Thursday, October 11, 2012

Zanotta at Leela Kempinski with the Blogger's Table



Photo courtesy: Arvind Khanna
This picture warms my heart through and through. You can see how people are mid-conversation, how food is always centre-stage and how someone somewhere is always having a giggle fit.

For capturing a moment that is so Blogger's Table , I thank you Arvind Khanna, the taker of this picture.

Most of the evening was a blur for me, a good kind of a blur. Firstly I was running late (as always) and Sangeeta I think had to literally chase me down to figure out where I was. Anyhoo, by the time I got there, I'd obviously missed the first course - which I believe was quite fabulous -  Pan seared Scallops with grilled Zucchini salsa. 

I got a bowl of Minestrone Soup instead - Minestrone alla Zanotta with pumpkin and rice, as the second course and I was poured the wine for both the course almost simultaneously - Craggy Range, Chardonnay, New Zealand and Albert Bichot Cote de Rhone, Chardonnay, France. I loved the Craggy Range. So much so, that before I knew it, I was on my second glass. Ofcourse Deeba who was sitting across from me noticed and I was given a rap on my knuckles. 

Thing was, I was tired. And not very hungry. But I wanted to hang with everybody. And the problem being seated in a long table is that you get to only chat up with either people sitting across from you or next to you. And then you can sort of eavesdrop and try and catch snatches of conversation at the end of the table. Or if you are feeling slightly garrulous shout across the table - like Sid and me.

I was seated next to Vinay Narang, PR of Leela who was wearing a gorgeous sari and across from the very polite general manager Roger Wright. And I asked her if Chef Kunal was around and she called him. The rest of the evening, I spent gossiping with him.And unfortunately didn't pay as much attention to Antara, who was our special guest for the evening.

Back to the soup. I really really liked the Minestrone. It had such the right amount of tomatoes and warm vegetables like pumpkin which made for a beautiful complement. The flavours were really really rich. 

The Mushroom Ravioli came up next. And it was shaped like a tortellini. I love hand rolled pasta. I love ravioli and this was no exception. I loved the meaty mushroom mix inside, it was just bursting with flavours and left you wanting more. Except you really couldn't eat so much more

Photo courtesy: Deeba Rajpal
And then the Crespelle arrived. Stuffed with spinach and  ricotta, served with tomato and parmesan, this was totally my favourite course (or did I speak too soon! ) It was cheesy, it had greens and it was just lovellllllly.

Ofcourse this course was paired with another wine - Valpolicella 'Classico' Allegrini, Corvina Italy - with Deeba and Sangeeta watching me, I took a rain check and opted to drink a diet soda. 

Photo courtesy: Deeba Rajpal
But then the piece de resistance arrived. In shapes of igloos. Beautiful ice structure that housed a lovely surprise. And no it wasn't dessert, it was the palate cleanser. With a tea-light candle flickering inside, and a tea towel keeping the ramekin from sticking - a lovely berry sorbet helped us steer towards the grand finale of this lovely, formal yet languid evening. 

Photo courtesy Himanshu Taneja
The dessert arrived - bitter chocolate semifreddo - that was served with candied apricots, blueberry and pear coulis and a teeny bit of mango pannacota and some orange feel. In an odd sort of way it was quite a DIY dessert, since you could pair your flavours as you liked them. Chocolate blueberry, good. Chocolate apricot, even better. Chocolate mango, yum. And then plain chocolate - even better!

And with that the foodgasm came to an end. Downing a glass of water (remember the eyes, they were still watching me), we managed to pull ourselves out the chairs. Only to realise how late it had gotten. But what a lovely lovely night.  

The service superb, the people humble and an experience quite unlike any other, this was a meal truly fit for a  king, let alone bloggers. 

On the table that night:

Sid @ Chef at Large
Rekha @ My Tasty Curry
Himanshu @ White Ramekins
Charis @ Culinary Storm
Parul @ Shirazine
Sangeeta Khanna @ Banaras Khana
Deeba @ Passionate about Baking
Antara @ Antypasti





5 comments:

  1. The evenings come alive again. Beautiful photograph - the first one! Can See Arvind caught his wife giggling teehee! Sorry about keeping an eye on the glass ... bad habits die hard {YOU KNOW!!!} It was indeed a meal fir for kings, and I would do it over and over again. I love vegetarian options that are so good. {Why do I always think you'll go for non-veg options. WHY??}

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now I understand the giggle story. :-) The pictures do bring the evening alive & I can almost feel it. 5 stars do an amazing job of making there guests feel like kings/queens. I love that about them.
    That dessert has me mesmerized.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Superb it was.
    Yes the picture where we are giggling, actually captures the essence. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the mention. It is always pleasurable to be in company of great foodies.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aww how sweet! And don't worry I was in good company nevertheless, Sangeeta's giggling at and with me in that pic! ;)

    ReplyDelete

Printfriendly