‘Drinks. Dinner. Dancing’. I must say, the tag brought a smile to my face but enough about me and let’s cut to the chase - I heard wine and I thought “why not?” And so we entered the land of barrels and high chairs. The Wine Company, one of its kind in India and just 6-month-old in town, is the place if you have fine dining in mind. The first thing that I noticed upon entering the restaurant was the huge barrel right in front of me. No, it did not block my way, did not produce any ‘pirates’ and definitely was not out of place. We were impressed to find that it was not only a decorative piece but also served as a table. “Ahoy, matey!” was going on in my head. Then I got distracted by the interior, very European, and for a moment I thought those were black boards with writing in chalk on them – but it was not. And yes, it was a busy restaurant.
We were ushered to our table with oh-boy, high chairs – something that I usually avoid. But then it was too late to back down, and also, I was thirsty, very thirsty. I gave the wine and food menu a look and felt like a wine-virgin so ended up asking for their specials. The appetiser that came was Indian…not that I was surprised (in India, do like the Indians do and well…eat like us too). ‘Carari Roti’, crispy and brilliantly shaped like a bowl, was made of corn flour with sprinkled parsley, red chilli powder and Indian chaat masala. Now it was time for the first of the drinks, the sweet Red (pomegranate) Sangria – beautiful Valdivieso Merlot with pieces of apples in it. It became an instant favourite and we were told that the fruits were soaked in the wine for two days for the wonderful fruity flavour, before it is served.
Then the second – Prosecco Sangria – sparkling Zardito with sweet lemon, crushed strawberry and mint. It turned out that we were not much of a fan of sparkling white wine. The sharp taste of the wine met its match in the lemon, a good option for those in favour of sharp and citrusy flavour.
And the third (the counting stops here) – Green apple cinnamon Sangria – cinnamon infused Sauvignon Blanc with pieces of green apple. We let out strings of oohhs and aahhs as we sipped our drinks (and happily light headed). The sangrias are a must haves and my personal favourite was the red sangria, hands down. The wine comes in glass and also in pitcher.
To come to a place of fine dining and not eat? That didn’t happen of course because as soon as the drinks were served, there came Maple and Soy Chicken – soy sauce, maple syrup, chilli flakes and garlic gave its smokey flavour. It was soon followed by Skewered Chicken Olive Tapanade with hummus. The restaurant screamed European but gave us a pleasant surprise of Middle Eastern and well, Indian. If you are a fan of European-Italian cuisine, then this is the place to go to. Wait, the food train does not stop here. How could I not taste the pizza when I am seated at a restaurant proud of its Italian cuisine? So we ordered two. For pizza lovers, the must haves are the thin crusted Arugula Jalapeno Pizza (veg) with mozzarella, feta cheese and a generous helping of rocket leaves; and BBQ Chicken Pizza. Washing down the excellent food with beautiful wine made me so happy. Worry not, the vegetarian flock! The place has choices for both vegetarians and hardcore meat eaters like yours truly. The place was buzzing with activities, with many glasses being served, carari rotis being carefully brought to many tables and in between plates and tables, our food and drinks were brought to us superfast. The last thing any foodie like moi wants is the mind numbing and appetite killing wait. Not an issue in this place.
What makes this restaurant special is the fact that it is literally one of a kind in India, and I guess Delhi-Gurgaon just got luckier. Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest, I am told; the restaurant serves European lunch buffets through Monday to Saturday and special brunch every Sunday. The place is no doubt specialised in wines, but there are wide range of beers made available for the beer lovers. With three to four hundred varieties of wine, from Indian to the delicate French, you have more than plenty to choose from. The restaurant has open air dining space and both inside and outside has a very strong wood inspired décor.
Did I forget dessert? No, we did wolf down chocolate coffee tiramisu which came with a biscuit. I mentioned being thirsty somewhere in the beginning but I recall drinking water hours later. Whatever happened to good old water in a place surrounded by wine! The lonely glass of water got lost somewhere on the corner of the table. I can’t wait to go dancing on my next visit (sadly, the dance area was still under maintenance), but when I do, I must make sure not to stuff myself with so much of food.
Place: The Wine Company; DLF, Cyber Hub, Gurgaon, Haryana
Cost: Rs 1,500 (approx.) for 2 persons
Contact: 0124- 494 9684
Hours: 12:30 pm – 12:30 am