Savour tradition Italian flavours at this restaurant in Santacruz
Transport yourself to the sunny coast of Sorrento at a new restaurant in Santacruz
The Italians are known for their robust, vibrant fare that celebrates fresh produce, traditional cooking and a host of flavours over long conversations. No wonder they even have a word for the water ring left on a surface as a result of condensation (culaccino).
And celebrating this spirit of traditional Italian cooking is Sorrentina (named after the coastal town of Sorrento) at the Foodhall flagship store on Linking Road, Santacruz West.
(Front) Herbed burrata ravioli; (behind) salame picante pizza
The four-level store retails fresh produce of every kind, and the menu reflects this philosophy with its focus on fresh food (we have been ogling at their pasta photographs on Instagram for a while now). Consulting chef Cristian Borchi relies on his nonna's (Italian: grandmother) recipes to curate the menu, whereas chef Aabhas Mehrotra takes care of the modern plating to suit Mumbai's diners.
The menu offers options for platters that include a selection of fresh vegetables, cold cuts, cheese and house-made bread. Sadly they haven't started serving Italian wines yet, but they will in the future, we are told. If you are looking for something in addition to the obvious choices of hand-stretched pizza, pasta and risotto, there are salads and small plates, too. Now, compared to the trend of restaurants having close to 120 dishes to please everyone, Sorrentina's menu is quite succinct. And yet, you will feel spoilt for choice since everything looks so good.
Risotto al funghi
With wine out of the question, we opt for bacca limonata (Rs 300), a soda, fresh berries and lemon drink that's a part of their limited-period carnivale menu, and call for panzerotti con salame (Rs 580). We don't care much for the drink, but love the crispy fried pasta dough pastry that's stuffed with pepperoni ragu. Special love for the carrettiera sauce served on the side that makes most of the simple-yet-strong flavours of tomato and garlic with a touch of chilli.
Blueberry burrata cheesecake. Pics/Dhara Vora Sabhnani
It's the pizza that we are excited about the most, and since we have had a great experience with the salami offerings at Foodhall earlier, we order salame picante (Rs 750). When the pizza arrives we realise that the restaurant is not sweet-talking us to the coast of Italy but offering us the real deal. Unlike most eateries with fine-dine prices in the city, this one stays true to its promise of a hearty meal and is generous with its portions. The pizza has the perfect crust, oodles of stringy mozzarella and a free-handed dose of good quality salami, which lends a heady aroma to the cheese it's seated on.
For mains, we order the herbed burrata ravioli (Rs 650) and risotto al funghi (Rs 850). The handmade ravioli is lusciously delicate with a stuffing of burrata, and is served on a tangy tomato-based sauce. Fried leeks and pine nuts add crunch to dish. The risotto has a great bite and continues the good run with perfectly seasoned mushrooms and a creamy sauce. Once again the portions don't disappoint.
Thanks to the fresh ingredients used across the board, in spite of eating more than we usually do, we are able to save room for dessert. Since it's their closing time (last order: 11 pm), we ditch their freshly made gelato and instead, pick a blueberry burrata cheesecake (Rs 450). Although we love the blueberry sauce and the restrained use of sugar, we've tasted better cheesecake in the city. Sorrentina isn't easy on the pocket, but they do justice to their prices with beautiful flavours and fresh produce. Molte grazie!
TIME: 12 pm to 12 am
AT: Sorrentina, level 2, Foodhall@Linking Road, Plot No 106, Linking Road, Santacruz West.
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