Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Foodies Haven? Or Just the Lookalike....
Review: Villa 39
SoBo’s newest chic ristorante, Villa 39, is the closest you can get to depicting heaven in India or on our planet for that matter. If you’ve already been there, then you know what I am saying if you’ve’ not am about to make myself clear. WHITE – is the colour of the flooring, the sofas & other seating, the curtains, windows, walls and even the cutlery. Everything at this place is ivory, milky, pearly white. Located at Amarchand Mansion Villa’s precedents have been the famous Golden Gate & Flags. Brainchild of first time entrepreneur Kaajal Fabiani, a lot of detail seems to have gone into designing this place.
These are the first things that came to my mind when I set foot here. It was a Monday afternoon an unlikely day & time to lunch out I know, but August 23rd is special day and this elegant eatery was a natural choice. Immediately after we were seated on the 1st floor in a pearly divano (sofa), I couldn’t help but notice this wall of wine right across me. Exhibiting wine as object d’art, the wall has different types of wine well spaced and stacked. Quite different from the usual miniature wine cellars that one sees at today’s fine dining places. This was something you could go to with the maitre d’, look through, get some details and choose your poison.
Getting down to the food, we started with soup. Wait! before we move on to that let’s just rewind a bit, starting with the seating – pearly white as I mentioned earlier, the table is well laid out with ivory colored plates & sparkling silverware. Lots of sparking silverware I would say. Yes if you have been to a finishing school and learnt how to eat with those different types of spoon, knives & forks and you would like to practice your skill this is the place. For me I hardly know how to operate these things, but one tip I learnt is moving from inwards that is your first course cutlery will be always kept the outermost on both sides from your plate.
Anyhow let’s get down to business, we order for the food. In the meantime they get us a bread basket with assorted breads. So we chomp on some bread dipped in the heavenly mixture of Olive Oil and Vinegar. If you’re wondering about this odd combination try it the next you go to an Italian restaurant - Make a puddle of olive oil in your plate the size of a golf ball and add about 2 or 3 small drops of vinegar one it. Dip your bread in the mixture and eat. It’s a great combination. The caustic taste of vinegar merges with woody flavor of the olive oil to give you a balsamic combination.
Our soups arrive, the first one - Mushroom Cappuccino, a frothy broth of mushrooms which is quite a delight. Served with a lavache on the side, it is a little bland but you will be offered some ground pepper to add some pizzazz to it. The Minestrone, a tomato based creamy soup is too thick and filling. The other one the Asparagus Soup, served with small bread doled with some cream cheese and an asparagus stem, is also nice, a bit bland again but then again you know what you need.
We order for a portion of Bruchettas , fresh tomato finely diced tomatoes, pepper and cilantro make a beautiful combination. What I like is that it is not gooey that kind it gets otherwise. We move on to the Pizza. We order for a half and half combination (thank god for that option) of Margherita and Chicken Ham. They both are pretty bland. The Chicken Ham specially doesn’t impress us.
Then our Pasta arrives. A little dope I learnt about Italian food - incase of the main course, your plate should be piping hot so that the cheese of Italian cuisine (most of Italian cuisine has loads of it ) remains molten and does not solidify and become difficult to eat and swallow due to its heaviness. Villa 39 disappointed us in this case. Our plates were not hot or even lukewarm. However, the first one Penne Mamarosa a pink sause (combination of red and white) is ambrosial. Not too tomato or too creamy, a perfect combination of both and a little sweet. The Pesto Pasta one is a bit disappointing, quite tasteless if I may say and lacks the nutty flavor that pesto should have. The Spinach & Cottage cheese cannelloni also was quite unsavory, with hardly any flavor.
All an all, a pretty average place with not so average price. The per head cost would come upto minimum 800/- and with alchohol minium of Rs. 1000/- plus taxes. Villa also offers a Sunday Brunch 11:30 - 4:00 it costs Rs 2,200 plus taxes
Quicktip: Drop in only if you would like to enjoy the ambience and probably experiment with a little Italian food, don’t expect to be totally satisfied after the meal and do it obviously only if you have some extra dosh in that pocket of yours
· Villa 39, Amarchand Mansion, 60 Madam Cama Road, Colaba, Mumbai
· Phone: 66573939