41 Middleton Row, Calcutta.
Meal for two: Rs 800
Fire & Ice is the legendary Kathmandu restaurant. Set up by Annamaria Forgione, an Italian lady who came there 20 years ago and never went back, its regulars include people like Richard Gere and Sting. A couple of years ago Annamaria set up another Fire & Ice in Calcutta. It’s a simple family bistro that serves authentic Italian food with a Neapolitan accent—pizzas, pastas, salads and desserts.
The pride they take in their food—and their eagerness to see that you enjoy it—is what makes it so special. Last time, for example, we ordered their signature Pizza Neapolitana by mistake, not realising that the anchovies would be too salty for our tastes. Stefan, Annamaria’s son, promptly took it away, got the chef to solve the problem and brought it back. Their quest for perfection is admirable: they use no readymade sauces, only fresh herbs, and go to the extent of having taught a self-help group of local women to make authentic mozzarella for them. We especially recommend the pizza terra e mare, with tuna and spinach leaves, and the delicious strawberries in white wine. Pity they don’t serve real Neapolitan ice cream, though.