‘Lido’ Hyatt celebrates the Italian treasures with the ongoing food festival – ‘Italiano’

This few weeks has been Italian marathon for me, tasting the classics to getting awed by the uniqueness to lip-smacking pastas to few disappointments as well.

Few days back I was invited by Dineout to ‘Lido’ Hyatt to enjoy the authentic flavors of Umbria and Tuscany with their on-going Italian food festival ‘Italiano’. Well, if you ask me how was the experience.. I would say it was good. Was it ‘wow’? No it wasn’t.

Let’s get started by talking about the menu that was set for the evening by Chef Manish Sharma.

The first up was ‘Caprse Crotini and Crostini Alla norcina’ (Anchovies, truffles and chicken liver on crispy bread grilled artichokes, sweet peppers and pickled bocconcini). Well, chicken liver is something I love from core of my heart and this was something absolutely brilliant, just the way I like. It was perfectly cooked, wasn’t soggy at all and that dark brown colour, ahh! too good. It was succulent and absolutely lip-smacking.

Next up was ‘Assortment of Insalata Asparagi, Calamari Fritti and Prawn Stuffed Ravioli’. There were three different things on the plate with so many elements complimenting each other. Talking about the batter fried squids, it was better than what I have had so far. What really worked is it was easily chewable and the crisp batter makes it taste even better.

Talking about the warm asparagus salad with sautéed potato, I didn’t really enjoy it. There is so much you can do with a potato but here the asparagus alone didn’t create any magic.

And the Prawn Stuffed Ravioli was good but nothing extraordinary, the same common taste. Yes, it is good to stick to basics but there has to be some uniqueness being offered to the food aficionados.

Next up on the table was something that really took me by surprise. Why? Because Chef Manish told us that next up is gonna be zuppa (soup). And what presented on table was so pleasing to eyes. Soup in a bowl? How about sipping the soup in saltless round bread? It was called ‘Pappa al Pomodorro’.

Well there is proverb – don’t judge a book by its cover and in this case don’t judge a food by how brilliant it looks. My first expression was ‘wow’, I remove the ‘bread lid’ and I was like whatttt??? I am sorry but this cannot be a soup. It was completely dried up looking like a thick puree of tomato stored in something.

Chef Manish told us that the bread absorbs the liquid very quickly making it dry. He tried fixing it by pouring some liquid over it still this was nowhere near to good. Full marks to chef for thinking something out of the box but did it pay off? No it didn’t, it back fired. I think Chef should be aware of the fact that bread absorbs the liquid quickly; he looked more surprised than us.

Coming to the main course, we were served ‘Fantasia of Pappatrdelle Con Leper, Gnocchi Ignudi and Spigola Alla Livornaese’. Again, everything on the plate was so damn eye-pleasing, just beautiful. Taking about the taste, let’s start with Gnocchi made of spinach, eggs and ricotta. This is a speciality of both Umbria and Tuscany and after taking a bite you understand why. This combination of spinach, eggs and ricotta is just brilliant, definitely a must try here.

Talking next about Sea bass cooked in garlic, tomatoes, onions, and parsley. Ok, let me be honest.. this was lip-smacking. Coming from Bengal, I have a soft corner for fish and this boy did not disappoint me. Just look at the different colour variations of fish skin from top to bottom, from dark brown to light of the fish.. just brilliant.

Lastly, talking about the broad ribbons of pasta, served with a meaty sauce of rabbit, bacon and cloves. I have tried rabbit meat quite a few times and have really enjoyed it. Yes, rabbit meat is not very soft but here it was more than it should be, making it chewy.

It was time to conclude the meal on a sweet ending and what better than ‘Melange of Chocolate Salami and Castagnaccio’ to put a smile on our face. Ahh! the chocolate salami was so so good. Why salami? Because it looks like one with white sugar rubbed on the outer surface to make it look like fungus.

The overall experience was a mixed one with few hits and few misses. I would go back to eat the chicken liver, the fish, Gnocchi and chocolate salami.

Verdict: 3/5


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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