When a famous food critic is consultant for an Italian restaurant and it wins a reputed award for being the city’s best Italian restaurant within days of its opening, we naturally have high expectations from it. Pesto Pesto is the place in question and is definitely Pune’s latest place to head to. Located on the 12th floor, this eatery offers a gorgeous view of the city. The chaos below almost seems harmonious and in symmetry with the world.
Done up in clean lines and with contemporary wooden fittings, Pesto Pesto is aglow with lively chatter. The menu takes you on a journey through Italy’s famous monuments and icons. The food offered is simple, minimalist and basic. There are just a few soups, starters, pasta, pizza, mains and dessert on the menu. While this may read like a lot, we noticed barely are five dishes under each section. Compare this with the lengthy tomes that other Italian cafes in the city flaunt, and you will get the drift. Besides, among the few options under each category, they have kept the range rather simple and basic.
Their herbed soup sticks served on a wooden platter with a little butter made for a crackling start. Our Calabrese Pizza (`495 plus taxes) had a perfect thin-but-not-crumbling crust and came with tuna flakes (a slightly more generous sprinkling would have been appreciated), capers that gave it a twang and a healthy toss of chilli flakes that was enough to spice up the baked cheese base.
Next, we tried a classic Spaghetti Bolognaise (`375 plus taxes) that came with al dente spaghetti topped with spiced mince. Toss it up when it comes to you and the dish makes a hearty, home-style pasta.
For dessert, it was a Chocolate Zuppa Inglese (`225 plus taxes). The classic Italian trifle appeared pretty in a martini glass. The pristine white dollop of cream at the base cone contrasted with the dark, almost-black of rich melted chocolate that held within it a slice of sponge cake. The chocolate sauce was great, if only the rather ordinary cake had been replaced with a juicy, moist, liqueur-soaked layer. Plus, it would have done the dessert good to be able to taste the custard. Pesto Pesto is regular, home-style, glorified Italian fare. We think the city definitely does better Italian. But their food certainly worked for our tastebuds.