Food Review: Festa Della Sensa at Bene

Festa Della Sensa at Bene

There is a significance and history behind ‘Festa Della Sensa’, which marks the longest marriage in the history, of Venice and the Sea (more than 1000 years). Taking the inspiration from this, Chef Giuseppe Lioce of Westin, Pune is weaving his magic at an ongoing food festival at Bene by marrying land and sea ingredients to produce finest of Italian cuisines for the patrons.

Chef Giuseppe is full of humour and he loves to prepare all fresh. He says that people here thinks Italian food is only about Pizza’s and Pasta’s but there is way more to it. And he hopes this message reaches out to people. And as I believe every good chef has its unique style, Chef Guiseppe takes one most important ingredient from each food he prepares and sprinkles on the side of the plates, marking its authority and imperativeness in the food, which also enhances the presentation of the food.

 Chef Giuseppe Lioce
This Italian Food Festival at Bene is on till 24th of May, 2015.
I along with other few bloggers were invited for a roller-coaster gastronomical experience and it was one brilliant evening to remember with a fine wine, gossips, loads of laughter and amazing food by Chef Guiseppe.

Let’s get started on a visually appealing Italian food journey at Bene.  And nothing better than to start of with a white wine.

We started with Pettole Pugliese. These round shaped beauties were served along with a syringe filled with bell pepper sauce. Strange, isn’t it? But that’s what adds to the taste and full marks to chef for this creativity. It was deep fried Pizza dough flavoured with olives, sundried tomato and Rosemary. Chef asked us to swipe the sauce bed with the ball, take a bite, inject the bell pepper sauce syringe and repeat. That’s how you give a simple food an edge.

Pettole Pugliese

Next up was, Carpaccio di Funghi, thinly sliced wild Mushrooms marinated in Lavender Vinaigrette, Mint served with shaved Parmesan, garnished with green pea leaves. This did not go well with my taste buds, it was overpowered by the mint and tangy taste.

Carpaccio di Funghi

Next on the table was, Frittele di Broccoli Calabresi. The broccoli fritters were served with Italian Olive Tapenade and Romesco sauce. I love anything that comes with broccoli and this was equally good. It was deep fried but don’t go by looks, it wasn’t greasy.

Frittele di Broccoli Calabresi

Ahh! and the time had come for the two non-vegetarian delicacies, first up was Capesante Mare e Monti and trust me when I say, everyone went gaga over this food (including me). Grilled Scallops, served on a bed of pumpkin puree, crispy parma ham, sautéed wild mushrooms with truffle honey was just divine. I was literally high on these and full marks to chef creating this piece of magic in his kitchen.

Capesante Mare e Monti 

Next up was Carpaccio di Tonno. As delicate and light as a feather, it was thinly sliced Tuna served with Italian dressing, aromatic salt and Rocket Salad. Very tough to explain the actual taste but do not chew and gulp it like other food, go slow with this beauty in your mouth, romance like she is the only one and it will leave you with all smiles.

Carpaccio di Tonno

And next up was.. *drumrolls* Zuppa Di Pesce, a soup with calamari and cockles with garlic crostini. The seafood may change every day depending on the fresh catch of the day. The calamari was cooked to perfection and was real soft to the tooth bed. This was nothing extraordinary but still made its presence felt.

Zuppa Di Pesce

Now, time for some pastas and first up was, Orecchiette Alla Barese. No one would love pastas as I do but it has been very difficult to find a pasta which is good, different from others and satisfies your taste buds. But here, from the kitchen of Chef Giuseppe expectations were soaring high and trust me when I say, it lived up to it. This Orecchiette pasta was served with garlic, chilli, broccoli and the pecorino cheese. The taste was so very different with eye pleasing colours and texture on the plate.

Orecchiette Alla Barese

Next pasta was Paccheri Mare e Monti, another masterstroke from the Chef. This pasta was served with Pistachio pesto, calamari and prawns in a white wine sauce. Sounds divine and yes it was. What else a seafood lover needs? Calamari, prawns with white wine, mamma mia! It was too good.

Paccheri Mare e Monti

And the last pasta was Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe, cooked in a rich pecorino and black pepper sauce. This was very simple pasta and the first two was better than this.

Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe

Ahh! The menu so long, the food didn’t seem to stop. And it was time for the main course.

First up was, Branzino Livornese, baked Sea Bass in tomato sauce with Olives, Anchovies, Capers served with fried Polenta and Spinach. This was it, the food I was waiting for, certainly the best of the evening. Once again, look at the combinations on the plate, simply amazing. The fish was cooked to perfection with a crisp skin. The colour and texture of this food tells you how good this was.

Branzino Livornese

Next up was, Straccotto di Agnelio. I thought Branzino Livornese was the best of the evening only if I knew that chef has stored his best for the last. Boy oh Boy, this Australian Lamb Shank boneless, slow cooked in Red Wine served with truffle mash potato and rosemary sauce was just heaven. Undoubtedly, one of the best lamb meats I have ever had. A meat so soft, it melted in the mouth like butter on a hot pan. Chef informed us that it is cooked for nine long hours in red wine and now we know the secret behind this heavenly meat. Take a bow, Chef.

Straccotto di Agnelio

And as I always say, there is always a small place in my stomach for desserts.
The first dessert served was, Pasticciotto – a warm Italian short bread filled with Italiancustard, Nutella and served with vanilla ice cream.


The last one for the day was Millefoglie – a warm puffy pastry, served with Italian Custard, Blueberries and Vanilla Ice Cream. I think Chef was at its best that evening and he couldn’t have put a wrong foot. Everyone liked it so much; Chef had to prepare two more servings for us despite of clock striking 11:45 pm. This was a perfect end any meal can have.


Address: Bene, Hotel Sheraton, Brigade Gateway
Price: Rs. 3000 plus taxes
Festival Ends on: 24th May

Verdict: 4.5/5


Dreamer, Blogger, Writer, Foodie, Movie buff, Public Relations. Contributor for The New Indian Express and recently started a news publishing website 'Unkrate'.

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