DLF Place Mall, 2nd floor, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
Tel 43111777, 43111778
Meal for two (without alcohol): Rs 2,000-2,500
"Location. Location. Location," a famous hotelier once said, when asked to reveal the secret of his success. Well, you get the same answer when you wonder why this excellent new restaurant is so sadly deserted. Set in a desolate landscape of parched earth, dlf Place Mall in Vasant Kunj, with its grandiose dome and empty, echoing halls, has the sepulchral air of a mausoleum. Perhaps the footfalls will come once the mall’s movie theatres get going, and the restaurant finally gets its bar licence. Meanwhile, grab the chance to eat some of the best Italian food in town without paying five-star prices, before the hordes descend on it. London-based celebrity chef Antonio Carluccio has devised the menu and trained Italia’s chef, Arindam Jana, to execute it. He has done his guru proud—Italia lives up to its promise of simple, unfussy food made with the finest, freshest ingredients. Everything we tried was delicious, but I know what I’ll order when I go back: asparagus baked with parmesan; piedine (paper-thin pizza) topped with artichoke and cherry tomato; fillet of John Dory with spinach; and braised lamb shanks with saffron risotto. The tasting platter of desserts, which includes a chocolate Grand Marnier pot and a vanilla panna cotta, provides a sublime finale.