, Darios, had put up for this showcase was quite extensive. I was the first one from the group to reach the place, and got a quick view of the rooms and the open kitchen. Suresh promised a kitchen tour but I guess we were too busy eating :-)

While at this, I must say that the Moroccan Mint tea was absolutely stunning. This simple clear hot liquid not only cleansed the palate but also soothed the stomach. Please make this your must order when you visit this place! Highly recommended.

I go on to mention the dishes, in no particular order (as at this point, I don't quite remember in which order they came)

Starters:

Funghi Darios: Whole Roasted Mushrooms with lemon, garlic, parsley and extra virgin olive oil. This one was brilliant, but I really couldn't quite catch the citrus flavor as the garlic overpowered everything.

Polpette Di Spinaci E Formaggio: Spinach and fresh cheese balls served with a spinach cheese dip. If you love spinach and if you love cheese, go for this one! However the oil smelt a little funny today. (May be just a one off?)

Antipasto Siciliano: Sicilian platter with cheese, olives, sundried tomatoes, roasted peppers, pickled onions, roasted aubergines and home made bread. The chilli stuffed olives are a spice lovers delight. The gorgonzola cheese (an acquired taste perhaps) was a tad salty but hey, it was just too good to be eaten on its own! The bread was soft and fresh, and made for a perfect accompaniment.

Assorted bruschetta: My pick was the goat cheese and roasted zucchini. The sun dried tomato pate was a tad strong and spicy for my liking.



Salad:

Aranciazola: Mixed salad leaves, fresh orange, gorgonzola, olives and herbs - A fresh salad with a hint of citrus from the orange but what makes this a killer salad is the gorgonzola.

Verdure Grigalate: Warm mixed vegetables (potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, onions and carrots) - This was yum on its own but again, a hint of gorgonzola and it just elevated the flavor of the vegetables.


Pizza:

Carduni: Mozarella, artichokes, mushrooms, garlic, olives, broccoli and sun dried tomatoes.I absolutely loved it, more for the fact that it had a good amount of those bright green broccoli pieces :D

Stromboli: Mozarella, red chilli, spinach and tomatoes: What I really loved about these thin crust pizzas were that they didn't stoop or sag or become soggy. They held their head high and were crunchy till the last bite.



Risotto and Pasta: 

Risottoragli Asparagi: Asparagus, cream and cheese - By far the best risotto I've eaten. It was slightly high on garlic but if you love a good risotto, then this is the one!

Risotto Siciliana: Tomato sauce based risotto with aubergines, red chilli, oregano, capers and cheese - Not my favorite!

Risotto Al Funghi Porcini: Mushrooms & garlic cream cheese - If you love a good mushroom, this is one to pick!

Ravioli Kamarina: Home made ravioli stuffed with spinach & cheese, served with tomatoes, chickpeas, rosemary, smashed peas and cream. By this time, we were stuffed and could only take spoonfuls to taste.

The other dishes in this category included Fussili Vitale (Fresh tomato, garlic, sun dried tomato and mushrooms), Tortellini formaggi and funghi (pasta parcels stuffed with mushrooms and cheese), crespelle al funghi (baked pancakes with mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, cheese and peas). The baked pancakes were good but attempting to taste the sauce alone didn't do too much good. It has to be eaten along with the pancake.

And finally, it was time for dessert. How much ever you eat, there's always space for dessert and I mean always!

Desserts

Eggless tiramisu - very low on alcohol and coffee - not exactly a tiramisu but let's say a decent variation of the actual!

Pannacotta - Typical :) The crunchy slices of apple on the side added a nice texture to the dish!

Lemon cheese cake: My pick of the lot - The mild tang of the lemon and the soft cheese cake, when eaten along with the lemon rind - is a different experience altogether.

Erupting chocolate and chocolate brownie served with chocolate ice cream - Now I thought that would be a chocolate overdose but surprisingly it was quite pleasing on the palate!



As we stood up, completing a wonderful meal, I sure gained a few pounds! The love in their cooking certainly shows :)

** This meal is part of CFG Showcase. 

** A meal for two would cost you around INR 1200.

** Darios is off Kasturi Ranga Road, Near Aswini Soundra Nursing Home, Poes Garden.  - http://www.darios.in

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2 comments:

  1. Finally Darios! Have heard and read a lot about this guy who runs this restaurant. Din know there is one in Chennai too......and looks like next time I visit Pune, I know where to go and what to try! :D

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    Replies
    1. Hey yes. It was lovely to say the least. They opened couple of months ago here! I loved the food here and can't wait to take folks along. :)

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Munch on....