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Business News/ Mint-lounge / Features/  Lounge Review: Sorrento, Delhi
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Lounge Review: Sorrento, Delhi

At this fabulous Italian restaurant at the Shangri-La, the only question is, do you like your pizza the Neapolitan way or in the Salerno style?

The interiors of Sorrento at Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel. Photographs courtesy Shangri-LaPremium
The interiors of Sorrento at Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel. Photographs courtesy Shangri-La

For me, the mark of a good Italian restaurant is one that can get its classics right. By that meter, the swank new 60-seater Italian restaurant Sorrento is worth watching. The restaurant is a large, well-lit cheery space with the usual accoutrements of an Italian eatery: open kitchens for both pizza and mains, an island that is a salumeria (deli) of sorts, and fridges where you can choose your cheese and cured meats by the weight, which the chef then slices razor-thin on an impressive scarlet Berkel machine. The vibe is interactive, friendly and rustic.

The good stuff

The menu is extensive. It’s one that will make you want to come back to try things since you won’t be able to have it all in a single sitting.

We started with the cicchetti or small plate menu, choosing the Atlantic Sea Bass Carpaccio ( 775). It comprised beautifully sliced sea bass with capers, olives, micro greens and fresh cranberries and came with fluffy pizza crisps. Delicate, light and fresh.

Appetites whetted, we moved to the main menu. The pizza is “supremo". I saw the brilliant Calabrian chef Luigi Ferraro making pizzas both in the Salerno (thin with puffed crispy edges) and Neapolitan (similar, but the middle is a little less dry) styles. No rolling pins or air-tossing: This was hand-kneaded, fermented dough, which underwent the finger-press test for sponginess. Then it was rolled and stretched to flatness, spread over with tomato sauce and thinly sliced onions, crowned with mozzarella and paddled into the oven at 300 degrees Celsius for less than 2 minutes. Out it came for the paper-thin salami and then back again for literally 10 seconds, so as not to release too much fat from the cured meats. It emerged soft and bubbling—simply the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. We tried three flavours: the Salami Picante ( 1,195), the Wild Mushroom ( 995) and the Mozzarella, Fried Egg, Ham and Artichokes ( 1,195). They’ll happily do a half-and-half for you.

Our waitress recommended the artisanal pasta (read, made fresh at the restaurant), so we tried the Agnolotti ( 1,495), a flavoursome, square ravioli stuffed with rabbit and slow-cooked pork. The traditional rustic Tuscan pasta is a must-have if you like a gamey, hearty meat. The agnolotti sat in a fine brown jus of both meats.

For dessert we had the Mount Vesuvius ( 695), rich, dense chocolate cream with cocoa soil, topped with raspberry. I liked the crunch. An order of the ever so fresh, light and just tart scoop of Orange Campari Sorbetto ( 295) made for a perfect palate cleanser.

My friend enjoyed the perfect zing in her cocktail—an Indian Sour ( 750) fashioned along the lines of a Pisco Sour.

The black cod at Sorrento.
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The black cod at Sorrento.

The not-so-good

The navel-shaped pasta Tortellini with Roasted Sweet Pumpkin ( 1,295) was prettily presented, but way too sweet. The bed of tart cherry tomatoes did little to cut the sweetness. I found the pasta a bit too doughy too.

My Grappa Negroni ( 750) was not as complex as I would have liked. The flavour was like an imbalanced blended bitter.

The service was friendly but our server was not well versed with the menu, hovered around too much at the beginning and completely disappeared midway.

As always, taxes in a luxury hotel are killing—at this meal, they added up to an additional 2,600.

All in all, Sorrento is a place I know I will go back for more.

Talk plastic

A meal for three (two appetizers, one pizza, two pastas, two desserts and two drinks) cost us 11,022.

Sorrento, Lobby Level, Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel, 19, Ashoka Road, Connaught Place (011-41191919). Open for lunch (12.30pm-2.45pm) and dinner (7.30pm-midnight).

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Published: 03 Mar 2016, 08:09 PM IST
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